Little by little we are seeing the results of the seed we are planting on the reading program, projects. Here is a small story of second grader Elvin a student at our bilingual school.
When I became a teacher assistant in the preschool classroom, I met all of the kids in that class – which to date I call my kids. There I met Elvin, he was of those tiny people who are anxious to learn. In every conversation we had I was impressed because of the vocabulary words he was using. And if the conversation allowed a word that was new to him, he would always ask for its meaning. I always saw his enthusiasm for books, but he always said, ‘’I am a Mathematics guy, teacher’’. He had developed many skills in all subjects he was taking at that time, but for sure he had more inclination towards Math.
I was surprised when at the beginning of the 2021 school year, one day as I was walking around school I saw Elvin standing in front of a garden, looking at the flowers. I greeted him and with enthusiasm he answered back; and our conversation began. He told me, ‘’I now know how to read Miss,’’ and off we went up to the school library. With excitement I observed him as he looked for a book and in that same moment, he read it to me. He looked for a second one and once again he did read it to me. I was amazed! For a second grader it was a lot, I thought; especially because they did not spend enough time at school last year due to the pandemic. And that is when I understood the role that a responsible parent can play in the education of their children.
His mother helps him on his reading projects at home, and every time he reads she is with him. They have worked on how words with accent marks are pronounced in the Spanish language, and he also does intonation for sentences that require it. Although his mother does not speak English she always listens to him when he reads. When he was done with reading, that day in the library, he asked if he could take a book home. I said, “Sure,” and so he did. In about a week he brought it back, and since then he has been taking books home.
Seeing kids coming to school is always going to be an exciting thing in my teacher mind, but seeing kids coming to the library and asking for books is powerful; so, this is a moment I will forever keep in my heart!