Each semester, juniors and senior Spanish National Honor Society members at The Weber School participate in a community service project. This semester, Weber joined its longtime community partner Los Niños Primero for a virtual reading buddy program.
“Societally, we know that literacy is one of the most powerful tools to fight poverty,” said Olivia Rocamora, a Weber Spanish teacher and dean of Spanish. “I cannot underscore enough how what our kids at Weber are doing is life-changing work for the Los Niños Primero kids.”
Rocamora, who is half-Cuban and a board member at LNP, notes how critical literacy is to future success. “While the pandemic made it challenging to engage in meaningful service learning, we were determined to continue deepening our relationship and commitment to our neighbors at Los Niños Primero.”
She added, “Seeing the beaming faces of both our Weber students and Los Niños Primero students during this program was a bright light during a dark year, and I cannot wait to see how this program evolves in the future.”
Two to three times a week, Weber students and their “buddies” in Los Niños Primero’s early literacy program met via Zoom to read together in Spanish and English. This approach helped reinforce the LNP students’ English and Spanish language skills, while Weber students practiced their Spanish.
Weber junior Pnina Sasson said she is looking forward to continuing her participation in the program next year. “This program gave me a chance to improve my Spanish speaking skills while making connections with children I otherwise wouldn’t meet. I really looked forward to my reading sessions with them; they made my day every time!”
The program fits into Weber’s mission, which includes responsibility to serve the community and improve the world.
In related news, Weber’s Spanish National Honor Society was nationally awarded Chapter of the Year out of 2,900 eligible chapters, the school reported.