One of our High School youth, Michelle Martin, has created a website for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project: REAL (Refugee Education And Literacy) Awareness. Learn about Michelle’s project which grew out of a reading program that she and her family started with our Burmese brothers and sisters living in Proctor Square Apartments. Find out how you can support her and get involved in this wonderful endeavor!
Interested in PHPC’s Refugee Reading Program? It’s an exciting opportunity to serve our refugee neighbors from Burma!
What we do: It’s pretty simple, we take children’s books to Proctor Square apartments where the children gather in one of the homes and we read stories to them and have them read stories to us. We also spend time going through flash cards with them as well as laughing, joking, and talking about our day. Pretty simple!
This small act of sharing story time provides the kids with additional English language support, as well as seeing/hearing/reading English to better help them in school.
What’s the time commitment: Flexible and up to you! We usually spend about 45 minutes to an hour with the kids, but not set in stone. Our time varies from week to week depending on our schedules. However, I will say that typically we stay for a while because we are all just having so much fun- Us and them!
How often you go is also up to you. We’ll work with your availability. 🙂
When we go: Our family goes on Saturday mornings, but we are also putting together an afternoon/evening group(s). The kids are usually home every day after school and have pretty open schedules.
WHAT Next? Please respond to Tina Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know the following:
1. Please indicate which day/days of the week you would be available: Monday through Saturday. (Weekdays after 4 or Saturday mornings/ Sundays are church days- they spend time with us at PHPC and at their own church later in the afternoon.)
2. Please let me know how often you would like to go- once a month? Once a week? 6 week rotation? (you tell me what works for you!)
I’ll start rotating people in as soon as I have your information. We’ll provide additional details prior to your first trip and can go with you on your first visit to introduce you to the group. Thanks so much for your interest in this rewarding outreach program. I look forward to hearing from you all very soon!
–Tina Martin, elder on Mission & Outreach
It’s been a good while since I’ve communicated with you about what’s happening with our 33 refugee folks. We’ve been a bit delayed waiting on a new family; things have slowed down even further than before as I’m sure you may have guessed from watching the news. But we will have another family before long. God is working with them even now!
All our families are doing well. Our first two families bought houses last year, and No Nawn Kil and her six kids are supposed to close on a house this month. These days I pretty much just help advise our families on business matters, budget things, school, and Medicaid and food stamp renewals. Not too exciting and not really worthy of an email to you. They have all become quite self-sufficient, which is the goal of our efforts.
I found out today that we had a very exciting milestone yesterday and I couldn’t wait to share it with you! Ms. Helen Thluai, Run Luai’s daughter, who was in our second family and who arrived here with us in 2011, took the oath of citizenship yesterday. And how appropriate to do it on Flag Day!
Here is Helen just after the ceremony with her certificate of U.S. citizenship. She is the first of “our” Burmese refugees to pass the citizenship process, but her parents and Ngun Lan’s family are proceeding through it now. Prayers for them!
Helen works in the produce department at the Publix in Duluth across from Walgreens, so if you happen to see her there, please say hello and congratulate her on this remarkable achievement.
–Dave Huffman, elder on Mission & Outreach and coordinator of World Relief ministry at Pleasant Hill