First grade, done, finished, & dusted.
Over the last year, Tormentina attended first grade at Donald McIntyre Griffiths K-12 school in Puerto Williams. Amazing & brave, this little girl was the only foreign student in the entire school.
Just after we were shipwrecked, she attended kindergarten on the island for a month, but wasn't into it, so we pulled her out of school. When first grade started, she said she was interested in giving it another try. No pressure from us. We told her if she didn't like going, then she could quit any time. Our only hope was that she would pick up some Spanish, a gift she could keep for the rest of her life.
She had a fantastic teacher (Jeanette Quiroz Mardones) and teacher's assistant (Soledad Mancilla Olivares). Tia Jeanette & Tia Soledad changed her life. Tormentina was self-motivated, excited to go to school and worked hard to learn. She loved her friends, teachers, and every subject.
By the end of the year, she not only learned how to speak a second language, but also how to read & write, was correcting our Spanish, and was one of four students to receive an award (or "premio") for outstanding academic performance in her class.
Now that summer is here, she is teaching herself how to read & write in English. It is incredible to be a parent and watch the mind of a child develop. Also emotional for me personally, to be reminded of my own childhoold growing up in the United States as a Cambodian refugee, learning English in school, and living with parents who were learning English as a second language.