The WOW! Stories…keep coming!
Lutheran South Unity School, Fort Wayne, IN
LSEM teacher Karen Shelley has been looking for more ways to increase literacy opportunities at LSUS. She was impacted by some kindergarten students who had some moving responses when asked to share about books at their home. She listened as one boy described a book at home which was his, to another who proudly described his two books, and to another who could not think of a book at home. It broke her heart.
A call to Concordia High School resulted in the students there being willing to work on a Little Library case, handmade books, and setting up a book drive over the course of the next few months for the LSUS lobby.
The collaboration of Helping Hands will be a great step forward as we provide another opportunity not only for literacy at LSUS but also for service for our high school students.
Trinity First Lutheran School, Minneapolis, MN
Michelle Melde is an LSEM teacher working at Trinity First Lutheran School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As an urban school in a diverse neighborhood, it serves the community by offering all children the opportunity to attend a Christ-centered school. Ninety-six percent of the school’s income comes from the generosity of others, and no family is turned away from the school due to their ability to pay.
Michelle’s classroom is called the “Tree House,” and students view the Tree House as a fun place to go.
Michelle recently reported about a 5 year old student who initially came to the Tree House needing multiple services. Michelle recounts, “She has gone from no eye contact or words to interacting in sentences and is beginning to ask adults questions.” This student is labeling objects and gives us spontaneous communication. Such a joy for the school to see God working in her life.
Let It Shine, Austin, TX
Teresa Danner, our Let It Shine director at Bethany Lutheran Church, shared that, “Let it Shine has been open for almost a year and a half and has significantly helped children and families progress and prepare for public school. Let It Shine blends therapeutic concepts and academic concepts to support the children and meet the child where he or she is at.”
During a recent visit to the preschool, we saw happy children painting, playing with magna tiles, puzzles, toys, and moving freely in their classrooms while interacting with teachers and aides. Children were also petting and loving on the golden retriever Abner, Bethany’s comfort dog. Many of the Let It Shine children came to Bethany after they were either not successful or even turned away by traditional preschools.
One touching story was the mother who had tears in her eyes when the teachers told her positive attributes of her child. Her tears were because previously she had only heard negative feedback concerning her child and what he could not do. Obviously, Let It Shine builds on children’s strengths (what they CAN do) and helps them reach new milestones!
Immanuel Lutheran School, Elmhurst, IL
Sometimes a child will come to us needing an extra dose of support and encouragement. Sometimes it takes just a little bit of special care in helping that child learn to make all the difference in their self-confidence and outlook at school.
LSEM began working with a young girl who entered kindergarten unfamiliar with the written alphabet and was only able to recognize 10 uppercase letters and 6 lower case letters. She did not know any corresponding letter sounds. Needless to say, when she was in school, she felt extremely frustrated that she was not able to do what her peers could. She was having a very hard time and not enjoying school. She would cry everyday.
We started working with the child three mornings a week. The first things implemented to help her were the Lexia Core 5 Learning system, as well as flash cards, and lots of multi-sensory teaching strategies. Slowly but surely, the child has improved to the point where she is now reading and ready to move on to first grade! Most importantly, she is so proud of herself and so happy. She isn’t crying in school and she participates in circle time and loves to demonstrate how well she is doing.
St John Lutheran School, Rochester, MI
A few years ago, we were unable to help enroll a prospective student at St. John Lutheran School and everyone involved was very disappointed. The parents were also crushed as every other school they tried to attend had said the same thing. However, LSEM provided straightforward and honest instructions for how the parents could help improve their child’s education.
The parents said two things that stuck with us. The first was, “No one ever honestly shared my child’s learning difficulties with us or has provided as many suggestions to aid our child.” The second, “We will do whatever it takes to have our child learn and attend St. John.”
Over the next 9 months, the parents did what they said they were going to do. They completed everything that was suggested, and this child met the requirements to attend St. John and finally became enrolled. We were able to say YES to this student! YES, you are special! YES, you are worthy! YES, you can be helped! YES, you can do it!