LAKE CHAPALA REVIEW
LOVE IN ACTION CHILDREN'S CENTER
CENTRO AMOR EN ACCIÓN
JUNE 2010
VOLUNTEER EDUCATION PROGRAMS

[Anabel teaching table manners]

A range of educational programs and activities are helping the children at the Center to gain skills and behaviors that will change their lives. Programs range from English as a Second Language and computer skills to art, music and dance and social skills. One of the most extensive that reaches all children at the center is the values training sessions.

Values and Making a Difference: One of the goals of the Love in Action Center is to change the lives of the children by teaching values that will lead to their success in whatever future they choose. Learning positive values has already made a difference in the life of Josie who arrived at the Center at age 10 from a home where she was totally neglected and had never been enrolled in school. Once enrolled, she has taken two years in one and is now on the Honor Role in Grade 7. Josie has learned to be clean, orderly and focused and has the courage to continue her schooling to make a real difference in her life.

Anabel Frutos, Director at Love in Action, has begun an innovative training program to teach essential values to all Center children.  Forty different values will be taught over the next year.  The program uses a textbook illustrated with birds and animals with a face page for a particular value such as respect, obedience, attention or compassion. On the back of the card are stories of the importance to survival of the youngster of each value and examples how one might demonstrate that value.

Each evening house parents teach one individual value. They show the pictures, tell the stories and have the children memorize the definition of a particular value. On the value of “respect,” for example, the card illustrates how a child should demonstrate his or her respect for another. The children then learn respectful behaviors such as sitting up straight, listening carefully to what the other person is saying, and looking at the other person while they are talking to you. Godparents are being enlisted to give feedback on how this training is making a difference in the behavior of their godchildren.

Computer Classes: Vince Massi reports that thanks to the kindness of donors, the Center has thirteen educational computers in the Computer Lab. Some of our children had missed years of school, and our wide variety of educational software, along with tutors and supervisors, is giving them the opportunity to begin catching up.

Motivated by their own enthusiasm, students with reading difficulties have learned to use the keyboards, follow written instructions, and solve problems involving language and logic skills. Supervisors are pleased at how willingly the children help each to understand the programs, and the students are noticeably improving in their abilities to function in society after they have grown up.

Individual Tutoring: Joyce Lawrence reports that the tutors are delighted with the progress little Bryon has made since she began working with him last September. He was at ground zero in his reading and writing skills and had no confidence in his ability to learn. He has now completed two thirds of a reading method used in many of the California schools with Mexican children. He reads, writes and spells most of the letter combinations in Spanish and shows great enthusiasm and initiative in his work. Joyce expects that by the time the school year ends he will be reading independently and with comprehension and hopefully will move on to second grade. She plans to work with him through the summer perhaps on his math skills. Bryon has recently discovered the computer and loves to spend time on it after his tutoring sessions. Joyce feels very rewarded for her time and effort and hopes to continue tutoring other kids at LIA.

If you would like to learn more about the Love In Action Center, visit our website at loveinactioncenter.org Guests are welcome to visit the Center in Chapala at Pedro Moreno #76. To learn more about all the Center’s volunteer opportunities, contact Dave at volunteers@loveinactioncenter.org. To schedule a visit call the office between 10 and 2 Monday through Friday at 765-7409.

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