- Amanda McKinney
Meet Our 4th Graders!!!
Say Hello to our four 4th graders! From left they are Mailli, Jeck Billy, Viviana, and Ayelen! They are a great bunch and are all at different levels of education! These 4 are quite the sub-group amongst our deaf kids since they are all in the same class together!
Mailli is such an amazingly sweet girl! She is 10 years old and the oldest of 3 girls of a single mom. Unfortunately, Mailli didn’t start attending school until last year, 2015, and was directly put in 3rd grade for her age. In the last 2 years, she has learned soo much! She knows the signed alphabet, numbers, tons of signs for school vocabulary, family members, animals, foods, places, etc. She is also doing simple addition and subtraction. She has learned how to write in both print and cursive, but only uses her writing skills right now to copy things because she doesn’t know how to read yet. She is a really friendly little girl and has the sweetest smile! I don't think I've ever seen her upset. She doesn’t attend school very regularly, but she is such a hard worker and loves to learn!
Jeck Billy is such an amazing little man! He is 10 years old and we have yet to be able to meet with his parents to figure out if he has siblings. But he is such an awesome little dude! He loves to act all macho, etc., but he is such a sweet kid inside! Jeck Billy first started attending school when he was 6 years old in Huaraz, another town in the mountains of Peru. When his family moved to Pucallpa 2 years ago, he started attending here at Refugio de Esperanza. He is such a social kid who gets along with all of his classmates. He is currently learning not only the signs for things, but their names and how to spell them. He can do addition and subtraction and is working on multiplication and division right now. He loves competitions, but is discouraged when Ayelen knows more than him and sometimes stops trying to learn. We are working on that defeated response. But otherwise he is awesome and started making it his personal agenda each morning to surprise me, pretend he is sleeping to kid around, etc. So when I play piano on his stomach, he turns into a giggling mass. Its very uplifting for me. :-)
Viviana is a quiet young lady. She is 12 years old and the oldest of 3 girls also. She is not only deaf, but has an intellectual disability as well. She enjoys socializing with the other deaf kids, but otherwise keeps to herself. She is one of our most delayed kids educationally. She started attending school here at Refugio at 9 years of age and was put in 1st grade. She has been here 4 years now and still struggles to remember her signed alphabet, numbers past 10, and is struggling to learn simple addition. She loves to draw and dance to choreographed routines taught to her! She has learned how to write in both print and cursive, but only uses that skill to copy things because she doesn’t know how to read. Due to her combined disabilities, she also sometimes has quite the strong/stubborn attitude and sometimes simply refuses to work when she so feels like not doing it. She is super tranquil and I never have to worry about her behavior, but it is an extremely slow learning process for her. I’m super excited that Viviana’s mom has come to church and brought Viviana and her sisters with her for children’s church!
Ayelen is such a quick young lady! She is 11 years old and the oldest of 4 siblings. She is like a sponge when it comes to learning! She is now learning how to spell a ton of words that she has learned the signs for! She is also learning the signs for verbs now and how to spell some of them so I’m hoping she can start learning simple sentences soon! She is also a wiz at math – she can do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and only occasionally needs a little help with division. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know how to read so word problems are impossible for her right now, but she is on her way to slowly getting there! Ayelen is quite a friendly and social little girl and loves to constantly ask, “what’s the sign/name for that?” I am really excited that her dad brought her to church as well with her brother for children’s church! Their dad didn’t stay for service, but it was great to have Ayelen in children’s church and be able to share a Bible story with her!