More than 200 parents were recently honored by the Socorro Independent School District’s Bilingual Department for their participation in the Latino Family Literacy Project.
“It’s important that we keep growing because it helps our students be more successful,” said Terry Saldaña, a bilingual instructional specialist with SISD. “Research and data shows that if parents are involved in their student’s education, the student is much more successful in school.”
The recognition celebrated about 75 more parents who joined the program for the 2017-2018 school year. In addition, more schools participated last year, jumping to 21 campuses from 11 in the 2016-2017 school year.
The family reading program is designed to engage and establish reading routines between parents and their children. It also offers parents of middle and high school students information regarding high school and college courses their children can take, and assists them with the college application process.
“It helps a student with vocabulary, reading strategies and discovering a love for reading,” Saldaña said. “Plus, parents learn about the importance of reading at home. For middle/high school, parents and their child learn about college awareness and the key steps of the college going process.”
The goal for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year is for the literacy program to be included at all SISD schools, said Karina Schulte, director of the bilingual department.
At the recognition, SISD Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza spoke to families, congratulating parents for being involved in their children’s education and the importance of family reading together.
Plaques were given to the top three schools with the most parent participation. They were: Sgt. Roberto Ituarte Elementary with 26 parents, Hueco Elementary with 18 parents and Bill Sybert with 17 parents.
The event’s guest speaker was Erica Fernandez, a former migrant student who became a Gates Millennium Scholar and later earned a master’s degree from Stanford University. Guests also were entertained by Eastlake High School’s Mariachi Falco.
Parent Christine Silva, who has three children, attend the celebration. She loves what the literacy program has done for her family. She decided to join because she wanted to better understand what her children were learning at Bill Sybert.
The move prompted her to start volunteering at the school on a regular basis.
“It has helped so much,” Silva said. “We spend more time together and really love reading. On Tuesdays, my children would get very excited every time we would go to the school to get a new book. They would spend the rest of the week reading. One would read in English, the other would try the Spanish book. It is a great program.”