Special needs teacher in Glendale helps low-income kids learn during summer

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Marcy Goma has turned her Glendale home into one big classroom, teaching neighborhood kids about music and language arts.

"I think with music, they actually connect with me," said Goma. "I show them an instrument and they know they have to sit, they know they have to hold it right and they know they have to wait."


Six years ago, the special needs teacher from the Philippines created the Abaka Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides extra curricular activities for low income children.

Many of the activities focus on the Filipino culture and language and are offered to families free of charge.

"I thought if you learn how to play music, we can bring something new to the community," said Goma.

Jerry Markowski's son takes classes from Goma and has seen first hand what a difference she is making in our community.

"She's just a good teacher," said Markowski. "She does it from the heart and she wants these kids to be better in the future."

Markowski and his family reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to teacher Goma and give her $500, that will help pay for instruments and other supplies she uses in class.

A CBS 5 news crew followed along to surprise Goma during one of her classes.

"We want to show our appreciation to you," said Markowski. "Me (sic) and my wife, we nominated you for the Pay It Forward award, for the excellent teacher you are. Please accept this small gratitude from Channel 5."

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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