Future Nursing Student, Native of the Philippines, Adapts and Thrives

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Republished with permission of The Dispatch

by: Sheila Killebrew
Photo: Sarah Louya

Even though East Davidson High School senior Jea Garcia never met Mary Pope Osborne or Barbara Park, she can thank in part the authors of the "Magic Tree House" and the Junie B. Jones series, respectively, for her smooth transition to life in the United States.​

Garcia, 19, a Philippines native, credits the work of these two authors for helping her to learn English, a language she barely spoke when she moved to Thomasville 10 years ago as a 9-year-old when her mother, Leizl Freeman, married her American stepfather, Phil Freeman.

“I just read (those books) a lot. I read aloud to my sister, and she would tell me what words I was saying wrong,” Garcia said.

She explained that her sister, Juzl, now 23, knew English better at that point since she had started studying it in school before the move. Garcia also has an older brother, Lezter, 21.

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