February Story: Centennial BOCES/Migrant Christmas Fiesta Committee Book Project

Growing numbers of migrant families are entering Weld County and come from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Many have refugee status and speak a language other than English in their home. These languages include Spanish, Somali, Burmese, Karenni and Karen.

The book project was designed to bring a family literacy component to these migrant households. Using funding from The Community Foundation Serving Greeley and Weld County and other sources, the committee provided books to 756 families, far exceeding the goal stated in the grant application of 600 books.

As these remarks show, families were thrilled with the program:

“My 4-year old daughter was so inspired by the picture book Journey that after she read it, she decided to make her own picture book and share her story with others.  My little girl is now writing books!” (Karen speaking mom)

“The book was a nice Christmas gift, but the best part is when you reminded us that the real gift is making time to read with our children at home.” (translation of Spanish-speaking dad).

“Thank you for my book award. I love reading this book because it rhymes, and I like that.” (3rd grade boy)

GRANT PROGRAM DETAILS:
  • CFSGWC Grant that Funded the Program - Littler Youth Fund. Click here to learn more about this fund.
  • Amount of Grant Funds Given to the Program - $6,000
  • Funding dates:  Awarded in February 2016. The project ran from May to December of the same year.
  • Program Impact / Need Met: The primary goal of the project was to strengthen and improve reading skills of migrant children and their parents by disseminating culturally and linguistically appropriate books that children would choose to read at home. This is important because research demonstrates that children who have access to books in their home which they chose to read, are more likely to be college and workforce ready.  Benefits also extend to the community because when newcomer migrant families strengthen their literacy and communication skills, they also increase their capacity to more fully participate in the community as responsible and productive citizens.
  • ​Program Structure: The group integrated a family literacy component within their three main events in 2016:
    1. The Outstanding Migrant Student and High School Graduation Celebration held in May
    2. The Migrant Christmas Fiestas held in December
    3. The Parent and Community Engagement Initiative classes and activities which took place September – December.

       Three childrens’ books were given to families during these events:

        “Oh, The Places You’ll Go”, by Dr. Seuss (distributed in May)

        “Journey”, by Aaron Becker (distributed in December)

        “The Oxford Picture Dictionary” (distributed at Parent/Community Engagement Initiative classes).

Books were recommended and selected with the assistance of the outreach librarian for the High Plains Library District.

For more information about this project, contact info@cfsgwc.org.