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Monday , January 21 2019
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Home | Tag Archives: Ernesto Serna Elementary

Tag Archives: Ernesto Serna Elementary

Khalid Surprises Ernesto Serna Students with Gifts, Holiday Cheer

An assembly at Ernesto Serna School turned into an exciting surprise for students and staff when world-famous artist and songwriter Khalid made an appearance at the school.

The Socorro ISD alum surprised more than 700 students with gifts and holiday cheer.

“Socorro ISD supports me a lot so I try and extend my gratitude in multiple ways,” Khalid said. “It’s super special for me to give back to El Paso. The fact that I get to come to school and get to hand out gifts to all these kids is special. Maybe today they woke up in a bad mood but they left in a better mood, as long as that purpose is accomplished that’s all that matters.”

The Ernesto Serna community thought the event was a reception to honor their charitable deeds. Earlier this year, the campus raised $2,000 to contribute to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and help a child’s dream become a reality. The school also participated in a toy and canned food drive to help others in need.

SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D., Board Trustee Paul Guerra and Principal Alejandro Olvera thanked students for their generous donations and support. Moments later, Dr. Espinoza announced to students that they were in for a special treat from someone who wanted to give back to them.

Dr. Espinoza called up Khalid’s parents and his sister and thanked them for their generosity and kindness. He went on to introduce the highly acclaimed singer.

“He’s a proud Team SISD alum, MTV Video Music Award winner, Billboard Music Awards winner, Teen Choice Award winner, iheartRadio Music Award winner, American Music Award winner, an Americas High School graduate. He’s the talented musical artist, Khalid!” Espinoza said.

Students were thrilled when they saw Khalid make his grand entrance. The school bleachers were filled with tears of joy, looks of awe, wide eyes, and bright smiles full of excitement.

Brandon Valenzuela, a seventh-grader at the school, said meeting the Grammy-nominated artist has been a dream come true.

“I was crying when I saw him,” he said. “It was my dream to meet him, and I can’t believe he chose us. He is so nice. To me, he’s perfect.”

Khalid gave a countdown and all students, kindergarten through eighth-grade, unwrapped their Christmas presents. They received cosmetic playsets, drawing dashboards, LOL dolls, fire trucks, and more.

Another student, Diego Martinez, received a guitar.

“I love music and I love my guitar,” said the fifth-grader. “I was so happy that I hugged him and kept saying thank you. I will always remember this moment and this gift. I’m going to be even more excited when I hear his songs!”

Principal Olvera said his students were star-struck and thankful to have received a gift from Khalid.

“At Ernesto Serna we take pride in helping others and today we were blessed with this opportunity where Khalid came to our school to spend this time with our kids and invested in our children,” Olvera said. “This really meant a lot!”

For Khalid, giving back to his home town was a humbling experience and an opportunity to share an inspiring message.

“Persistency is the key to success,” Khalid said.  “It’s about not giving up. I always say this, ‘the one day you could have given up, the next day could have been your blessing”, and a lot of people don’t get to see that, and some people don’t make it to that… You have to work for what you want. Be true to yourself, your goals, your dreams and everything will line up as you want it to be.”

To view more photos of the event, click here.

Socorro ISD Schools Expand ‘Little Free Libraries’ Program

Five more schools have opened Little Free Libraries outside their front doors to make books more accessible and boost students’ reading skills.

Robert R. Rojas Elementary, Ernesto Serna Elementary, Benito Martinez Elementary, Sgt. Jose F. Carrasco Elementary and Salvador H. Sanchez Middle schools have added the small doll-house-like structures, filled with books donated by non-profits, district police officers, librarians, teachers, staff and the community.

“Little Free Libraries are important for our schools because they help strengthen community bonds,” said Marcy Sparks, SISD’s library services coordinator. “It’s not just that students have more access to books, but it’s also taking responsibility to make sure it’s well cared for and anyone in the community can help lead in that effort. That’s why many of our leadership organizations, like the Boys and Girls Scouts, have sponsored a few of our libraries and help make sure they continue to provide reading material in a safe space.”

Sanchez Little Library

The district’s goal is to equip all elementary and K-8 schools with Little Free Libraries, Sparks said. There are currently about 20 of the small libraries at SISD schools.

“What I love about the Little Free Library movement is the visual reminder for our communities that reading is important,” Sparks said. “When our communities value literacy, then we all benefit.”

Drs. Steve and Georgia Lane, of Farmington, N.M., have been huge contributors to the literacy cause in SISD. Through the couple’s Three Rivers Education Foundation, they donated three Little Free Libraries that went to Rojas, Serna and Sanchez and thousands of books to those schools and others in the district.

“This is what the foundation is all about,” Georgia Lane said. “The SISD schools we work with had expressed a need, so we wanted to

Rojas Little Library

fulfill it. We want to help increase literacy in schools. We love what we do. It’s heartwarming to see how happy the students are. We want to make a difference in a child’s life.”

Benito Martinez Principal Greg Hatch took it upon himself to build his school’s Little Free Library. It was a week’s worth of hard work, but it was a true success, he said.

“I wanted to make sure my scholars had each and every opportunity to learn and excel,” Hatch said. “This year, we are placing an even stronger emphasis on reading. I have purchased novels for each and every grade level. I am pushing using authentic literature to teach reading as opposed to using dittos and passages. If I truly believe that my scholars learn reading by being authentically engaged in reading, then I must ensure that regardless of the day or the hour they have access to books. The Little Library ensures exactly that.”

The small cabinet, sitting near the entrance, is a big hit with students, who are happy to have one more place to grab a book.

“I have seen students make sure they take a book with them as they leave the campus,” Hatch said. “While working nights and weekends, I have seen students drop by and get a book during non-school hours. I believe that it truly is sending the message that reading is important and that the only way you get better at reading is by reading.”

For Carrasco Elementary, the SISD Police Department donated a Little Free Library. The school, named after the district’s first police sergeant who ensured students’ safety for more than 34 years, has a student population hungry to read.

Benito Little Library

“Librarian Cori Stothart approached us with the idea of the Little Free Library at which point we decided it was a no brainer,” said SISD

Police Chief Joe Castorena. “The little library was not the only item donated.  We also donated a large number of books that we had inherited previously when we took over the district’s former mobile library. Having all those items, we decided our kids should enjoy the benefits of reading. So, we did it.”

Stothart is so grateful for the incredible gift and continued support from Chief Castorena and the SISD police department.

“Our community’s heart is warmed knowing that they are taking care of us!” Stothart said. “Our scholars are amazed that they have 24-hour access to a completely free resource. I am especially grateful to be in a position to foster a greater understanding of what all libraries are truly about: equal access to information for everyone.”

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