On a mission to inspire a love for reading

Kids these days! When we ask what a student does after our sessions at Vecinos Unidos, nine times out of ten it’s “play a video game.”

“What did you do this weekend?”

“Watch YouTube.”

“If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?”

“[Insert name of any popular YouTuber, TikTok-er, or gamer here].”

Technology has changed how these kids learn and grow—and it’s important to stay up-to-date with current trends and innovations. But admittedly, we love the moment when a student expresses excitement in a book. 

Most of our students are from non-native English speaking families, so it is critical that they read as much as English-language reading at home. Several struggle with basic phonics at grades 5 and 6.

This is one of the reasons we put so much effort into encouraging our kids to read. If we can help them improve their reading skills—and inspire a little creativity along the way—we know it will significantly increase their chances of becoming successful in any subject they choose to learn. 

Every winter and spring, we buy our students new books. This year we were a little behind schedule due to COVID-19, so we chose to buy our kids books for the summer. They each received two books to take home and keep. There seemed to be a few popular picks! 

Handing out books is just a small step towards closing literacy gaps, but it’s one we value strongly. The small things make a difference, and at the very least we know it makes our kids feel appreciated. Now it’s just a matter of checking in to see how their reading is coming along…

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