by Lauren Timberlake, Bhutanese ESL Director
I get excited when kids read. Board books, picture books, chapter books, audio books-- they are doors to all kinds of possibilities in life. Refugee kids have some large obstacles to overcome when reading. English is not their first language, so learning to read is a challenge. Also, refugee parents have endured years of turmoil, had little access to education, and now work hard to provide for their families. This leaves little time or attention for recreational reading. Many times, there are very few books in a refugee home. Although they receive lots of love at home, refugee kids don’t spend a lot of time reading with their families. Often, these kids are behind when they start school and can feel frustrated.
This summer, we offered a Mommy & Me workshop to our Bhutanese ESL students. Several mothers and grandmothers of young children participated. Rachel Pierce, a preschool teacher and close friend to several refugee families, led the group in a typical preschool storytime. There was circle time, read alouds, finger-plays, and several stations with early literacy activities. Moms helped their children to sort by color, “fish” for picture cards, put together puzzles, and look at books together.
We rarely get to offer programming to the smallest children in the Bhutanese community, and everyone really enjoyed it. A local organization donated board books to send home with each family, so they can begin reading or looking at books together at home.
Please pray for the educational needs of the Bhutanese community and other refugee groups in Kansas City. Pray that children have access to books, mentors who challenge them to read, and teachers who equip them with the skills they need to pursue further education or job training after high school.
In other news
- Two members of the Raices team along with two other Cubans led a seminar on Christianity in Cuba last Saturday. It was the first time to share publicly in English for two of them, and they did great! Around 40 people attended the event.
- God used friends, volunteers and partner churches to provide backpacks for all of the children and teens of Mission Adelante. They will go back to school with the supplies to start this year right!
- Pray for our four interns and two Cuban guests who finish their summer with us this week and transition back to Cuba or to school and family. Pray for their confidence as they return to normal life.
- Pray we finish our trimesters strong and that the Lord would give us guidance as we seek Him for direction for our fall trimesters
at Wyandotte County Lake Park, 91st and Leavenworth Road, Kansas City, KS 66109. After entering the park, you'll come to a fork in the road;
- The Latino party begins at 5:00 with a potluck meal, awards and a cultural program. It will be in the "Beach Shelter." Turn right after passing shelter #6.
- The Bhutanese party begins around 4:00 and will have a potluck meal, awards and a cultural program in shelter #6.