As I approach the Castro family, they are all concentrating on their various activities in the Project READ tutoring center (FLIC). Rebecca is teaching Karen, her youngest daughter the sounds of the alphabet using brightly colored magnetic letters. Michele, her middle daughter, is focused on doing her homework. Abril, her eldest daughter, is occupied with her tutor Marie just a few tables away.
Rebecca has been involved with Project READ for over six years. She was the first in her family to receive tutoring sessions in order to improve her English. Rebecca says “the staff is really nice. I don’t speak English well and they helped me. I like all of them, and I really feel confident speaking with them.” She currently works with Sarah, her tutor, once a week mainly focusing on grammar and math. She wanted to describe Sarah to me but felt nice and patient didn’t adequately define her, so I suggested she look up the word nice in a thesaurus. Beaming with certainty she exclaimed, “Sarah is friendly, kindly, lovely and polite.”
Michele’s been going to Project READ with her mother ever since she was a baby. Since starting school, she loves doing homework with Monique, her favorite tutor and a KIP/FLIC program assistant. Little Karen adores Story Hour and playing games with her mother.
Abril loves volleyball, basketball and soccer. When it’s time to study, she receives assistance from Marie twice a week. Marie works as an attorney for Special Immigration Law and Foreign Immigration, specializing in matters involving children. She “helps out on the ground level” with tutoring. Marie goes on to say that, “Abril is a bright and sweet girl, it’s fun working with her.” Abril feels the same way, “Marie is nice and she actually does help.”
Over the years, the Castro family has benefitted from the various programs offered by Project READ. They have improved their reading skills and developed confidence during the process. They have made lasting friendships with the staff, their peers and tutors. It definitely is a family affair when it comes to the lovely Castro clan and Project READ.
Loretta Farris is a Project READ volunteer tutor and writes monthly Project READ blogs about our learners, families, volunteers and events . She has been awarded the "Spirit of Project READ Award" along with her learner Evelyn for their commitment to Project READ.