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Tag Archives: students

Tutoring Begins

May 10th, 2020

10 days ago, I sat in the library and thought, “We can create an air flow to protect a student and a teacher with or without masks.”  Masks are so in the way of reading lips, eh?  (and breathing sometimes)

So I arranged a table in line with the air conditioner and a fan in line with the table so that the a.c. and fan make perpendicular flows. Then I invited my eldest student to come. His mother quickly agreed (oh the stress of homeschool with a 17 year old addicted to social gaming).

Delilah is SO happy to have Mizael back part time.  So am I.

I took some pictures and then invited Diego to come.  His mother also agreed quickly.  He in fact

wanted to come to Saturday school.  Yea… NO.  I am dedicated to my students but I also have some things to do for myself and my church.

 

And we have part time classes, one at a time, and the boys are doing some work at home [sic] and learning much about virus and quarantine and healthy habits.   SOAP and WATER beat hand sanitizer. Wanna try ROCK PAPER SOAP?

Thank you for praying for our students through this period of uncertainty.  We are NOT certain what August looks like but if we have to continue with our tutoring and one-on-one learning, we will do that. The best news is not NEWs… it is God’s character.  In His Sovereignty, God knows what August will look like and knows when Covid19 will peter out and knows when our resources need to be refilled. I am not saying the world stopped just so I could get totally rested but it is a nice side-effect.

May your days be filled with His praise.

week 8 of our semester

March 4th, 2020

To be seriously honest, not much has changed in the past few weeks.  Students come to school.  They learn.  They go home.  They return. It’s the cycle of school days and learning experiences.

To be SERIOUSLY honest, I think I, Betsy, the director, am learning the most in recent days.  I have been learning to listen to that quiet voice of God… sometimes I mistake MY INNER YELLING for His Voice so I am constantly trying to remain in prayer and discern WHAT is God doing, WHERE is He leading, WHAT would He have me to do or to say? Life with Christ is an amazing adventure and I am so thankful to be walking the journey of LIFE in His Way and Truth.

Yesterday (March 3)  I, Betsy, had minor surgery to remove a not really small but not worth a skin transplant basal cell carcinoma on my cheek. I did not announce it much beforehand.  I didn’t want to be asked  “WHERE is it?  Can I see it? Oooh Eeew” So I canceled our youngest student for the day and got a crew of others to handle the classroom. I drove myself to the office.  Had the procedure and drove back to the school in time to enjoy Tacos on Tuesday ( a regular menu item so come any Tuesday and join us!)

Today, I had a full classroom (THREE students – ages 7,16 and 28) who each had their own glitches to handle. One could not remember the letter R.  Another could not remember when or how to use a chair.  The other was lost in wonder over a pendulum experiment.  I spent much of the morning holding a cold pack on my bandage/incision as I felt rather pained.

But we learned together and eventually, the one remembered how to print an R and spell that word. The other found a chair and SAT on it.  And the pendulum student?  Well, there is much to be learned in physics and I am praying that happens!

Mostly, I am praying that my staff and I are able to show God’s constant LOVE and LIGHT in the lives of our children. Even when we are feeling pained by a surgical incision or the lack of memory for a word having the letter R, we can still be LOVING and sharing His light. With great JOY I hear my students say, “I MISSED YOU on the weekend”.  With great sadness, I hear my students say, “I missed you on the weekend”.  For our students, many times the only person listening, really listening to them, is one of the staff here. Families are busy places.  Parents are wrapped up in their stuff. But for a few minutes daily, we are able to take time to say, “What are you concerned about?  Let’s pray together.”  Our students KNOW we are here for them.

In the light of eternity, THAT is what we are meant to be doing.

October Fridays

October 18th, 2019

Friday, October 11, we were blessed to have only ONE student in attendance. That student took an interest in this millipede so millipedes became the focus of the day.  Today is October 18 and we are blessed to have only TWO students in attendance. They were given the opportunity for FIX YOUR FOOD FRIDAY and learned (or helped) to make chili for today’s lunch.

Sometimes, having a small number of students is a blessing.  We are able to spend time to chat about THEIR specific lives and needs and trials and joys. Often we have too many children and not enough hands to put into their learning.  More and more students coming to us, as a special school, have multiple needs in addition to being Deaf. What a joy when we have one on one time and can share in their lives specifically, learn more about them and pray with them alone.

Pray with us for the special needs of the Deaf in Puerto Rico.

We are excited to have our regular Friday handbell rehearsals and the dedication of the adult Deaf persons who are participating in that. They have their work and their families and yet have this desire for music.  One of them told me, “I work and I am stressed all week but I have THIS BELL TIME in my mind and look forward to this time all week.”

Praise God that through the ministry of handbells, this person’s emotional needs are being cared for.

August 2019

August 27th, 2019

Mizael came back to school

Check out the link above to read more about THAT topic.

Look who is hanging out at the school these days:

Gizmo the iguana!

Natalia – her broken arm has healed 100% without any apparent defect!

Zuleika who is learning and helping and growing in God’s amazing grace,

Diego who has an amazing smile and super-intelligent mind,

Mizael who is still having headaches (which are lessening in intensity) and he is pushing through them to have more time in school.

These are the regulars.  We have 4 students – one full-time teacher and two full-time volunteers.  Both of the volunteers help in the classroom as well as cooking and doing maintenance respectively.  As school principal, Betsy is so thankful for the faithful helpers who work alongside her to allow the school to have continuity and dependability.  Our students are all special needs and could be taught one on one all day if we had the resources.  Without the resources, we do a lot of  One Room Schoolhouse work.  The benefits are so cool as the older ones see how the younger ones think and the younger ones are challenged by the older students’ thinking.

Continue to pray for the school, for the students, the workers, the weather… a storm is in the area this week and we are hopeful that we will not have any lasting effects from it. Keep an eye on the weather and remember to pray for us.

Thanks!

40th annual World Mission to the Deaf Conference

April 18th, 2019

WMD Conference June 8 2019

Click above link for a printable flyer.

June 8, 2019. 3:30 p.m.

Bob Rumball Centre of Excellence for the Deaf

Toronto Ontario Canada

Speaker: Gilberto Martinez,

former student of the Evangelical School for the Deaf

Mizael’s story

April 14th, 2019

Mizael has been diagnosed with a vestibular disorder that is associated with his deafness. Mizael has missed a great portion of the school year due to dizziness, nausea, medical appointments, motion sickness, and headaches.

With all of the analyses, the doctor suggests doing a cochlear implant so that his health will improve and his dizziness will lessen. Some of the medical costs and costs of therapy and recovery will not be covered by the insurance and we are praying for your cooperation to help us with this.

Please feel free to share with others for prayer support as well as possible financial support through GOFUNDME.Thanks!

 

sick kids’ month

March 29th, 2019

This month, I have had more time on my hands to do office and school administration work.  We have only 4 students!  HOW can I have so much admin to do?!

School insurance needs to be kept up.  The school license documents need to be prepared for our renewal of license. Reports need to be written.  IEP (Individual Educational Profiles) need to be kept current. And then there is the accountant and his questions about accounts and payments. Tax season!

So the extra time has been good for the administrator (me) but the extra time has meant that the teacher (me) is not as content as she would normally like to be.

THIS GIRL above pictured has been in a hospital for 2+ weeks now.  She was in hospital 1 for a week, released for 24 hours, returned to the emergency room and was ambulanced to hospital 2 which has better facilities to take care of the complications.  She’s in the Pediatric ICU. I’ve been doing “relief” work so her mom can get home to take care of the other kids a little.  The ICU has good nursing care too which makes it easier for her mom to feel secure in leaving her alone in the hospital for a few hours.

This one thing I KNOW:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

So as I drive to hospital 2 (it’s an hour’s drive away) and as I stand in hospital corridors or sit in hospital chairs and listen to whomever is nearby or talk with Larimar (sometimes she just wants a story and I love to story-tell) this is in my head, in my heart pounding away – the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases… so even though the new results seem worse than the previous study’s results, we are trusting the heart of our ever loving Father in Heaven.

In addition to this saga, my boys are both not in school today due to medical appointments and/or health issues.

Well, Deaf children are often multiply-challenged and so are these. Part of this day and age of working with children is addressing their specific needs in individual ways.  Working out how to get a boy who gets dizzy from lights to do online-work from home… maybe we need to resort to paper and pencil but he’s often too weak or dizzy to use his eyes… so I resort to prayer and seeking God’s peace for HIM (my student and his family) and me.

Pray for me as I walk alongside these families and their children with special SPECIAL needs. May I bring God’s peace and love to the situation. May “a merry heart do good like medicine” (Prov 17:22) and may my merriness not insult the gravity of the situations.

Yesterday I was kidding with Larimar and she started to cry!  NO!  Then her mom said, “What did you say?”

I had said, ” seriously, if you wanted to avoid a book report, we could have made a different plan”

Her mom said, “Don’t lie!  What did you say to upset her?

Larimar said, “She’s telling the truth! (cry cry cry)”

So I found a new subject and we had some more smiles… I left her smiling last night!

Pray that she continues to smile today!

Betsy

 

Pray for some little friends

March 7th, 2019

 

Needed:  one (or more) 7(ish) year old hearing-impaired or Deaf children to accompany Diego on his educational journey.

His teacher is older than his grandmother and she needs some help in the PLAY department… The other students are older too and don’t exactly want to swing and play baseball during recess time. Pray with us for the next group of little ones to join in the learning fun.

Needed: one (or more) 2ish something hearing-impaired or Deaf children to accompany Natalie on her educational journey.

It’s just more fun to learn with a friend and have someone to talk with other than the older people around you.

We truly know that language is best learned in community.  We have established an environment that is linguistically rich and visually accessible for our students. Pray with us for the little ones in the area – we hear of some in public schools where they are not linguistically stimulated, where they are developing delays in their linguistic development due to the non-accessibility of a visual stimulus accompanying their language experience. Deaf children learn by SEEing and DOing.  Hearing children learn by hearing.   English and Spanish are but auditory languages.  They do not reach into the brains of a child who has a hearing loss of any significant levels.

And hearing aids don’t FIX things the same way glasses can fix things. My students all have hearing losses into the orange region of the audiogram at this LINK. They do not hear most of the speech sounds without extra help – that means raising my voice, using a hearing aid or other amplification. Most parents don’t take the time to look their hard-of-hearing/Deaf child in the face to have a conversation.  So the child misses out on 82.9% (totally off the cuff estimation) of what is said. They are left wondering, guessing, trying to fill in the blanks.

On the other hand, most parents don’t raise a HAND to help their hearing-impaired child:

About 90%of the deaf population has two hearing parents and 88% of those parents do not know sign language. LINK HERE

And so I know there are children experiencing LANGUAGE DEPRIVATION simply because someone told their parents that having an interpreter is the answer.  Suppose you don’t know ASL (American Sign Language) and you travel to China and you are given an ASL-Chinese interpreter.  How much are you going to learn about China from watching the ASL interpreter?

Exactly what a child who doesn’t KNOW ASL faces when watching someone batting their hands around in first grade.  The child MUST be in a place to learn the language so that they can then access the materials of learning. How does one learn a language? Come on, you know.  You learned a language.  You are reading this.  YES!  You learned by listening to your world from the time your ears developed (about week 16 of gestation inside your mom) you were learning the language of your world. But a child born deaf missed out on even that opportunity. Of course, some babies are born hearing and then lose the sense through trauma… but alas, without a language, they are left behind.

And so, would you pray for those children who are in this area, on this island?  Because we have some lovely little ones here beginning to learn ASL and speaking and communicating in glorious ways… and my heart breaks every time I meet a small child who is SO isolated because the significant forces at work for the child haven’t grasped the idea that LANGUAGE development is IMPERATIVE to life experience and learning.

Thanks for praying.  Thanks for your interest.

Give Thanks

November 9th, 2018

We are gearing up for Thanksgiving WITH turkey this year!  After last year’s hurricanes and lack of turkey around the island, we are all excited for “real” holiday meals followed by decorating with Christmas lights galore!

Some of our supporters brought us some “paper pumpkin” craft boxes which we used to create our Give Thanks frame seen above. Thanks!

We enjoyed two visits to hearing schools to teach some ASL and tell the students about deafness.

Mike and Glenda Coupe are working with us this year.  Such a blessing they are as they do this and that. Mike adds a male role model to our work – and the boys love hearing his stories about life and his challenges to live as godly men.  Glenda is our lunch room manager and preprepre-school teacher – we have no idea why the photos prefer to be in landscape position so just tilt your head!

Betsy is teaching an ASL class at her church.  Learning and practicing more Spanish as she does so. And just for frights’ sake, Mizael donned a live tarantula a day before Halloween… YUCK! brave or foolish?? The spider was safely released under supervision and Mizael was not harmed by the friendly critter.

Thanks for your prayers, your letters, and your BOXTOPS 4 Education – we are awaiting the arrival of a check for just over $300 in December.  Remember also to use GOODSEARCH.org    as your search engine to bring more pennies for searches to our ministry.  it’s true.  We get paid when you do a search using this Yahoo based search engine. There is also a shopping benefactor through this site- check it out, enroll, do your Christmas shopping using their coupons and a % comes to the school.

 

standing in AWE

September 3rd, 2018

God’s goodness never ceases to amaze me.  I stand in AWE of our great God and His wonderful works. There is a link to a song there if you are interested in listening as you read.

As we organized the newsletter (late because May was just too busy and honestly, overwhelmed by the past school year, it was difficult to know what to write in a newsletter) God brought SO MANY amazing memories of His great provision and strength to our minds.  It was hard to know what to include and then what would be left out… so we included very little other than praise for God and what He is doing here.

This past week, seeing our new little 6 year old begin to understand that LETTERS make WORDS and WRITTEN WORDS have meaning was another AWEinspiring moment. We are made in God’s likeness… what DOES that mean? Our ability to communicate on a level deeper than sniffs and barks? Our ability to use WORDS to express our thoughts? Our ability to love beyond words? Nonetheless, watching little Diego learning about WORDS has brought “The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us” to my mind again and again.

In the Beginning was the Word…

In Diego’s beginning here, he has many words he can say. But when the words are written, they hold no meaning for him.  He is slowly learning that the sounds of the words he is saying are paired with letters… and he got 100% on his 4 word spelling test on Thursday.  WOOHOO!

Pray for Diego.  He is in class part-time simply because with only 1 teacher,  she can’t teach him and the high schoolers at the same time. And so he comes part time.  While he is here, the high school duo are working semi-independently on reading and writing.  They have a video vocabulary tutor twice each week.  They have a math tutor who comes in as he is free to do this. Their other lessons are all in the after lunch times when Diego has gone home.  As Diego learns to do some things on his own, the teacher will be able to do more with the high school students in the mornings.  We will be able to do some group activities.  But until Diego understands that the planet really revolves around the sun and not him, things will be more structured and less spontaneous!

Thank you for your prayers.  Please keep an eye and a prayer on the Atlantic Satellite during hurricane season.  If you see something developing, please ask God to spare the little islanders who still are living with blue tarp roofs and no electricity.  While most of PR has electricity, Dominica for example is still repairing their infrastructure. And many roofs have been unrepaired here due to lack of supplies and slowness of FEMA and insurance companies.

Thanks again for stopping by, for reading, for praying.