We are all given talents by God and we should work within those gifting's. Dr. David Finn, Dr. Michele Haralson and Dr. Brenda Richards are all wonderful examples of this. LSESD was privileged to have these wonderful people with us for part of January thanks to them being sent by the Consortium for Global Education (CGE) in Atlanta, Georgia. Drs Finn, Haralson and Richards spent time in schools in Lebanon training and encouraging teachers and parents. Dr. Brenda Richards, who was in Lebanon this past April for the launching of the National Day for Students with Learning Differences, says she could see a lot of growth in the number of schools SKILD is in and the growth of knowledge of the therapists. She also mentioned that the respect level for SKILD in the schools is very high. Dr. Richards hopes that, “We can help the Lebanese care for their special needs children. We have the knowledge and we are responsible to share that with others and in this we will be able to show love to all”.
Dr. Richards was able to stay in Lebanon an extra week spending quality time at the True Vine School in Zahle for Syrian refugee children. She is an educator with 29 years of teaching experience in grades K-Grade 3 so she was really enjoying her time with the students at the True Vine School as they are in K-Grade 4. Richards read books to the students in each class grade with the help of a translator. The children listened so intently and were so excited to have “Dr. Brenda” with them. The school offers education in Math, English, Arabic, Geography, History and Science. She spent time not only with the children but with the teachers of the school who are all from Syria and have a heart to teach the children so they can have the chance for a brighter future. It’s not always easy to teach children who have been out of school for two years due to the war. The learning curve is difficult more so as these children have been torn by war and have most likely experienced and seen things that are difficult for them to process, “but oh, the happiness on the children’s faces!”, Dr. Richards shared, “They are so glad to be in school again! This school began in October. The principal said they rarely have absences because the children do not want to miss school! It is a blessing to have this short time to pour into these children."
Please keep the Zahle True Vine school in your prayers. On February, 17th, they added classes for 5th and 6th graders as well as vocational training for adults. The vocational classes include Autocad, Photoshop, English, Accounting and Illiteracy. These classes will help those attending find hope for a brighter future.
To learn how you can support the efforts of SKILD and the True Vine School, please contact us at information@Lsesd.org.
By Noelle Haddad | Communications Officer | February 2014
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