OAKLEY -- Oakley schools are continuing their effort to make sure "no student is left behind" by once again offering the Leer Para Crecer, or Read to Grow, event.
Last year, the event offered Latino parents a chance to increase dialogue with schoolteachers. This year, the group is expanding on the program, offering more workshops, as well as including entertainment and lunch. The event will take place at Gehringer Elementary School, 100 Simoni Ranch Road, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
The program began as an idea of Oakley Union Elementary School District board member Art Fernandez to form a committee of school administrators and parents to help bridge the gap between the two groups. It has morphed into a full program to reach out to families within the community.
This year, the program is allowing entrance to the daylong event to everyone, whether in this school district or not, according to Gabriella Baños-Galván, program director of You, Me, We Oakley.
"This is such an important and positive program for these families," Baños-Galván said. "It is open for both elementary and middle school aged families."
This year, the group has invited author Roxanne Ocampo, who will be presenting the importance of reading with children, as well as reading from her book, "10 Quetzal Mama Principals." The presentation will include a live translation from Baños-Galván.
"Quetzal Mama" is also the pen name of Ocampo. Ocampo's book, "Flight of the Quetzal Mama: How to Raise Latino Superstars and Get Them into the Best Colleges," identifies the child-rearing philosophy she adopted for her children and the unique pathway to college for Latino-American students. Her book helps parents develop and nurture our future leaders.
The group has also invited Oakley Mayor Kevin Romick to attend and read a book completely in Spanish. "Mayor Romick has spent the last few weeks working on learning how to read the book in Spanish," Baños-Galván said. "It is wonderful that he is willing to make the effort to learn for this event."
The event will also feature grade-appropriate workshops that target the K-2, 3-5 and 6-8 grade levels. All participants will receive free books and informational pamphlets to support parents in the implementation of the ideas they learn in the workshops. The Contra Costa County Library will also be on site to provide assistance in obtaining a library card.
After the workshops, the committee has invited "Teatro," which is Hispanic Theater, and Ballet Folklorico. The Teatro will include two short skits. The first is called "Los Viejitos," a comedy that deals with the interactions between two bickering but loving Hispanic grandparents. The second skit will be a short story performed by the Aztec Warrior "Xicano," who will be reciting the traditional Hispanic folkloric tale of how the rattlesnake got its fangs.
The O'Hara Park Middle School Ballet Folklorico group will perform traditional Mexican dances. This group is under the direction of Elisa Duarte, who is also a committee member. She will also be conducting an Introduction to Folklorico workshop for children. A Mexican lunch will be served.
Something new at this year's event is Comcast will be conducting a presentation offering computers and Internet services to those who qualify at a discount price. The committee's goal is to have participants obtain computer and Internet access. It also has invited Oakley La Clinica to provide health services information.
The committee is hoping that people will reserve a space so that it can get a total number who will be attending and order enough food. The event is free and sponsored by the Oakley Union Elementary School District and the city of Oakley's You, Me, We Oakley program.
For more information and to register, call 925-382-6016.