The Rapidian

Parent Spotlight: Schools of Hope Family Literacy Program

Monica Zavala, a parent participating in Schools of Hope Family Literacy Program, shares her experience.
Underwriting support from:

Schools of Hope Family Literacy Program

One of the greatest indicators of a child’s future success is the reading level of the parent. Our Family Literacy Program strives to improve the literacy and language skills of Grand Rapids Public School parents in order to better assist them in raising strong and successful readers.

Through a partnership with Schools of Hope, the Family Literacy Program provides free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to parents whose children attend participating Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Learn more about the Schools of Hope Family Literacy Program. 

Monica Zavala is a parent in our Schools of Hope Family Literacy Program. This posting reflects her writing ability at the time of her participation in the program. 

My name is Monica Zavala. I am from Mexico and I’ve been living in the USA for about 14 years. I have two sons and a daughter. My older son is Emmanuel who is 9 years old. Josue is 5 years old and my little one is Joselyn who is 2 years old.

I found the information about the Literacy Center when one day I went to a parents’ night at my children's school Cesar E. Chavez Elementary School. They gave me a brochure about ESL classes that would be provided in the school. So I decided to fill up the application. Few days later, a person from the Literacy Center called me and told me to start coming to the class. They told me the classes were going to be at school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m.

I like to come to the English classes because I need to improve my English and have a better communication with my children helping them with their homework. I want to have more fluency when I speak with my children's teacher and with other people.

Because I am the PAL [Parent Action Leader] from Cesar E. Chavez School, sometimes I need to communicate in English with other parents. I also need to attend meetings and they are only in English.

I am happy to come to the English classes. I feel more confident when I speak English with other people. In class, we are learning a lot of vocabulary and how to pronounce the words correctly. We are learning how to have conversations about the daily routine.

We should have more programs like this. It is really beneficial for everyone. We have fun and learn English at the same time, [while] our children are in a safe daycare that is provided by the Literacy Center for the parents who attend the class.

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