The Wesley Prep 4th graders were excited to partner with Heart House in 2020 for our 4th annual Common Ground Experiment. Heart House is an amazing organization providing after school and summer programs designed to meet the needs of refugee children, bringing them ‘from chaos to calm’ through social-emotional learning experiences and academic support. Did you know Dallas has welcomed more refugees than any other city in the United States? The Vickery Meadows neighborhood near Park and Greenville Roads houses families from all over the world, and this is where Heart House is located. Students served by Heart House speak over 18 different languages! They face many challenges and adjustments as they acclimate to life in Dallas. We were honored to walk alongside some of these students this year in the hope of making them feel at home, and we loved learning about cultures from all over the globe.
We collaborated on this project with kindergarten, first, and second grade children at Heart House on Fridays after school. We spent several weeks getting to know our new friends, and once our relationships were formed, we began writing an illustrating an alphabet book filled with inspiring words in several different languages. Each week these words became more a part of us as we discussed them, defined them, wrote about them and illustrated them. Our hope is that our collection of words will guide and empower you, too!
Update: Our book launched during the Covid lockdown in the spring of 2020, so you might imagine our sales were not as high as they might have been otherwise. We have about half of our books left, and perhaps they were left on the shelf so that we might sell them now to help some of our global neighbors in need. As you know, many of our neighbors from Afghanistan and Haiti are having to flee their homes and resettle. We are selling our remaining books to raise money to support them during this difficult time. Would you like to help us? For $30, you will receive a beautiful and inspiring hardcover book. 100% of your purchase will go to UMCOR's efforts to help families fleeing Afghanistan and Haiti.
We have so many things to learn from each other, and The Wesley Prep 4th graders, along with their friends from Heart House, are setting a great example of how love our neighbors well. Let's continue to cultivate common ground!