MySweet2016Goals: Anne Conner

According to award-winning community volunteer and philanthropist Anne Conner,

Anne Conner (File photo)

Anne Conner (File photo)

“To continue to learn something every day, to play tennis and to fly-fish as much as possible. To help Dallas Afterschool to achieve its goals of insuring that its member organizations (Trinity River Mission, Jubilee Center, Heart House along with others) educate Dallas’ children in safe and stimulating environments.”

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Heart House

“Life in Vickery Meadow is no easy task. As refugees and immigrants, they must adjust to a new environment. They have to learn a completely new language. They often have to learn a new vocation. They have to rebuild a life.

Heart House*

Heart House*

“Their children have similar difficulties. They must assimilate into a new culture, often times without parental support and engagement. Working over twelve hours per day in low-wage jobs, their parents barely know the language. They certainly don’t know the complexities of US schools system.

Heart House*

Heart House*

“Consider Biak and Yousef. Yousef is from Iraq and well educated. Writing from left to right has proven to be difficult. Biak is from Myanmar and is illiterate. Our system views them as English Language Learners (ELL’s), and assumes they have the same needs. We take a different approach.

“Some programs focus on grade levels and create a single curriculum matching the same standards. We assess students’ individual needs and tailor a program that focuses on major concepts and cater to our students’ specific growth areas. Some programs focus on character as a secondary part of they program. We recognize our students deal with toxic stressors daily. We include social emotional support as a core part of what we do.

Heart House*

Heart House*

Heart House provides opportunities that not only help to expand our students’ horizons, but also opens their eyes to new possibilities. Ana was shy, embarrassed, and lacked confidence because she could not speak English well. We partnered with Lemonade Day, to introduce her to entrepreneurship and fiscal responsibility. This experience opened Ana up to a whole new world. She engaged with instructors and had one of the most successful lemonade stands in our agency.

Heart House*

Heart House*

“From its origins in 2000, Heart House has existed as an apartment-based, local nonprofit with a global reach. We provide safety, education and opportunity to refugee and underprivileged children. Since we have such humble origins, we don’t have the national attention of other organizations. North Texas Giving Day helps our bottom line, giving us access to regional resources. This allows our children to experience an average of 25% increase in reading fluency over two school semesters.

“Imagine you are the hiring manager of a local company and sitting across from you is a candidate that speaks 2-3 languages, has a knack for creative problem solving, and has immersed and adapted to a variety of cultures. That is the average Heart House student.

-By Lenita Dunlap, MPA, MA, Executive Director

* Photo credit: The Ogal Company