Summer Reading Program Serves Neighborhood Need

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Texas Border Business

This is the time of year when many children get involved in summer activities. However, the neighborhood around McAllen ISD’s Fields Elementary had a unique problem that was solved through a partnership between the school and the First Presbyterian Church of McAllen.

“This partnership was an idea that came up at our Site-Based Decision-Making Committee meeting three years ago from our business and parent representatives,” Fields Principal Rosey Solis-Guerra said. “Because we do not have a library (branch) or Boys & Girls Club in the Fields area, we started brainstorming ideas for a summer reading program within our school zone.”

That’s what led to their SOS (Securing Our Success) Club. This is the third year for the Summer Reading Program at Fields. About 55 students are participating.

The program now has a music teacher (drums), art teacher, reader’s theater and literacy intervention. In fact, every child gets a free book each day as part of the Molina Foundation.

The Molina Foundation is a national non-profit organization which works with community-based organizations in vulnerable communities and serves low-income and at-risk families.

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Children also receive breakfast and lunch through the district’s Summer Feeding Program. The sessions are Monday-Thursday each week in June. The students participate from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The camp is based at the First Presbyterian Church at 104 S. 12th St. in McAllen.