Mateo is a middle schooler who recently made a big move - from Puerto Rico to Lorain about a year ago. Since he lived in a Spanish-speaking territory before, Ohio was not what he was expecting. He had very little experience with the English language so he rarely participated in classroom activities or learning in school. Some of his other classmates from similar situations were able to adapt quickly and build their language skills up. That wasn't Mateo's case as it seemed the full immersion setting was not working with his focus and attention.
The school recognized Mateo's needs and were able to connect him with a new collaborative called 231 Go! This collaborative is funded by United Way of Greater Lorain County and is set-out to provide support for at-risk middle school students in south Lorain. The collaborative's partners were intervening at the right time as Mateo learned he would need an interpreter with him full-time during school if his English didn't improve soon. Mateo wasn't sure if he could afford an interpreter and wasn't sure what to do.
Through one of the collaborative's partners, Mateo was able to start an additional English language course. Knowing that the timeframe was critical for Mateo, several key partners of the collaborative started meeting to figure out a way to speed up his learning skills. Together, they were able to develop a special tutoring program to work with Mateo and others who have an imperative need for learning the English language quickly.
Now, Mateo is able to confidently communicate in English sentences. He is still working towards full English fluency but he works at it every day. Learning an entire new language was very tough for Mateo and there were numerous times that he wanted to give up feeling all of the pressures on him. But he didn't, thanks to those partners who were able to rally around him and pick him up to keep him on track.
Mateo was able to become a more active member of the classroom and is starting to speak the same language as his friends, teachers and peers. Because of your support, 231 Go! was able to not only provide the program for Mateo but also a support system. Together, we were able to let Mateo know that he has people who care about his success and are fighting for him. We hope you'll join us as we continue to provide support for Mateo and other kids like him across Greater Lorain County.