At the beginning of the school year, one of our speech therapists, Michelle St. Aubin, asked her 5th and 6th grade students Areli and Jerrtavia: “What would you change if you could change something in your community and/or school.” As girls who love to read, one of their responses was to bring more books into the classrooms. “We want better test scores and a chance to get a good job someday.”
St. Aubin said she felt a lightbulb go off. “My agency loves encouraging readers. We love giving away books. I knew I could do something to help them actually do something about their dream.” St. Aubin took her idea to our executive director, Jean Silbar, recent winner of the Family Future’s Lifetime Child Advocate Award.
St. Aubin explained, “This was a wonderful opportunity for us to collaborate with partners in the schools and at Molina Healthcare to bring literacy and libraries to the classrooms at Hope Academy. It’s not often the children with language impairments are able to step up, speak up, and be effective communicators to make things happen.”
“Molina Healthcare is really excited to be a part of bringing these two young women’s dreams to life, getting books in the schools,” said Benicia Kyle, Community Engagement Coordinator at Molina.
The partnership brought 400 books for classroom libraries for Hope Academy.
The books will be presented this Friday morning, June 5th, at 9:45am. Silbar, St. Aubin, Kyle, Dr. Cleo (Molina’s mascot), and, of course, Areli and Jerrtavia, will go from classroom to classroom to set up the libraries.
“We’re helping students achieve their dreams,” St. Aubin said. “What better way to end the school year than that?”
Watch for pictures from Friday’s distribution of the books. This brings tears to my eyes to watch how much these two young ladies have grown as part of this project.