“When I told you that I couldn’t complete my homework because I didn’t own a computer or printer,” she wrote Ms. Hefner in a thank-you note, “you started an afterschool Homework Club for all the ESOL students so we could use these things. When I didn’t have a ride, you offered to bring me, and all of the other students, home every Tuesday, just so we could attend. My grades improved a lot from this.”
Imagine how far Jeimy Alfar has come from the time she started school in the U.S. as a refugee from Honduras (“I witnessed gang murders, drug abuse, and violence just on my walks to school”) while “only knowing the words ‘no English.'”
Way to go—both Jeimy and Ms. Hefner! Perhaps the cell phone book club idea, developed with some advice from Aixa Dengate, a mostly Hispanic teacher here in Northern Virginia, might of interest. The concept is available for free use by anyone—a library, school or business. If B&N wanted to sponsor such activities at schools or libraries? Well, be my guest.
Meanwhile props to B&N for this community engagement, especially at a time when disrespect for teachers is no small problem.
I know. Just a fraction of TeleRead’s readers are in middle or high school, but perhaps you’re related to one and can spread the word about the context.