Earlier this month, Mayes Elementary School in Denison finished a literacy program for Latino families to understand the importance of reading and help parents learn English vocabulary and grammar. It’s been a few weeks since I wrote about the Mayes Latino Literacy Project but it’s an experience that cannot be easily forgotten.

Earlier this month, Mayes Elementary School in Denison finished a literacy program for Latino families to understand the importance of reading and help parents learn English vocabulary and grammar. It’s been a few weeks since I wrote about the Mayes Latino Literacy Project but it’s an experience that cannot be easily forgotten.


Fifteen families met every Thursday night for an hour and a half to read picture books in Spanish. After reading the story in class, parents brought the book home to read with their children in both languages. Just like their children, the parents were also responsible for homework assignments to help them learn English.


When I first arrived to the class, I quickly realized the program recognized cultural differences. Latino families primarily focus on oral stories, while American families choose to share stories from a book. Instead of identifying the difference as a weakness, educators encouraged families to fuse together characteristics of both cultures to create a stronger family.


My favorite part of the reporting process was interviewing mothers who had participated in the program. Two of the mothers I interviewed did not speak fluent English, and we used a campus interpreter to communicate.


Although I did not understand every single word they said, the two ladies made a special mark on my heart. My mother is from the Philippines and English is her second language. After years of being in the U.S., she is fluent in English, but I know there are times when she does not understand what I’m saying.


But they understood the significance of what they were learning. Just by the tone of their voices, I could hear they knew learning English would help themselves and their children.


I truly believe being bilingual only helps bring the world a little closer together, and I hope these children go above and beyond with their language skills. To say the least, it was a privilege to experience the Mayes Latino Literacy Project.



Happy birthday Monday to Sharon A. Taylor, Ariana Robinson, Joe Lynn Fitzsimmons, Tanishia Andrews, Tamika Brown, and Alaric Winfrey, all of Sherman; Effie Scruggs and Kevin Harper, both of Denison; Martha Wilkerson of Whitewright; Jimmy Hardy of Bonham; LaRonda Scales of Mesquite; Margaret Johnson of Washington, D.C.; and Grayson Bevels of Woodworth, Louisiana;


Happy anniversary Monday to Chuck and Kelly Walker of Pottsboro, 19 years;