To succeed in school—and life—children need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills such as reading and math. Though children look forward to the rest and relaxation of summer, it is also important to keep them engaged in learning activities. This is especially true during the summer months, when many children who do not participate in educational enrichment activities experience learning losses.
Each summer, in June, the New Mexico Office of African American Affairs (OAAA) joins with Governor Susana Martinez’s Summer Reading Challenge to create a learning program for children.
Albuquerque based storyteller Brenda Hollingsworth-Marley worked with children at two community centers by sharing rich cultural folktales and stories. Children at Caesar Chavez and Thomas Bell Community Centers experienced the development of language, literacy, listening, reading comprehension, and oral/written expression.
Hollingsworth-Marley engaged the children with word games, musical instruments, create-a-book activities, and other learning projects. They were also encouraged to go to their local library and obtain a library card.
Another great experience for the children was having Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera and Miss New Mexico (Alexic Duprey) visit and read to the children.
This successful literacy program pilot is part of the focus of the state of New Mexico’s Office of African American Affairs. One of the initiatives of the office is to support the advancement of education for children across the state.
For more information about the summer literacy program please contact Beverly Jordan at the Office of African American Affairs at (505)383-6220 or email Beverly.Jordan@state.nm.us.