Encouraging Students to Read


All week long, HOLA will participate in the national celebration of literacy through our exceptional academic programs. SmartStart Elementary instructor Esmeralda received a special recognition from our partners at First Book for her proposal, entitling her class to receive an extra donation of beginning level reading books.

Children experience an immense amount of confidence when they learn how to read. It's through reading that they learn new vocabulary, critical thinking skills, reading comprehension, and writing skills. When children struggle with reading, they become easily discouraged in school and in life.

At HOLA, we encourage parents to read to their children, even if English is not their native language. It is so important for children to be read to in any language early on, to associate images with text, and to connect stories to their own lives.


A few years ago, our SmartStart Elementary Program had a student in 4th grade who did not like to read. He was falling below his grade level despite additional tutoring help, so he was encouraged to join one of HOLA's book clubs. It was an all boys book club that met for twelve weeks. Within that timespan, his reading comprehension went up, and he gained more confidence.

SmartStart Program Director, Brittany Mejia, attributes his success to the nurturing environment at HOLA. "He wasn't made fun of or bullied for not being able to read," she explains.

"Many of our students do not travel far. They haven't even been to the beach. It's one of their first outlets to the world. Reading opens up their imagination."

That's why HOLA was so happy to partner with Disney and First Book to bring the Magic of Storytelling Family Festival to our community earlier in January. Families were invited to select free books and participate in fun activities, photo ops, and more! Thousands of free, brand-new books for kids ages 0-18 were available to families and educators.

Educators lined up since 6:30 am to receive free books for the classroom. The line literally wrapped around the block

Disney stars made an appearance much to the delight of the students!


January 28, 2019