Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Project READ Accomplishments February 2015

Project READ’s Family Literacy Instructional Center (FLIC) Book Club:
This month we had over 20 learners participate in our bi-weekly read aloud Book Club. Students, sitting alongside of tutors, teen tutors and parents, took turns reading aloud from the same book. Each child was given a brand new book to take home to build his/her own home libraries. After the story was read, students took part in a craft project related to the book. This month we read We’re in A Book- by Mo Willems and I’m Not Scared. Project READ’s Junior League tutors helped lead the Book Club and spearhead the craft activity.

Project READ’s Family Literacy Instructional Center Game Night!
Our new monthly pilot program Game Night has become an exciting way to end the month and a fun way to learn together. Games have been preselected according to our students’ needs. The children are broken into groups of 4-6 to play games together. Each gaming group has a staff member or Junior League tutor to facilitate the game. We have been focusing on collaboration, community building and expressive language this month. Some games that the students played were “Let’s Talk,” where students take turn asking each other conversation starter questions, “Don’t Say It,” which focuses on descriptive words, “Tell Tale,” where students build on each other’s stories. Each month we introduce new games to the students. Sixteen students took part in the program and many more are signed up for next month!

FLIC/FFL Story Hour

This month almost 70 Project READ learners, families and friends joined us for our February Story Hour. Parents and children were in awe when Wild Things, Inc. introduced their many varied animals from a kangaroo to an alligator. It was a great experience for everyone to learn about the importance these wild animals play in our world and how to be safe and respectful to our animal neighbors.

Project READ Families In Partnership (FIP):
This month the Project READ Families in Partnership program celebrated 59 active pairs. One of our FIP tutors, Francine, reported her learner Julissa is doing fabulously! Their big accomplishment for the month is Julissa reading 2 chapters from a book out of the Judy Moody series. When Julissia first came to Project READ in October of 2013 she was still working on distinguishing between upper and lower case letters and sight words. In just a year and a half she is reading whole chapters. This is a great achievement by two very dedicated individuals. Congratulations and keep up the good work you two!

Project READ Kids In Partnership (KIP) Story Hour at Fair Oaks Branch Library:
Over 75 families, Project READ students and tutors came out to enjoy a wonderful and lively show by Gabe of Wild Things Inc. Families were fascinated by up-close encounters with wildlife while also being moved by hearing their stories of struggle and eventual rescue by this wonderful organization. Families also enjoyed Dr. Seuss-inspired crafts and were happy to take home their very own copy of the classic, The Cat in the Hat.

Project READ Kids In Partnership After-school Tutoring and Programming at
Fair Oaks Elementary:
Over 80 youth continue to participate in Project READ’s Kids In Partnership one-on-one and small group tutoring programs at Fair Oaks Elementary. In addition to individualized, student-centered tutoring time, youth also participated in 32 book clubs. These book clubs are also designed to meet students at their current reading level and help them reach their reading goals by focusing on linking background knowledge to the theme of the book, using expression while reading to build fluency and discussing new words and the book to build vocabulary and comprehension.

Project READ students also enjoyed a variety of art, science and cooking projects that brought learning to life in a hands-on and fun way. For example, during cooking time, after reading recipes and step-by-step directions, students made burritos and valentine cookies. They also completed a two-week experiment on seed germination and plant growth that involved making a hypothesis, recording observations and caring for a germinating seed. Students were also excited to express their gratitude for their tutors in hand-written valentine notes.

Project READ teen tutors participated in two training workshops:
How to use specific praise and feedback while tutoring to best support learners and How to make and use play dough as a tutoring tool across grade levels. After reviewing art techniques like water color, crayon resist and using positive and negative space, teen tutors also created and contributed Dr. Seuss-themed artwork for our annual BBQ and Award Ceremony to be held in July 2015.   Our Teen Tutors are helping their little learner while improving and understanding these reading and science concepts also!

Project READ’s successful continued partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank:
Project READ families continued to benefit from the long-standing relationship with Second Harvest Food Bank. In February alone, over 355 Project READ participants enjoyed over 1,060 healthy snacks that are vital for the concentration needed for tutoring and learning.

Project READ Adult Program:
This month we’d like to highlight the hard work of learner Brenda Canchola and tutor Naomi Glixman.  The pair has been working together since May of 2013.  This is what Naomi had to say in February’s Monthly Report Calendar:

Brenda has made huge progress! In particular, she has made a lot of progress in comprehension and vocabulary.  Her ability to organize language conceptually has really kicked in! She does a great job of understanding/ writing paragraphs and essays, and her presentations really shine. She's a good descriptive writer, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with in the future.

Last semester she was assigned to read a short novel for a class she took at Canada College, which we read out loud, for one of her classes. When we started, she couldn't understand what a novel was, or why somebody would write about imaginary characters. But then, after a few chapters, she got it.  The world of reading for pleasure, and connecting to fictional characters, and how that relates to her own life, and all the rest of it that makes us crave reading, opened.”  

Project READ Adult Inmate Peer Tutoring Program:
12 inmates housed at the Maguire Correctional Facility graduated Tutor Training.  We held a graduation ceremony so the men could be recognized in front of their peers for their hard work and dedication to empowerment through education. 

Project READ Adult Literacy Computer Lab:
Of the new adult learners who started in February, 15 adults decided to get a jumpstart on their learning by using the adult computer lab. Project READ has Rosetta Stone for those adults who need to improve their grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. Also available is Lexia Core5 for those who need to build their reading ad writing skills. All together Project READ adults logged in 268 hours of computer time this month! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Project READ 2014 Highlights

Project READ December Story Hours

Over 200 Project READ learners, tutors and families came together to celebrate this successful semester of tutoring, learning and community service at our two annual Gift-Making Workshops & Story Hour Celebrations, held at the downtown library and Fair Oaks School . Educational Musicians, Lori and RJ, of Cotton Candy Express kicked the evening off with a festive sign-along that got everyone in a celebratory mood.

As the crowd enjoyed the puppet show, staff secretly ferried moms, dads, aunties and uncles over to our Secret Shopping Room, where volunteers had displayed a beautiful arrangement of brand new books, games, and puzzles. These amazing donations ranged from infant board books, puzzles, art books and chapter books, truly ensuring that there be a meaningful and relevant gift for each individual.  As the kids enjoyed the music, adults "shopped" for gifts for the whole family, thus ensuring that every Project READ family enjoy the gifts of reading and learning this holiday season! The parents were exuberant in their expressions of gratitude and we thank all who made this holiday brighter for these families! Meanwhile, the students caught the spirit of giving as they participated in five crafts specifically designed to be gifts and keepsakes.

Over twenty Junior League, community and Hands On Bay Area volunteers were on hand to help parents shop and students create their gifts for friends and family, helping to ensure a truly magical holiday season for our community.

Project READ 2014 Highlights:

FLIC 2014 Highlights:

Learner Hours:
Average Daily Attendance: 35 youth learners
Average Monthly Attendance: 90 youth learners

Tutor Statistics:
Active Teen/Preteen Tutors: 90
Total Tutoring Mentoring Hours (Teen/Preteen): 2,005 hrs
Active Community/Junior League FLIC Tutors (Adult): 40

Sequoia Awards: A scholarship program that recognizes local seniors for their contribution to their community through volunteerism.

Paul Chaves (FLIC Teen Tutor)
Lizette Cuevas (KIP Teen Tutor)
Chelsea Lollar (FLIC Teen Tutor & former Learner)
Audrey Poltrorak (FLIC Teen Tutor)
Kayte Toscano (FLIC Teen Tutor & former Learner)
Viridiana Caracheo (FLIC Teen Tutor & former Learner)

Summer FLIC

Close to 30 K-4th graders were paired with 30 Teen Tutors during our week-long summer program. The theme of the week this year was California, so students learned about history, facts and geography related to California.

Backpack Give Away: In August 245 students attended our two Back-to-School Story Hour events where we distributed over 200 backpacks filled with much-need school supplies.

Pilot Programs:

Family Literacy Instructional Center Summer Enrichment Days
This summer we launched Summer Enrichment Days, where the Junior League partner with us to offer 7 weeks of summer services to over 25 Prek through middle school students. Summer Enrichment Days consisted of Book Clubs, art, science and cooking projects all done in small groups alongside adult and teen tutors.

Game Night! This pilot program was created to help address expressive language issues we have been seeing more frequently in recent months. Students are teamed up in groups of 4-5 with an adult tutor as the facilitator, playing games based on age and ability level. Many of our games are focused on expressive and receptive language. This type of game play will help improve/foster fluency, articulation, speech, vocabulary development, auditory recall and synthesis, and community building.


Our three year-service grant with the Junior League of Palo Alto-Mid Peninsula was extended to a fourth year, an extraordinary honor due to a strong community partnership and commitment to Project READ’s mission of a literate community. Additionally, Project READ was granted $10,000 for continued and extended services within FLIC.

FIP 2014 Highlights:

   We had 29 new pairs start in the FIP program in 2014.
   Eight FIP pairs celebrated meeting 3+ years.
   The Sequoia SAFE/Project READ collaborative program started its second year and was awarded a $3,000 grant for the 2014-2015 school year.
   The Sequoia SAFE tutors calculated 146 hours of community service for the Fall semester.

KIP 2014 Highlights:

Over 30% of the KIP teen tutors were once KIP learners in the program.

Volunteer teen tutors completed over 1699 hours of community service tutoring in the KIP program.

Project READ teen tutors received college scholarships in recognition of their outstanding community service at the Sequoia Awards.

Celebrating the Gift of Time...
Project READ’s Kids In Partnership teen tutors completed over 500 hours of community service tutoring in the KIP program during the Fall 2014 semester! Their time has been well-spent tutoring the little elementary students.

Adult 2014 Highlights

Community Adult
·      300 served between one-on-one tutoring and Story Hours

Community FFL
·      100 served between one-on-one tutoring and Story Hours

Adult-Inmate (San Mateo County only)
·      423 prisoners served
o   151 inmates served in one-on-one, dual interventional tutoring
o   58 inmates served in Tutor Training
o   214 inmates served in small group instruction
·      100 books sent to children of inmate-participants in Fathers N’ Families and Mothers N’ Families program

Inmates received:
·      540 class sessions
·      over 11,450 instructional hours
o   3,250 hours of one-on-one, dual-intervention tutoring
o   7,000 hours of small group instruction (Poetry, Fathers N’ Families, Mothers N’ Families, Creative Writing, Goal-Directed Workshops, Book Club)
o   1,200 hours of Tutor Training instruction
·      Average Reading growth for participants of one-on-one tutoring: 3.5 levels in 6 months
·      GED- waiting on results for Office of Ed on number of PR learners who earned GED

Adult-Inmate (w/ prison program included)
·      652 prisoners served
o   above # + 196 from prison program
·      over 13,140 instructional hours
o   above # + 1,690 hours from prison program
·      Average reading growth: 5.5 levels in 6 months (prison program)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Project READ October 2014 Accomplishments

Project READ - The Original Trivia BEE Celebrates 25 years of trivial facts and fun! October 17th marked the 25th Anniversary of Project READ’s annual fundraiser The Trivia BEE, presented by Redwood City Friends Of Literacy (RCFOL), which promotes awareness and raises funds to support Project READ’s programs. The event was held on the beautiful CaƱada College campus, where teams competed in a night filled with trivia, Hors d'oeuvres and FUN.   Visit our Trivia BEE webpage for more fun details about the 25th BEE and find out how you can join in the fun!  Visit us at

Family Literacy Instructional Center Tutoring:
This month over 80 students took part in our drop–in tutoring program to work on their literacy and homework skills. Students were matched one-on-one and worked in small groups with one of our 40 active teen tutors and/or 20 adult community tutors.  In addition to reading and homework, students worked with peers and tutors on craft projects, educational games, computer-aided learning and our new listening station.

Project READ Game Night! Pilot Program

This month, we piloted a new program with the help of our Junior League partners. We’ve noticed that incoming students, as well as current students, are struggling with expressive language. In order to address this need we created a new program focusing on expressive language—Game Night! This program uses specific games to hone students’ expressive language skills. Additionally, the games focus on community building, vocabulary and strategy. Students work in teams with an adult tutor as the group facilitator. Students work in groups of 4-5 on an individual game based on age and ability, then switch half way through. Sixteen students and 5 Junior League tutors took part in our first Game Night. Participant’s feedback was so positive that the Game night program will be offered monthly.  Our next pilot will be to include parents too!
"Let's Talk"
"Word On the Street"

Project READ Book Club:

Over 20 students Pre k–4th grade attended the two Book Clubs this month. Students worked with Junior League of Mid Peninsula and community tutors reading in a round table format. Afterwards, the students made crafts related to the theme of the book. All students were given the brand new book to take home and build their home libraries.

Project READ - Adult Inmate Program
Our Adult Inmate Program started a new book club at Maguire Correctional Facility.  Project READ Inmate students are reading short stories, poems, and journal articles. Hope is the current theme.  Students are discussing the value of hope, how people give hope to others, and the relationship between hope and education.  The small group is only open to trained Project READ inmate peer tutors in an effort to offer enrichment programming and build community among the men who are volunteering their time to help their peers.  Poetry small groups, Mothers and Families small group sessions and small group instruction were also offered at the Women’s Correctional Facility.

Project READ’s Youth Literacy program, Kids In Partnership’s Tutor Recruitment for our afterschool Fair Oaks School site programs, Training & Matches:
Project READ staff visited local high schools to recruit new teen tutors for the 2015 Kids In Partnership program year. We were thrilled to see so many teens are interested in helping an elementary student succeed in school.  So far, we have trained and matched over 40 teen tutors in the Kids In Partnership program. As a result, 50 elementary-aged students are receiving individualized academic support in one-on-one matches or small group tutoring sessions.

Pumpkin Festivals at Project READ Kids in Partnership program:
Project READ staff and teen tutors conducted two pumpkin festivals for the younger learners, including relays and a homemade pumpkin patch!

Family Outreach & Events
At the beginning of September we held a Back to Kids In Partnership program Night at Fair Oaks Elementary where Project READ staff assisted Kids In Partnership families with program paperwork and oriented them to the program calendar. Meanwhile, our little learners were eager to get the year started with three different Student Orientations that allowed over 50 children to get to know one another and learn the new set up and schedule.

Project READ Kids In Partnership Story Hour:
Over 55 KIDS IN PARTNERSHIP students and families came to the Fair Oaks Library for the Project READ Story Hour featuring a wonderful performance by the Puppet Company. Puppeteer, Randall Metz, had the crowd engaged throughout the story and then also gave everyone a behind-the-scenes look at puppetry, including movement and construction techniques. Likewise, At the October Project READ story hour, over 75 KIDS IN PARTNERSHIP learners, tutors and family members came together to enjoy a musical story hour by one of our favorite duos, Mike and Anjaline Eppley!  They had the whole crowd singing and reading along with their original music for our featured stories and themes.  At both events, families enjoyed receiving each month's family book, and participating in several hands-on craft activities, including edible crafts.

Project READ Book Clubs and Hands-on, Multi-sensory Learning at KIDS IN PARTNERSHIP
In addition to one-on-one and small group tutoring, KIDS IN PARTNERSHIP learners and tutors enjoy a variety of enrichment activities that allow literacy to be woven into a variety of content areas. In October, we held 28 small group book clubs during which students not only engaged in reading quality children’s literature, but also used that literature as a launching point for further learning and review. For example, students have reviewed comparing and contrasting, sequencing, using Venn diagrams, and recognizing rhyme. Students also practice social skills of taking turns, active listening, introducing themselves and sharing thoughts and opinions with a group.

Students have also put their literacy skills to use reading and following recipes and instructions in KIDS IN PARTNERSHIP cooking and science classes. Activities so far have included banana Nutella s’mores, pumpkin spice play dough, pumpkin measurement and exploration, toasted pumpkin seeds, and candy corn Rice Krispy treats.

A busy an successful month for all of us!