Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sandra's going to school!

Monday was a very special day for me and some of my friends.  On Monday Sandra, the girl in green, was accepted into first grade in her neighborhood school. We met Sandra during our February mission in San José Villanueva - she was born with arthrogryposis, a condition that combines inflexible joints and weak muscles, and while she has received excellent physical and occupational therapy from FUNTER, an  El Salvador Foundation for rehabilitation, she had never been to school in her eleven years.

In an earlier post, I talked about the great gift that my friend and our PazSalud volunteer Rosy Melara gave to Sandra, volunteering to teach her basic reading and writing skills.  Rosy has been working with Sandra two to three days a week since June, and we all agreed that she's ready to start into a regular classroom, with a bit of support.

Monday Rosy, Sandra, Sandra's grandmother (to the left in the photo) and I met with the Director and first grade classroom teacher at the La Serena school, the public school closest to Sandra's house.  Thanks to the kindness of one of our great donors, we will be able to send Sandra to school with a special assistant who can help her adapt tasks and lessons.  When we asked the Director if she knew anyone who'd be a good assistant, thinking of a high-school student perhaps, she said she knew three teachers who didn't have jobs currently, and any one of them would be thrilled to take on this half-time position.  That's a sad reflection of economic realities in El Salvador, but a good blessing for Sandra.  Both the Director and the teacher were happy to welcome Sandra; she will start school along with other new first-graders in January. 

My heart is full of gratitude to our kind donor and to Rosy, who has worked so hard and so lovingly to give Sandra a good start. 

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