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Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Literacy Project Update

Hello everyone:

I just wanted to update you on the latest Literacy Project session. The meeting started out with an ice cream social in honor of two of our students graduation from middle school. El Centro supplied a nice assortment of ice cream and toppings, and the kids had a great time. Congratulations to the students A and G who worked so hard to achieve this goal. We are very proud of you, and hope to support you in your next educational goal....High School!

As we have some new mentors and students, we went around the table and everyone introduced themselves and said how they became involved with the project. The mentors have been encouraged to go to other rooms in El Centro to interact in a one-to-one with their students, and to minimize the feeling of being in a classroom. We want the Literacy Project to be a fun program as well as educational, and also want to ensure that the students receive individual attention that is becoming more difficult with the budget cutbacks.

Our new mentor, Doug Witkins, was at his first meeting and worked with one of our favorite students. The student is very fond of soccer, but his least favorite subject in school is history. Doug suggested that he view history like a game of soccer with the countries similar to teams vying for the same territories. When studying history, the student can identify the countries' motives for winning, and figure out how they could win. Thank you Doug! We are so happy you are part of our project, and we look forward to continue working with you.

The Project is heading into the summer months so we want to continue the program but with more activities to engage the students creatively. We will be looking at lists of books that are suggested curriculum in the reader. Also, a selection of movies for presentation will be helpful for creating a forum for the students to discuss their perceptions, and to write about them in their journals. Mentors are welcome to suggest other projects that might be imaginative ways of motivating the students to read and write during the school break.

Our dear mentor, Sydney Levine, is in Moscow but sends her love and support and will be home soon. When Sydney returns, we hope to plan for the summer activities so we can begin discussion of suggestions for projects, and present when Sydney returns. The following are some of the activities that have been suggested:

1. Movie Night with a Question & Answer period following the movie.
2. Film Project: Students select a book to adapt to a screenplay and then film the story. The students self select as director, producer, actors, production crew. It provides a nice group project for the students to analyze the book, and to work with one another. However, we will need cameras and equipment for this project.
3. Students write stories or poems that we collect for a book that we can produce for our students and their parents.
4. The Latino International Film Festival will be August 19-25, and I will have our students as well as all the El Centro students invited to a special day at the festival with a film screening. Transportation will need to be provided by El Centro.

Please send me and Carla any suggestions that you might have. Once again, I thank the El Centro staff, the mentors and the students for making The Literacy Project possible.

Luisa Crespo

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