When Stalin met Anthony in Ascension Catholic Academy’s summer program, Anthony had just immigrated from Ecuador. During those six weeks of the Summer Language and Math program, they talked a lot and became friends. Their friendship continues into this school year and has become much more: Stalin has taken it upon himself to translate for Anthony and to help him learn English.
“It’s very natural for him to translate for Anthony,” middle school teacher Jessi Weakley said. “It’s such a sign of maturity that he does it without being reminded.”
It is also a great example of seeing the problem, owning the problem, one of the cornerstones of St. John Paul II’s Top 20 Program of social-emotional learning. It is the type of behavior we are encouraging in all scholars. “Helping Anthony feels pretty great,” Stalin said. “I get the feeling that I’m just doing the right thing.”
Mrs. Weakley has seen great improvement in Stalin, a 7th grader. He has been working with a volunteer tutor twice a week in math, and Stalin recognizes that he has changed.
“I used to not get math, but now I do,” Stalin said. “I feel pretty smart! I’m also starting to do my work every single day. It feels good to be doing it.”
Growing, maturing and learning. Stalin is a model of all three. Mrs. Weakley agrees: “He shows leadership skills that we would like to see from all of our scholars.”