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Tutor’s Dedication + Student’s Determination = Success

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Israel Weldeslassie only began speaking English about a year ago when he moved to Arlington from Eritrea. Despite having to learn a new language and reading at about a first grade level, the 7th grader is making amazing progress and is enthusiastically optimistic about his new life.  Much of his success is due to his AHC tutor, Steven Rentz.

The pair has formed a fast friendship. Steven works with Israel twice a week through AHC’s Teen Tutoring program and then meets with him for another two hours on Saturday.  “Steven is making a huge difference to Israel’s progress,” said Julie Korona, AHC’s Resident Services Manager. “He is outstanding!”

“Volunteering is in my blood,” explained Steven, an instructional technology specialist at the National Cathedral School. “I chose AHC’s program because it’s small and everyone can interact and get involved. I really like the opportunity to work one on one.”

Israel is catching on quickly. He is gobbling up books like Curious George and clearly enjoys the nuances of the English language. He has big ambitions and would like to be an engineer and build houses when he grows up. His determination along with Steven’s dedication will undoubtedly help make that dream come true.

 Photo: Israel and his tutor Steven Rentz have formed a fast friendship.

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Summer Camp Keeps Children Active and Engaged

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It’s hard to say who has more fun during AHC’s six-week Summer Camp – the staff or the children.

AHC Resident Services staff are hard at work getting ready for this year’s Summer Camp. The theme is going to revolve around the arts, which will encourage lots of creativity and fun along with plenty of opportunities for engaging educational activities – the secret to AHC’s Summer Camp success.

Last year’s theme was Outdoor Exploration and the staff outdid themselves with wonderful field trips and activities.

The end-of-the-camp event, designed to give students a taste of camping and the outdoors, included a variety of activities that were brand new to most of our kids – like putting together a tent, roasting marshmallows, hiking, and trying to catch a fish.

There was lots of learning going on, too, during Summer Camp. But most of it was designed to be fun so students never felt like they were “in school.” For instance, one activity combined math, bowling and giant dice.

The children’s progress was very positive. Ninety-four percent of campers showed no loss in reading skills and 83 percent showed no loss in math facts. Plus, 100 percent of campers enjoyed learning how to cook and eat s’mores!

Photo: AHC’s Summer Camp makes learning fun