Issue 19 | August 10, 2012 | Featuring Ann Marie Granberry
When a parent gets a vision and changes a lifestyle, the impact of that new direction can have tremendous effects in the lives of the children. When you read the story of Ann Marie Granberry, think of how different her life would have been if the family had not taken on this project. One of the best by-products of the changes is the impressive teamwork this family enjoys.
While we were updating things (like the Resource Advisor and the Log Book), we thought we may as well update other things, too, like the website. Well, we did it, and it's almost ready! Look for it to go live in the next week. You'll be able to do all the same things you are used to on the website, like download registration forms and the handbook (also currently under revision - watch for it by the end of the month!). There will also be some new things, like an improved layout for frequently asked questions and a page introducing all of our advisors and staff. We look forward to hearing what you think about it!
Unfortunately, there may be a small amount of down time for the site as we make this transition. We ask for your patience as we work through the bugs.
*You happen to be viewing the new website now, but if you want to leave feedback, please do!*
FEATURED STUDENT: Ann Marie Granberry
Until Ann Marie was 10, she lived in Birmingham, Alabama, where her dad was a youth pastor. But an experience that he had working briefly among the Yakama tribe in Washington state caused him to later move his entire family to live and work among those Native American people in 2003.
Facing such a life-style change, there are a variety of ways a 10 year-old might react when leaving a "normal" American neighborhood to live among a nation existing in 3rd-world conditions. Ann Marie's choice was to throw her efforts into supporting her parents in the work. Being the oldest of four children, Ann Marie was given a number of responsibilities from running a VBS program , leading music three times a week, teaching classes, assisting with kid's clubs and working with short-term teams that come from across the country to paint / clean-up the homes of the residents. Eight different weeks a year, teams come to the Granberry's site to help paint interiors and exteriors of houses. During the orientation of each group, Ann Marie presents information she has learned about how to effectively relate to those who live in a culture of poverty. "There are a lot of hidden rules in the poverty culture. The best way to work with them is to know the rules and adapt."
When asked to give an example, Ann Marie explained that in most of America, when a hostess has invited someone for a meal, the question most on her mind is, "Did my guests like the food?" If a Yakama invited a guest for a meal, the questions would be, "Did you get enough to eat?" Since providing food is a gesture of caring, the Granberry's plan for all programs and events they offer to start with a meal or snack for the tribe members.
Considering how highly-involved Ann Marie is with her parents' work, it is not surprising that attending classes on the reservation was not flexible enough for her. Due to her growing responsibilities, the family's need to be gone for weeks at a time speaking in different parts of the country, the disruption of emergencies, and the time that class attendance consumed, Ann Marie found home schooling the most workable option by the time she reached 9th grade. One of the beauties of home schooling is that she can earn credit through many of her responsibilities. Her music practice and performance counts for fine arts. She earned social studies credit by writing and presenting her orientation speech on the culture of poverty. By painting houses with the visiting teams, Ann Marie gains community service hours, and she earned a health credit by studying and writing about fetal alcohol syndrome, a common problem on the reservation. Running the kid's club and VBS has counted for occupational education.
No doubt, every aspect of Ann Marie's existence has been influenced by teaming with her family on this project. Not surprisingly, her future also reflects the influences of what she has experienced. This Fall, she will be attending Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, where she will prepare to be an English teacher. Perhaps starting a school on the reservation in order to effectively work with special needs children will be the next project of this giving family.