So now that I'm not on the board at OCSI anymore (see previous post), I'm able to be more involved with the Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF). Many of the families at the school are Japanese or don't speak English at home, even though everything at school is in English. So sometimes the parents struggle with understanding things and being able to help with their children's education. As I continued to hear about this the last few years, it kept reminding me of a program I was involved with when we lived in Guam - Motheread! Motheread is a literacy program for adults that uses children's books. Each week you study a different book together and then the parents get to take the book home and read and do the activities with their kids. It's a wonderful program and has always been one of my most favorite things I've been able to be a part of. So I talked with the administration and other PTF members about starting a class here at OCSI... and we did.... and we're having SO much fun. :)
1st Motheread Class at OCSI - September, 2014
When I started looking back through the curriculum, I came across some material when I first got trained in the program, and it was 10 years ago! I immediately started thinking of my friend Beth in Guam. Beth was part of our church and also worked for the Guam Humanities Council. The Humanities Council sponsored the Motheread program on Guam, and since I was working for the Salvation Army, Beth encouraged me to get trained and use it with some of our clients. I taught the program 2 different times with other teacher friends and it was simply amazing... we were able to develop very close relationships with the Moms that participated, and it helped them with their children and living as immigrants in a place very different than where they were originally from.
Guam Motheread class - 2004
It was also an emotional time as I started making lesson plans for Motheread again. Beth was one of our closest friends in Guam. And she stayed in touch with us after we moved to the Philippines and she later moved to Florida. Two years ago she died unexpectedly, and sometimes it's still hard to think about the world without Beth. She was an incredibly generous person who supported us in many ways ever since we first met. She is the reason I was involved in Motheread in Guam, and she is the reason I'm able to use it again to connect with other parents here in Okinawa. I am forever thankful for Beth's friendship and the way she influenced my life. Please pray for our Motheread class and the opportunities God has given us to build relationships with new friends. And thank the people who have made a difference in your life... God used Beth to make a difference in my life 10 years ago, and he continues to bless that influence even now. :)