Young Philanthropists Help Raise Funds to Ready Hispanic Kids for School

by | Sep 26, 2017 | La Escuelita San Alban, News

Florence Liu practices for the October 15 concert in weekly lessons with her teacher Cynthia Lawing. (Bill Giduz photo)

When 16-year-old Florence Liu started thinking about raising money for a local cause, she had a many beneficiaries to consider. But her selection became apparent once she started looking at her own life experiences. Liu, a highly accomplished pianist and senior at South Iredell High, recalled her efforts to learn English after living in China during her formative early years.

Florence has studied Spanish in the South Iredell IB program for six years, and has practiced piano for 11 years, including the six latest under Davidson College music teacher Cynthia Lawing. Her most noteworthy performance to date was with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra’s “Rising Stars” program.

Based on the effort required of her in learning English as a Chinese speaker, Florence decided to dedicate her concert to a local nonprofit that helps young, mostly Hispanic, children acquire English language skills—La Escuelita San Alban in Davidson. Since its founding three years ago, La Escuelita has worked to provide three- and four-year-old native Spanish speaking children a solid foundation in English, so that they will enroll in kindergarten with adequate language and social skills.

La Escuelita currently enrolls 30 youngsters in facilities at the Ada Jenkins Center. Class is held weekdays from 9 a.m. until noon. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, all interaction is in English, and it is in Spanish on Tuesday and Thursday.

Florence has recruited two other young musician friends to perform at the benefit concert, which will be held Sunday, October 15, from 3-5 p.m. at St. Albans Church—cellist Drew Dansby and violinist Andrew Deweese. The three will present separate programs, and this concert will be the first time they have performed on the same stage. Florence will play pieces by Barber, Beethoven, and Debussy. She hopes that the concert will raise at least $600 for La Escuelita.

Coincidentally, La Escuelita is hosting another fundraiser by youth supporters on September 30—the launch of a children’s book titled “Ozzie and the Island,” written and illustrated by 15-year-old Amelia Wyatt and published by Lorimer Press. The launch party will be held 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Kadi Fit in Cornelius.

For more information on either of the fundraisers, call La Escuelita at 608-217-5726.

Bill Giduz

Bill Giduz was the son who followed his father’s footsteps into journalism. He has been involved his entire life with news and photography in schools he attended and jobs he’s held. He believes now that he’s got a few good years left to devote to The News of Davidson.

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