The summer has been challenging this year for many families with school ending abruptly and earlier than usual along with cancelations of vacations due to closures throughout the country. People have been adjusting as best as they can and for Riverbank youngsters, 10-year-old Derek and seven-year-old Nicko, they set goals to keep them busy all summer long.
Last summer their grandmother was sick so the boys wanted to buy her a present or help her in some way. Parents Enrique and Maria Garcia-Leon have a point system in place where the boys get points that convert to cash for doing more than just their normal chores. To boost the point earnings the boys picked the peaches off their peach tree in the backyard and bartered with neighbors for a few extra dollars so they could afford a gift for their grandmother. They raised approximately $160 and sent that to their grandmother in Ecuador for medical expenses and medications accrued following open heart surgery.
“It made me feel great to earn the money on our own,” said Derek. “I feel proud because I worked hard to get it.”
“The money earned was not only from peaches but from teaching classes and doing extra chores around the house,” stated dad Enrique. “They get points for doing other things like mowing the lawn. He had about 90 points for doing extra stuff this summer.”
Young Derek has been teaching English and Spanish classes this summer which has also helped him earn some cash. With Grandma doing better this year after surgery the boys had a new goal this summer. They set their sights on a Nintendo Switch system.
The family peach tree was bountiful so the boys picked the peaches and put them outside for donations. People would walk by or drive by and purchase some peaches, assisting the boys in reaching their summer goal.
“The whole point was to teach them that if you want something you go to work for it and it is more rewarding when you get what you want based on how hard you worked,” explained Enrique. “That motivated him (Derek) to get points and to do the classes.”
The family is extremely appreciative to the community for being so kind and generous to the boys.
“The community has been great,” said mom Maria. “They have really come out and supported the boys. I don’t even think they wanted the peaches, they just wanted to help the boys with their goal. They reached out because they wanted to know if they reached their goal. They kept asking us. They would give them whatever amount they wanted for the peaches and they were very generous.”
Enrique added, “There are really good people in the community and if you do something good in the community it comes back to you.”
A neighbor left a nice note for the boys after they delivered her peaches saying thank you and nice to see them doing great work to earn money with best wishes for them to attain their goal.
The boys did reach their goal and were able to purchase their very own Nintendo Switch.
This summer had challenges due to COVID-19 and adventures out were limited but they made the best of it. Teaching languages for the first time for Derek was enjoyable as well as picking peaches with his younger brother.
“It was very hard work because we had to go outside for long time and it was hot,” noted Derek.
“Yes it was,” said Nicko. “We also had to climb the ladder up to reach the bigger peaches.”
Although Derek is not a huge fan of peaches unless it is a peach smoothie others are, like Nicko and with around 400 peaches sold, so apparently are the neighbors.
“As parents we have the responsibility to teach our children to work hard for everything they dream or they want to have, and to appreciate things for the effort we put to get them, so I feel proud to see they are learning what we are trying to teach them,” expressed Maria.
The boys are back to school this week with the new distance learning model with Derek heading to the fifth grade and Nicko going into second; the boys are already ahead of the curve with a new gaming system and valuable life lessons.