January 3, 2009
Gire Ngzihayo, who is from Burundi, contemplates what to write on a holiday greeting card during art class. Gire and his friend Desire are very much part of their fifth-grade class, said teacher John Nies. "They're both very, very bright, and that's evident ... when we play math games. They pick up on the rules quick," Nies said.
Iratubona Desire draws an illustration on a "get well" card for a school custodian.
First-grader Shamso Hussan gets help with writing letters during an English Language Learners class at Grant Elementary School.
Peg Hurley, English Language Learners teacher, helps Desire's sister, Jeanine, start an audio book to read along with. Jeanine says that her favorite part of classroom time is writing but that the best thing about school is the ice cream in the cafeteria.
Peg Hurley, English Language Learners teacher, has a dozen refugee students in her class at Grant — the largest number she's had at the elementary level. Some of her students had never attended a formal school before. All need help with English. Hurley said she finds that rhymes and music help students remember the language.
Retired MU English professor Doug Hunt volunteers to tutor Iratubona Desire on a regular basis. "Desire is so eager to learn English that he would spend all day learning it," Hunt says.
Iratubona Desire points out where he is from on a map in his teacher's room at Grant Elementary School. Desire is one of nine African refugee students at Grant.
January 2, 2009
Abdillahi Abdinoor holds a protest sign. The demonstration lasted more than an hour.
Syed Ahsam holds up a sign among the protesters gathered outside the post office.
Demonstrators gather outside the post office.
Protesters cross Walnut Street toward the post office in downtown Columbia.
Ahmed El-Tayash chants for a cease-fire and peace.
Protestors march west down Locust Street away from the Islamic Center of Central Missouri. As they marched, they chanted for peace and justice and an end to the Israeli siege in Gaza.
Ahmed El-Tayash chants for a cease-fire and peace in Gaza during a march by the Islamic Center; Boone Tikkun, a Jewish and interfaith group; the Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation; and Mid-Missouri Peaceworks. The group marched at 2 Friday afternoon from the Islamic Center up Providence Road then east to the Post Office.
January 1, 2009
“My friend and I were talking last night, and she decided to learn to make new mistakes instead of the same ones over and over, which seems like a good idea to me.” — Meghan Gilliss, 25
“I want to start waking up earlier, exercise regularly, eat a balanced breakfast and read the paper before 9 a.m.” — Dane Altemueller
“I want to treat my wife better. And I’m going to quit smoking, but not until Jan. 17 because that’s when I have my next doctor’s appointment.” — Kim Jennings
“I just want to play and do homework!” — Alleyah Loveall, 3
“I want to see Missouri basketball win the national championship this year!" — Somrith Lem
“My wife and I would like to travel more. We’re putting some things on hold so we can get our debt paid down.” — Dwight Williams, 68