What is a ‘normal’ day like at Jamestown? It’s a mixture of routine -- and being surprised! The ritual of setting up educational materials, art projects and literacy activities and cleaning them all up somehow never seems boring. And the kids and family members are always teaching me new things. Each day I interact with children growing and exploring by the minute and excited families who are eager to support the healthy development of their kids. Included in the mix are meetings with kindergarten teachers, staff at other community agencies and trying to document what I do along the way.Why is childhood literacy so important to these communities? Early Literacy is a key component of our Early Education Program. We have 75 children a year between birth and age five who attend one of our weekly parent-child groups, our Kindergarten Readiness Program or whose family members attend our Family Literacy workshops. Almost all of our children are English Language Learners and many of them don’t have any formal early education experience. Helping their parents be outstanding first teachers is vital in ensuring that the children be set up for success upon entering the public school system. Having a strong foundation of literacy skills in their home language will better prepare them for success in school.
Can you tell us how a client or family has benefitted from your organization?
One mother, a recent immigrant from Guatemala, has a 16 month old daughter. She and her husband share a very small room in an overcrowded living situation and her husband works long hours in a restaurant. This mother is incredibly dedicated to the education of her daughter and committed to doing whatever it takes to guarantee the best option for her future. The lively pair attends our Early Education programs twice a week and never misses a parent workshop, literacy event or parent meeting. The mom is constantly asking questions and is hungry for articles and resources to better support her family. Through connections made at our program she has started taking English classes, now has a public library card (inserted link to SF Public Library here) for herself and her child, and attends other fun and stimulating programs around the neighborhood. She has also shared her positive experiences with other recently immigrated moms at the park and brought several of them with her to our program. She now has a decent collection of bilingual books at home and a ton of ideas about how to share them daily with a toddler on the go!
If there was one thing you could say to a potential donor, what would it be?
|Celebrating Jamestown's Spirit Day|
There is nothing in the world more gratifying than seeing parents and family members fall in love with reading along with their child. The privilege to facilitate a passion for life-long learning and connections between children and the adults who care for them is priceless. Whether it means purchasing books for distribution or supporting direct programming, this is TRULY the gift that never stops giving.
To read the latest news on the Jamestown Community Center, go to www.jamestownsf.org