Never Give Up

This is a story of never giving up…

After one year at the Africa Centre doing Rhymes That Bind, I’ve finally broken the ice with a little boy. He’s been my toughest challenge yet. Not because he’s a difficult child. He is shy, he began coming with speech difficulties, and English is not his first language. He has an older brother who comes and loves to run, and challenges his mother. Mom has her hands full with two older children in school and these two boys a year apart in age. There were many times where you could see her on the verge of tears, her older son pushed her limits to the end. She persisted in coming to RtB and other programs that ran out of the Africa Centre. With the help of staff at the Centre and some friends encouraging her not to give up, she continued doing all she could for her boys. She knew it was important for her older one to learn social skills before he starts school. She also knew it was doubly important for her younger one to have the benefits of the oral language we offer in our program.

I am so pleased with how this story has turned out. The older child now sets a better example for the younger ones. He has shown great improvements in how he talks to his mother, and other adults. He HELPS me in the program!!! but…the biggest moment for me was the little shy guy: with limited verbal skills, and mild speech delay (not sure if it was because he chose to be silent). He has begun talking to me, we have found things in common (he likes spider man), and he started giving high fives. Now he insists on hugging me and wants to be my partner for the RtB hour. I love listening to him talk, he has an adorable accent, but his speech is so clear. What a change!!!! Their mother is now beaming with pride most days. She is my most consistent participant!! Even when the weather is bad, the roads are icy, and it’s freezing cold, often the Africa Centre will not run their programs in those conditions because their families don’t come out. Not any more, this mom does! This mom wants to be there! So do her boys, and now I look forward to each week when I get to see what else they will share with me.

I know in our program we are modelling for our parents, we are helping them bring skills to their homes and encouraging them to enjoy teaching their children. However at this program, this mother has taught me so much. She is an inspiration. She is who I think of when I think, never give up…

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