It is the first day of school and Kim is nervously standing at the front of her classroom. She had spent all week putting together an outfit. She has butterflies in her tummy and hopes no one notices how scared she is. Her new teacher, Mrs. Johnson, stands next to her. Her teacher has kind eyes and reassuringly puts a hand on Kim’s shoulder as she gets the attention of the class.
“Class, today we have a new student. Her name is Kim. She just moved a long way, all the way from Korea, and I hope everyone will make her feel welcome.”
“Good morning, Kim,” the students recite.
Kim waves but is too shy to speak.
“Now why don’t we get started for the day. We have a lot of fun things scheduled. Kim, there is a seat for you between Craig and Breanna.” Mrs. Johnson points the way.
Kim hesitates but walks to her seat between a boy with bright red hair and a girl with long curly black hair. Both of them wave to her. It makes Kim feel a little better. She knew that starting a new school would be difficult. She misses all of her friends from home. It seems that everyone here already has friends. Kim ponders, “Do they really need any more friends? Will anyone really need me as a friend?”
Kim wants to talk with the other students but doesn’t know how to start a conversation or with whom. She spends the rest of the class drawing in her notebook. The next day Kim spends all her free time drawing and designing dresses in her notebook. She just isn’t feeling brave enough to take the first step. All week is the same. Kim keeps to herself during class and then goes home.
Kim’s parents know the first week of school was very tough on their daughter, so they want to take her somewhere fun for the weekend.
“Today we’re going to the Carnegie Science Center,” announces her mother.
“What’s that?” Kim asks.
“It’s a museum on the North Shore that has numerous science exhibits. You can do experiments and it should be a ton of fun,” her mother explains.
“That sounds interesting. When are we leaving?”
“Right now! Get in the car.”
After a short drive they arrive and enter the towering building. Kim is amazed at how many things she can do, and they haven’t even made it off of the first floor. The family makes their way through The Zap and the Exploration Center. Kim is having a great time and feels much better. Kim and her parents go to a new floor. In every direction, all you can see are blue blocks.. Some are gigantic and some are tiny. Kim starts building with the blocks as her parents sit on a bench nearby.
Kim looks up to find the red headed boy from class waving and running over to her. He screeches to a halt next to her. “Hi, nice tower”
“Oh, hi. Thanks. It’s nice to see you…umm” She can’t remember his name and gets really embarrassed.
The boy smiles, “That’s ok. My name is Craig. It must be hard to learn so many new names.”
“Thanks. There are so many kids in the class. Did you always go to school here?” Kim finds it easier to talk now that it is just the two of them..
“Yep. I’ve lived in the ‘Burgh all my life.”
“The ‘Burgh?” Kim looks at him oddly.
“Pittsburgh. I’ll teach you the language of the city, but let’s start with everyone’s names first.”
Kim likes Craig very much. He is friendly , helpful and very understanding. “Want to help me build a castle?”
“I thought you’d never ask.” The two start stacking blocks. “So Kim, I’ve seen you drawing during class. What are you making?”
“I’m designing outfits. When I grow up I’m going to be a famous fashion designer.”
“When I grow up I’m going to be a quarterback for the best team ever, the Steelers. I’m going to the game next week with my best friend. We should go to a game sometime.”
“Definitely! I’d like that.” Kim smiles as she places the final block on their castle and thinks to herself. “School next week is going to be awesome.”