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Volunteer Highlight_ Here’s how Mr. Gary’s Current Events prepared our kids for COVID-19

Volunteer Highlight: Here’s How Mr. Gary’s Current Events Prepared Our Kids for COVID-19

Young students in our community have been faced with a lot of change and uncertainty this year. We want our youth to be informed about the many important events that have happened in recent months. Most importantly, kids need to learn about how these events will impact them, how they can protect themselves, and how they can really make a difference. 

Enter Mr. Gary’s Current Events class, right here at Ciudad Nueva! Mr. Gary is on a mission to provide our local 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students a place to openly discuss and get practical information about the current events of the world and our country. 

Mr. Gary came to Launchpad at Ciudad Nueva four years ago, after retiring from his rewarding career as an orthodontist. Throughout his career, Mr. Gary developed a knack for teaching children, leading classes at residency programs, holding dental workshops, and speaking at community events. His mentorship and influence on young people followed many of them in life; six of his students went on to dental school! He integrated his skills as an educator into his work at Ciudad Nueva in 2019 by starting a current events class for kids.

Mr. Gary is passionate about helping young students not only understand current events, but prepare themselves for safety and make a greater impact on society. Talking to young people about serious topics is not always easy. However, Mr. Gary is driven to prepare our nation’s youth.

“We are all global citizens. We are responsible for helping others in the world.”

 The first class launched in October 2019. Students learned about the tornadoes in the Southeast. Next, he focused on the floods in the Midwest, and the third class introduced the coronavirus. Mr. Gary addressed how these events could impact the local community and made sure the students had time to ask questions every class. Students were presented with valuable discussion topics to help break down each event, such as:

  • “What is a virus?”
  • “How can you protect yourself?”
  • “What can you do to help others?”
  • “What’s our responsibility as Christians? As neighbors?”

Before the local shutdowns, Mr. Gary’s Current Events class was offered two afternoons a week. Students were given time to work on homework, then delved deep into current events. Mr. Gary reflected that each and every class went past the ending time due to the thoughtful, inquisitive questions from students. The kids’ interests were peaked, given the chance to openly discuss these topics in a student-friendly style. Mr. Gary catered his lessons to various learning styles and used a variety of media to present information. The kids also saved up “Launchpad bucks” as they participated, which they spent on small gifts for their families. 

Mr. Gary shared that he greatly misses the students and looks forward to when he can offer the class in-person again. He reflected, “I get as much out of the class as the kids do.” The impact he’s made on our local students has been profound, and his passion is transparent. 

Mr. Gary parted with, “We want our kids to have a love for God, a love for family, and a love for our country.”

Would you like to get involved in a community that loves and cares for one another? We would love to have you as part of ours. Call us today at 915-521-2951 or contact us online.