Hitting a Home Run in the Classroom

Ms. Esperansa is one of the first students CIS Project Manager, LaShun Neal, met upon starting with Communities in Schools at T.A. Sims Elementary. She was very shy and hesitant to open up. After a month or so, Esperansa asked Ms. Neal if she could read one of the books in her office about children with divorced parents. Esperansa said “I need to learn about this and I may need help because I have difficulty reading.” She was very excited when Ms. Neal gave her a highlighter and told her to highlight the words she was having problems with.  Later, Esperansa shared that she wanted to drop out of school. She not only because she had difficulty reading, but also struggled with many other issues: her dad did not want her, her parents were divorced, and she was a tom boy but too little to play sports. Finally, Esperansa opened up about her issues to Ms. Neal!

Over the next month, Ms. Neal began to help Esperansa read and encouraged her to stay in school. Ms. Neal emphasized that girls, regardless of their size, can play sports by showing Esperansa pictures and stories of great women athletes.

 A few weeks later, Esperansa came into her office and said “I no longer want to drop out of school. I can do this! I want to play baseball!” Ms. Neal was extremely proud and happy Esperansa had finally found the confidence she needed and guidance she had been seeking. She began bonding with new classmates and showing significant progress in her school work…Esperansa even wrote a school play on bullying!