Eight-year-old Yunior Triminio Funez was doing so poorly in school his teachers said he shouldn't bother attending anymore. But with tutoring help from the Amor y Esperanza Student Center (HO-230), he passed first grade and now writes his own letters to his Compassion sponsor.
At the Amor y Esperanza (Love and Hope) Student Center (HO-230) in Tegucigalpa, Project Director Marvin Fonseca and his team have a passion for education. Fonseca, an elementary school teacher, and staff started a tutoring program a year after the center opened in 2002.
During a Saturday morning parents' meeting, Marvin announced volunteer tutors would be available to help children who were having problems in school. Gloria Funez, a desperate mother, approached him afterward and asked for help for her son Yunior.
Yunior's teachers asked Gloria to take him out of school. His performance was so poor they said there was no point in him attending anymore. The 8-year-old boy was repeating first grade and failing again.
The project staff decided to take up the challenge. The following Monday, Yunior showed up at the center with his books.
"We started from ground zero," says Yunior's tutor, 21-year-old Nubia. Other staff motivated Yunior by telling him he was capable of improving his grades and that he would be attending the annual camp for children who passed the school year.
Yunior came for tutoring every morning for two-and-a-half hours. Nubia dedicated much of her time to teaching Yunior the basics in reading, writing and arithmetic. Slowly, his grades improved and Yunior even began writing his own letters to his Compassion sponsor.
Making the Grade
Finally, when the school year ended in November, Yunior had achieved an overall grade average of 82 percent in spite of having failed the first quarter. He was able to attend the annual camp as a reward.
So how did this great turnaround occur?
"In addition to the hard work of Nubia and others," said Fonseca, "we pray for every activity we do."
Helping children like Yunior is just one of the ways that Amor y Esperanza is serving its community.
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