CBF Field Personnel / Field Personnel Columns / refugees

Smiling Eyes

By Karen Morrow

It was a warm and windy spring day as we prepared for the end of the Ready For School program celebration. Slowly the children and families began arriving and taking their place in one of the socially distanced hula hoop rings on the tennis courts.

Each child selected a can of playdough and began playing while peeping over the top of handmade colorful masks with smiling eyes. 15 weeks of virtual classes and finally we were able to be together for the last class.

Silly songs with motions were sung, the book All are Welcome was read, and the children participated in an egg hunt to match colors.

Finally all the families were given a small bookcase to decorate with the child’s name and bright foam stickers of flowers, animals, and sports balls. Patiently the children peeled the back off the stickers and carefully placed them on the top and sides of the bookcases.

When they finished decorating, the children and parents selected new and gently used books to help fill their bookcase. One choose a book about a tractor on the farm while another The Runaway Bunny.

The celebration ended with a combination song of the chicken dance and head, shoulders, knees and toes. The families were reminded it was time to register for Pre-k as their children were ready.

As we said our goodbyes, Lianpi’s mother, Cing said, “Thank you and we’ll see you next year with his little sister. Oh wait, maybe we buy a house and move.” Although I’ll miss seeing Cing each week, I’m thankful her family will be able to purchase their first home here in the U.S.

Another mother, Vung stopped me to say thank-you and tell me how much her children, Hang and Mang had learned.  As simple as it may sound these preschoolers and their families now know the basics they need to begin school in the U. S. and their future is bright. 

Karen Morrow is a CBF field personnel serving with refugees and immigrants in Fort Worth, Texas. Learn about and support her ministry at www.cbf.net/morrow.

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