Mathews teacher opens home to 2 NYC girls

Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Aug 07, 2019 - 01:34 PM

Photo: Mathews teacher Amy Ashberry, right, welcomed two young ladies from New York City to Mathews recently. Maddie Letford, left, and Shelina Lin spent a week in the county under the auspices of New York’s Fresh Air Fund. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Mathews teacher Amy Ashberry, right, welcomed two young ladies from New York City to Mathews recently. Maddie Letford, left, and Shelina Lin spent a week in the county under the auspices of New York’s Fresh Air Fund. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

 

Shelina Lin and Maddie Letford are both New York City girls. Shelina, 12, lives on Staten Island, while Madison, 13, hails from Brooklyn.

Neighborhoods are crowded in New York, and there’s a lot of pavement covering the ground, so when the girls heard about the Fresh Air Fund’s Friendly Towns program, which pays for city children to spend a summer week or two in a rural or suburban area, each jumped at the chance.

This year, the girls, who didn’t know each other before the trip, ended up in Mathews County at the Hallieford home of Amy Ashberry, a teacher at Lee-Jackson Elementary School.

Both girls are quiet and reserved, but they shared some information about themselves for a newspaper interview.

Maddie lives with her mom, dad, and two older sisters, and her school is the Hebrew Language Academy. She said her favorite food is pizza, and if she could do anything at all that she wanted to do, she would explore the world.

Shelina lives with her mom, dad, an older sister, and a younger brother, and she goes to Intermediate School 75. She’s not at all picky about food, and if she could do anything in the world she wanted to do, she would learn something new, like ice skating.

Both girls have participated in the Friendly Towns hosting program before, with Maddie traveling to Maine and North Carolina, and Shelina spending time in Vermont.