Mill Park Story Project

Meet the Tcaci family:

My Story:  Alina Tcaci

America was calling Alina’s family.  Or, more specifically, her grandmother was calling them. 

Alina’s grandmother had moved from Moldova to the United States and wanted the rest of the family to join her.  She told them that they wouldn’t have to work in the fields all day every day.  There was water inside the house–no walking through snow or rain to a well.  And there was central heat–no going out in the below freezing weather to chop wood for a fireplace.   And the winters, wet for sure!  But not snowy and freezing cold for weeks on end.  And everyone here is welcoming and kind.

So when Alina was 8 her family packed up and headed to America.  She enrolled at Mill Park with no English at all.   School was overwhelming at first and many days she sat and cried.  One day, the teacher handed out an assignment, turned over so Alina could not see what was written on it. She flipped it over and saw lots of numbers.   But she was quickly scolded–it was a timed math test and the teacher had not said to start yet!  Of course, Alina understood none of that and again felt out of place and cried. 

But June brought a summer school teacher—Ms. Karen Reed– who helped her start to feel at home.  She was learning how to be in an American school–so different from home!  In Moldovan schools she had to have her hands on her desk the whole time, raising her arm at the elbow if she wanted to ask a question.  In summer school she had projects that she could work on with the help of other students.  She was learning English so quickly that when she entered Ms. Teresa Bell (now Teem)’s third grade class, she could translate directions into English for another newcomer!  She had friends, and newly arrived cousins who were her age. They could gather at grandma’s house and have dinners together again! It started to feel like home finally! 

Alina graduated David Douglas High School, and now America is her new home for sure. A year later, Alina met her husband and now their own children are attending Mill Park.   She also works at Mill Park helping all kids–including those who are new to America–grow and learn.  She says she is thankful to God and the American people for helping her.  And we are thankful for everything she does for Mill Park!