Monday, April 30, 2012

The Prashars: A Project READ Family

Rimple Prashar and her eleven-year old daughter Kelly and five-year old son Kushel come to Project READ three to four times a week. Originally from Punjabi, India, English is Rimple’s second language. Her native language is Hindi; however, she learned English during her high school years, and she receives tutoring from Project READ weekly. She is a busy homemaker and doesn’t have enough time to read leisurely, but she always makes time to read to her son at night. “I love this program, and I also receive tutoring from my daughter!” Project READ allows that additional time together, and they never stop learning as individuals and as a family.

In addition to school, Kelly has a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwando. Kelly loves coming to the library. In fourth grade her teacher referred her to Project READ to help her out with her reading skills and she’s been coming ever since. Kelly loves working with Gil Gaeta, the Family Literacy Center Student /Tutor Coordinator and Monique Rodriquez. Kelly says, “They really help me, especially with my math.” I asked Kelly about reading and she replied, “Reading is really good, I get help with the meaning of words.” She likes to read mystery novels and crime books. Kelly is also a pre-teen tutor, “I like the kids, especially the little ones, Kindergarten through second grade. The kids choose the books they want me to read.” I asked her if she wanted a family of her own when she grew up and she said, “Yes I would like to read to them.”
Like his big sister Kelly, Kushel takes Tae Kwando and likes to swim. He is a gentle little boy who is learning how to read at Project READ from the great teen volunteers.  His mother was surprised about how much Kushel has progressed. His favorite stories to read are Batman comic books. I think Kelly sums up her experience at Project READ not only for herself, but her family as well when she says, “Project READ is a great place to get tutoring. You don’t feel shy, you feel comfortable and that makes you want to come here. No one pushes you to do something you don’t want to.”
When my interview is done, I take a picture of the Prashar Family and head to the office where the staff works. I had the pleasure of running into Kathy Endaya, the director of Project READ. I briefly summarize my interview and Kathy appreciates what  Kelly says about Project READ and adds that the program provides “a flexibility of learning”. 

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.

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