YPI Promise School program provides summer enrichment that helps children fall in love with reading, increase their self-esteem, and generate more positive attitudes toward learning.
One of the key components of the program is exposing the participants to community leaders who come and read a small portion of a book of their choosing to both staff and participants and talk briefly about their background. It allows participants to connect with various leaders who live and work in their community.
This past Wednesday, YPI’s Chief Operations Officer Iris Zuniga, read Chicana Falsa And Other Stories of Death, Identity, and Oxnard by the late Michele Serros. Zuniga told participants she chose this book because it was the first book she read in which she truly identified with the author and style of writing. The use of Spanish slang and the stories about family and friends really resonated with how Zuniga grew up.
The excerpt Zuniga chose to read was the story of Serros’ mother purchasing a heavy-duty desk for the author with the dream that the next great American novel would be written upon that desk. The author ended up feeling resentment and frustration at her mother’s high expectation and it wasn’t until her mother’s passing that she looked at the symbol of the desk in a completely different way. Zungia also experienced a similar situation when her carpenter father built her an enormous desk nailed to the wall for her to do her homework. The desk became a special place for her and now she views it as her parent’s dedication to her education.
The read aloud activity takes place daily Monday - Friday from 8:45 a.m.-9:30 a.m. from June 22nd to July 24th at Bert Corona Charter School is Arleta, CA.