The Socorro Independent School District honored parents who participated in the sixth annual Latino Family Literacy program at an end-of-year celebration.
The event featured Ernest Mejia, a son of Mexican immigrants who talked about his life and obstacles he had to overcome to be successful.
Guests also enjoyed refreshments and entertainment by Socorro High School’s mariachi and folklorico dancers from Mission Ridge Elementary.
“We had a great time at the end-of-year celebration,” said Terry Saldaña, bilingual instructional specialist and event coordinator. “Our parents love this program because it benefits their child as well as themselves.”
More than 200 parents in 22 schools participated in the Latino Family Literacy program during the 2018-19 school year.
Through the literacy program, families learn about Latino social and cultural customs and embrace English and Spanish literacy. Parents say reading in two languages has increased their children’s proficiency in speech and reading.
“My child could understand Spanish but did not speak it or read it very well,” said Gabriela Tarango, a parent at Bill Sybert School.
“Now that we joined this program she’s gotten a lot better. I like that we get to build a lot of memories with our children, and the books are so interesting. Our children learn about two cultures, our history, and they learn a lot of new words.”
At the celebration, parents were given a free book to continue reading and engaging with their children at home.
“The books are very interesting because they teach students about traditions and legends,” said Leticia Torres, a teacher at Loma Verde Elementary. If we don’t teach them to our children, they may be forgotten.”
Sgt. Roberto Ituarte, Dr. Sue A. Shook, Hueco, and Escontrias elementary schools had many families participate in the program this school year.
“The word about Latino Family Literacy is getting out,” Saldaña said. “We had a lot more participation this year and we are still growing.”