Carlos was always a star while in our program. His musical ability and his creative talent led him to develop some of the most entertaining and engaging read-aloud activities of anyone in the program. He graduated last year and was accepted into the Asturias Academy’s new teaching fellowship program. Today, he and Julio – another graduate of our program – are learning innovative teaching methodologies and how to run a school so that they can return to their home and open an educational institution themselves some day soon.
Just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see Carlos just three months into his fellowship. He addressed our Learning Journey participants and current reading promoters about what he was learning. I was struck by how mature he seemed. He was so centered and clear about his teaching as well as his learning. The methodology of Asturias, one that empowers children to be inquisitive, to challenge the teacher and to integrate their learning into real experiences in their community, seemed as if it had been in his DNA from birth. He spoke so eloquently and calmly, that excitable energy of adolescence transformed into real confidence.
Later I stood by him as the current scholars prepared their reading fiesta, a big production of a story read aloud and acted out by gringos delightfully acting silly. One group was preparing a story he used to lead at the fiesta. I pointed out to him that this was part of the legacy that he had left behind, that although he had left the group, his influence had not.
I could feel him next to me, swelling with pride.
– Linda Smith, Founder & Executive Director of Reading Village