NEW ROCHELLE, NY — At a recent workshop, Spanish-speaking parents of Davis Elementary students learned to replicate the reading style of teachers so that they could read to their children at home. The effort was such a success that a second workshop is planned for this school year.
Ximena Navarro, a teaching assistant who works with second-graders, wanted to show parents how educators read to their children in a classroom setting. She also wanted to guide families in monitoring the level of their children’s reading comprehension and to help create a home library by providing them with books.
“I wanted to support families,” Navarro said. “I want them to see the way we – teachers and teaching assistants – read the book so they can help their children at home.”
The workshop, made possible through a $200 grant from the district’s Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA), was held at the New Rochelle Public Library to make evening travel easier for parents. Navarro said the grant was made possible because of SEPTA’s commitment to funding programs tied to literacy.
Navarro said it was fulfilling to work with the 11 families who attended because they wanted to do whatever they could to support their children’s education.
“I saw their reactions,” Navarro said. “I tried to find books that have a message and stories that would be easy for them to read at home.”
A bonus to holding the workshop at the public library was that Navarro was able to help some parents begin the process of applying for a library card.