Newly-funded CBCS project

Newly-funded CBCS project "LEER" underway this past summer

USF School of Social Work and the Hispanic Services Council Community-University LEER (which means "to read" in Spanish) Collaborative Project, is a newly-funded project in CBCS by the Sociological Foundation Initiative. It began this summer in the North Tampa and Wimauma communities. 

Prior to school ending, the team carefully purchased culturally-relevant, age-appropriate bilingual books for children and their parents. While we waited for the books to arrive, we conducted outreach with the assistance of community parent leaders, including interviews with parents and teachers about the role of reading among Latino children and families. Once the books arrived, the reading circles in both communities began.

Throughout the summer, community parent leaders engaged children and parents in a discussion regarding last week's assigned book, reviewing vocabulary words and introducing the upcoming book for the week, "Tortoise and the Tare" a beloved classic among English and Spanish speakers. Shortly after, the parents paired up with their children and began reading the Spanish text of the bilingual book to their children, after which the children read the English text to their parents. 

Once the session was over, the children carefully placed the week's new book in their USF backpack, and together with their parents, committed to continue reading the book throughout the week. The cycle continued throughout the summer with brand new books. We are pleased that the goal of enhancing the children's reading levels through parental involvement is underway.  The children and the parents' excitement and enthusiasm for reading is contagious. What an excellent way to promote reading within families and promote health literacy!