With the support of this movement, the growing community of donors and mentors, we will help more kid just like Rita - the bright child our founder, Jim Hollis, helped in this powerful story. Please share in the victory of this story, and please join us, The Calculus Roundtable, as we calculate a path forward for all students.
Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, has been wracked by a horrific Civil War.
Over 50,000 children have died there as a direct result of the war.
I met Rita as part of our summer school program in Richmond. She was an incoming seventh grader, experiencing her first taste of middle school like all the other students.
Rita is a war refugee from Yemen. I learned Rita and 10 other students had recently resettled and were a part of a tight community I easily grew to love.
Back in Yemen there is little food or clean water and no electricity. People there are under continual threat of being killed by missiles, cluster bombs, flying shards of glass, and sheer fright.
A bright precocious girl, Rita was always the first to raise her hand. When I asked her to say her name it came in a whisper.
I asked why she said her name so softly. She was embarrassed about her accent. I reminded her that seventh graders couldn’t care less. To prove it, while the students worked diligently in teams, I screamed my name as a stunt. I said to Rita , “watch this....MY NAME IS JIM!!”.
The students, half startled, half bored turned around for a second and with the shrug, continued with their work. “See I told ya”.
Rita thought that was so funny she could barely contain herself. From then on our little game was to see how loud she could say her name.
Rita found a safe place, a place to grow, and a community that challenged her mind. The Calculus Roundtable has a unique way of teaching, engaging, and empowering all students. Thank you for connecting with us as we power forward to connect with kids, and help them connect with their future.
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The Calculus Roundtable Team