One of my cousins left for Guam.
He also happened to live in my house and be one of my 5th grade students. His name is Arson, but he went by Sonson.
I was very sad to see him leave, because of his new found love for reading, and he was one of my swimming buddies. (if I left back to America now I would be happy knowing that I helped him create a love for books).
He has a big heart, a warm smile, and like any other boy his age…climb trees (he would climb the apple tree in front of the school and give me apples), build things out of sticks (I once watched him build a trap to catch things, he worked on it for over an hour!), and be adventurous (he was always off doing something with other kids).
I spent the first few weeks with his class going over the basics of phonics, and then I gave them word lists of short words to practice their phonics. It was so amazing to see them understand that you can sound out words and read a book. (from my observations most learning has been memorization, they never knew that letters made a sound and when you put them together it makes a word).
I was given some decodable books (they are short easy to read books for students just learning to read) from a teacher I worked with back in the States.
Sonson loved these books! Every night he would come to my room and ask to read some books! It made my heart so happy to see him want to read! Or he would ask for some paper to study! (He would first ask me in Chuukese, but I would always make him practice his English and tell him to ask me in English…)
We had a party with all the kids in the village to say goodbye. We had tons of food, and I even bought some ice cream! (the little kids loved this!) As with all Chuukese gatherings, we had speeches…I told Sonson how proud of him I am and that I would miss him very much! (all while crying…)
I am going to miss him coming to my room and asking for books or paper…but hopefully I sparked a life-long love for learning! (I know I still have a long time here in Chuuk, but if he was the only one I was able to help while I was here, I would say my time here was well worth it!)