Greenheart students connect with their host communities in a variety of ways. Recently a group of Spanish students in Western New York created and illustrated a book as part of their ESL classes. The book was created for Melina Switzer.  Melina is 5 years old, and  has spent a large portion of her childhood in the hospital. Although she’s had numerous health issues, her underlying condition is called colonic neuropathy, which is a motility disease that affects the digestive system. She undergoes a lot of medical treatment and is caused much discomfort and pain. According to our local coordinator Danielle Dwyer, she’s a very strong little girl and almost always has a smile even if she’s feeling weak.

Danielle is good friends with Melina’s mom and  heard that Melina recently had a  blood infection. As somebody who embodies Greenheart’s mission of service, Danielle wanted to do something. She used one of the ESL classes for the Spanish group to create a book for Melina. The Spanish students collaborated together and wrote the story all by themselves. They then broke the story into pages.  In pairs, the students then illustrated a page of her book.

According to Danielle, Melina and her family were thankful and enjoyed the gift from the Spanish students. She said the students were very invested in the project and did a great job.

We are grateful for the inspiration that Melina can offer to us all, as well as the creativity of the Spanish students, and the hard work of our co-coordinators Danielle Dwyer and Mary Julian!

Are you ready to be inspired? Consider hosting a Greenheart exchange student.