[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Nely Vasquez – StS Educational Advancement Assistant
Little by little we are seeing the results of the seeds we are planting in our reading program.Meet Elvin — a student at our bilingual school.
Two years ago, I was the teacher’s assistant in the preschool classroom. There I met Elvin — who had such a desire to learn. In every conversation we had I was impressed because of the vocabulary words he was using. And if the conversation contained a word that was new to him, he would always ask for its meaning. I saw his enthusiasm for books, but he always said, ‘’I am a Mathematics guy, teacher’’. He had developed many skills in all subjects he was taking at that time, but for sure he had more inclination towards Math.
In February 2021, at the beginning of the 2021 school year, I saw Elvin (now a brand new 2nd grader) standing in front of the garden, looking at the flowers. I greeted him and with enthusiasm he answered back: ‘’I now know how to read Miss.” With that, we went up to the school library together. With excitement, I observed him as he looked for a book and then he read it to me. He looked for a second one and once again, he read it to me. I was amazed! For a second grader it was a lot, I thought; especially because they did not spend enough time at school last year due to the pandemic. And that is when I understood the role that a responsible parent can play in the education of their children.
His mother helps him on his reading projects at home, and every time he reads she is with him. They have worked on how words with accent marks are pronounced in the Spanish language, and he also does intonation for sentences that require it. Although his mother does not speak English she always listens to him when he reads. When he was done with reading, that day in the library, he asked if he could take a book home. I said, “Sure,” and so he did. In about a week he brought it back, and since then he has been taking books home.
Seeing kids coming to school is always going to be an exciting thing for me; but seeing kids coming to the library and asking for books is powerful; so, this is a moment I will forever keep in my heart!