HOPE in ACTION
Hope through Housing Foundation Commemorates Reading
Read Across America Day is the nation’s largest celebration of reading. Every March 2, to honor the birthday of beloved children’s book author, Dr. Seuss, readers of all ages and levels are encouraged to pick up a book and read. To celebrate Read Across America Day this month, the Hope through Housing Foundation hosted events at National CORE’s properties across the Inland Empire and San Diego focused on motivating our youth to get engaged with reading. Donning colorful Dr. Seuss-themed attire, volunteers and Hope through Housing team members gathered at our afterschool programs to read the author’s iconic book, Green Eggs and Ham, and led an activity in which kids created drawings of their least favorite foods.
Read Across America Day is just one of the many ways that Hope through Housing supports academic achievement for our children and teens. Our afterschool programs provide a safe haven for children during the critical afterschool hours. Located in the communities where our children live, the after-school program provides the foundation for future success, offering homework help, enrichment and character-building activities, and a place where children can grow and thrive.
Reading Opens New Worlds
It is Thursday afternoon – and children begin trickling into the after-school program located at our Sunset Heights community. The calming sound of ocean waves can be heard as chairs start sliding across the floor and the children take their seats. Stephanie Joseph, always with a ready smile, warmly welcomes each child as she prepares for the day.
Stephanie, a Youth and Services Coordinator at Sunset Heights, has more than 20 years of experience working with children. At Sunset Heights, Stephanie oversees the after-school program, the Teen Club and a monthly senior’s program. Within the community, Stephanie is known for going above and beyond for residents of all ages, listening to their needs and sharing local resources.
“When we service the kids here at the after-school program, we are servicing the whole child because we are part of their village,” Stephanie said, emphasizing the need to extend her support to the child’s entire household. “A lot of this job consists of establishing trust and relationships with the residents, so I like to let them know that I am here to serve and assist.”
Building Out a Child’s Village
For the month of March, we have been encouraging kids across our communities to read through a month-long reading challenge.
Children who have not developed basic literacy skills are four times more likely to drop out of school in later years. Hope through Housing has started implementing reading programs that support residents on their journey to college and career readiness.
“The kids are competitive and really excited! The challenge has created a healthy pressure for literacy improvement,” said Director of Program Quality and Data Management, Dixie Torres about the competition between some of the National CORE properties.
Women of Hope’s Literacy Mission
The Women of Hope continue to make an enormous impact on children in our region, championing the Building Bright Futures (BBF) Initiative and supporting literacy activities, after-school programs and raising funds for scholarships. On March 8, Women of Hope volunteers helped to redesign the community center at Villaggio, one of their many local remodeling efforts, that include reading corners – creating a space where children can unlock their imagination through stories. The nooks are decorated with floor pillows, bookshelves and large literacy trees made of paper that overlook the children as they immerse themselves in new worlds.
“We hope that it is a space they feel proud of and are willing to take care of because when it is a space they love, they are more enthusiastic about going to the after-school program,” said Director of Program Quality and Data Management Dixie Torres.
To see our kids’ reactions when their newly improved community room was unveiled, take a look at the reveal video here.
Sip & Shop
Need boots for the upcoming Beauty, Bubbles, and Bites event? Join the Women of Hope for an evening of fun at the brand new Tecovas boot store in Victoria Gardens! Receive a 15% discount on your purchase that night. Beverages and appetizers will be provided. Couples welcome!
HOPE IN ACTION
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