FALLBROOK – Nearly 500 Fallbrook parents, children and adult volunteers put the core values of the late civil and labor rights leader, Cesar E. Chavez, to work on Saturday, March 27 at the Fifth Annual Fallbrook A Leer/Reading Family Literacy Day, Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning.
Seventy students and nearly 100 adults exemplified the core value of service to others by conducting the annual event and hundreds of parents and children also followed another of Chavez’s core values, knowledge and education, as they streamed into Maie Ellis auditorium that day to learn more about how to establish and maintain a family tradition of reading at home.
March 31, Cesar Chavez’ birthday is the official California State holiday recognizing the contributions of Chavez. Fallbrook has celebrated the legacy of Chavez through this event for the past five years. The event encourages reading as a family activity. Research shows that children who are read to at home perform much better academically and are more likely to maintain a love of reading as a lifelong practice.
Fallbrook A Leer/Reading also emphasizes community service as an important aspect of maintaining healthy and safe neighborhoods.
Sixth grade students from La Paloma and Live Oak Elementary Schools and students from Potter Junior High School and Fallbrook High School volunteered at the event performing a myriad of duties. Members from the community and FUESD staff also volunteered as organizers of the event and as guest readers for the over 200 preschool through sixth grade students who attended.
Activities included workshops for parents in English and Spanish and a story circuit for children, which consisted of different stories read to groups of children by the 35 volunteer guest readers.
The workshops were presented by Stacey Larson-Everson of FUESD and Monica Nava and Antonio Mora of the San Diego County Office of Education. Each family received a free book about Cesar Chavez and children were given 2-3 additional books from hundreds donated by organizations and individuals. Fallbrook Branch Librarian Cecilia Rincon brought the San Diego County Library Bookmobile where they conducted tours and informed parents and students about library services and programs.
Live Oak sixth grader Tatiana Arias is the 2010 winner of the “Legacy of Cesar Chavez” essay contest, sharing with the audience how the Si Se Puede (Yes, I can!) attitude instilled in her by her mother and grandmother has given her the wherewithal to be the best she can be and work toward her full potential. She received a Si Se Puede t-shirt from the National Chavez Center, a gift certificate from Barnes and Noble, and a biography book about Cesar Chavez.
The grassroots committee is fortunate to be able to provide this event free of charge to the participants, thanks to the generosity of community organizations and businesses such as the Fallbrook Angel Society, Northgate Market, Major Market, Albertson’s, La Bonita Market and many other businesses and individuals.
For more information on how you can volunteer for or donate to the 2011 Fallbrook A Leer/Reading Family Literacy Day, call Leticia Maldonado/Stamos at Live Oak Elementary School, (760) 731-4478 or (760) 468-0362.