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A Partner School Success Story

"Sanjee is a 3rd grade student at a partner school, and a first year immigrant from Jamaica. He was put on a slow learner (special ed class) by his teacher. For a while I had noticed that Sanjee tended to blank whenever asked to do something that required any reading. I thought it could be lack of interest or poor vision. I asked the teacher. She promptly replied that Sanjee's education in Jamaica was very poor and even though he was to be placed on 3rd grade, he could not differentiate one letter from another in the alphabet. That very day, I had noticed Sanjee expressed interest in the Orff instruments we have at the school, so I asked his teacher if it was ok for him to stay over after class for a few minutes to show him the instruments. It was then that I realized also that he really couldn't tell the difference between one letter and another. So, I explained to him that each note on the Xylophone had a letter name attached, similar to the alphabet. We played around, and he was very much into it. He had a spark in the eye as he took the mallets and began to play around. To be honest all I could tell is that he was enjoying playing the music. The next week his teacher shared with me with excitement that something happened that day, because Sanjee suddenly started improving with his alphabet and beginning to read very fast. Not only that, but his confidence level had gone way up, and all he could talk about was how he learn to play the Xylophone and wanting to go back to Music the next week. I have seen Sanjee improve since, and I have noticed that he is much happier in Music class. His eyes spark when he makes music with me and his classmates, and to me that's plenty."