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EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES: How a project promotes literacy among Latino parents

The Latino Family Literacy Project—a six week course where parents read bilingual books to strengthen their reading skills
Posted at 5:18 PM, Feb 29, 2024
  • Video shows how the Latino Family Literacy Project increases literacy rates among parents.
  • The program also prepares parents with strategies to help their children improve literacy at home.
  • The project is a six week course at Sierra Vista Elementary School in the City of Arvin.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

A group of parents with children at Sierra Vista Elementary School went back to school and celebrated their graduation Thursday morning. With balloons, food and several activities the class celebrated the completion of a series of classes on literacy.

For six weeks, these parents attended Sierra Vista's Latino Family Literacy Project—a program designed to help parents improve their literacy skills.

By reading bilingual books like, "Vines of the Earth," parents practiced their reading skills in English and in Spanish.

Juana Garcia, one of the parents graduating from the program…says that the classes didn't just help her improve her literacy skillS—they helped her when it comes to parenting.

"It makes us better parents for our children," said Garcia. "By watching us attend these classes and involve ourselves in school activities we motivate our kids to do better in school."

Another parent who said the program improved her parenting skills is Maria Puentes, who attended the classes with her husband Roberto Garcia. She told me that through a class project, she was able to build a deeper connection with her children.

"We each created a book that talked about our roots. How we got here—how we traveled a far distance to create opportunities for our children and for ourselves," explained Puentes. "Each of our books demonstrate the sacrifices we've made to be here and prove to ourselves that giving up is not an option."

Neighborhood News Reporter Priscilla Lara interviewing Roberto Garcia, a parent taking part in the Latino Family Literacy Project
Neighborhood News Reporter Priscilla Lara interviewing Roberto Garcia, a parent taking part in the Latino Family Literacy Project

Also not giving up is her husband, who despite being the only man in the class, told me that he was able to improve his ability to express himself better in front of his wife, children and classmates.

"As a man, I often keep my thoughts to myself--sometimes we don't listen to what others are saying or we struggle to express ourselves," stated Roberto Garcia. "This program has challenged me to communicate with others and I feel like it's helped me a lot."

According to one of the Student Success Facilitators at Sierra Vista, Sonia Duran, the program encourages parents to express themselves freely by creating a safe space for them to feel comfortable with their instructors and classmates.

"We build a very positive relationship with our parents. We always assure them that they're part of the school—that they're part of the family," said Duran.

By connecting with each other, Garcia says she's been able to learn from other parent's experiences.

"It makes us realize that we're not alone and that we live similar experiences and we're able to learn from each other," said Garcia.

Though this session of classes has ended, the next session will begin the Spring. To sign up or to obtain more information parents can visit, www.ArvinSchools.com/SierraVista.


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