Nine years ago, I came from Malaysia to Arizona so I could one day give my children a quality education and a better life. I now have 5-year old twins, Keison and Keiserinne, and I want to make sure they have more educational advantages than I did. That’s why I introduced reading and writing to them early. Thankfully, I found a gem in United Way’s School Readiness Kit.
Getting the twins ready for kindergarten is my mission. Mandarin is my fist language and I did not grow up with reading and writing as a priority, so I knew it would be a challenge to teach them myself. Despite the barriers, it’s my job to prepare my children for school.
We’d visit the Chandler library every day and I’d speak mostly in Mandarin.
One day, Ms. Marta heard me speaking to the children. “Is Mandarin your first language and do you know about all the programs available to you?” she asked.
I was speechless because I had no idea about any outside resources. I thought preparing the twins for school was up to me alone. She then introduced me to a homeschool program providing literacy and developmental training and United Way’s School Readiness Kit. The box was filled with books, games, and activities in English and Spanish.
Most importantly, the kit served as a step-by-step guide to teach my kids reading and math skills. Every single thing they do is learning, but they don’t actually know they’re learning. The kit is truly my treasure in a box and a tool every parent needs.
With weekly homeschool lessons and kit activities, I’ve seen tremendous improvement in their preparedness for kindergarten. The twins start school in July and I know they’re more than ready—they’re excited. Thanks to all of the resources provided by United Way and the School Readiness Kit. I am confident my kids will start school ahead of the game.
I’m not the first mother to come to America to give my children a better education and I certainly won’t be the last, but I’m more than grateful for the resources provided by United Way.
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Lavinia Lim and her husband Zhihong Li are Chandler residents. Their main goal: to ensure their 5-year old twins Keison and Keiserinne, have a quality edudation. The twins start kindergarten in July.