by Sarah Flanigan

Empowering Parents Coordinator

English Skills Learning Center

A few weeks ago, we began implementing our Parents Engaged in Everyday
Reading (PEER) lessons in the English Skills Learning Center’s Empowering
Parents classes at elementary schools.  We are very excited about this
new component of our classes.

Each PEER lesson uses a children’s book to teach parents strategies
for reading with their children and activities that they can do with
their family after reading the book.  The lessons are taught by the
volunteer teacher who regularly works with the class and an ESLC staff
member.  Our goal is to get parents involved in their children’s
reading, encouraging their children to read at least twenty minutes a
day and making reading a special family activity.  Each parent who
participates in the lesson receives a copy of the book to keep.

Rachel Blackmer, the ESLC’s Associate Director, shared this story
about the PEER lesson she taught today.  “During our PEER lesson,
when we were reading our book together,Yolanda’s son climbed into her
lap and started pointing to the pictures in the book and talking to
his mother about them. He wanted her to read it to him right then!
Yolanda told us that her son loves books and she was so happy to be
able to take the book home with her to read to him in English.”

We appreciate the support of our sponsors who have made this exciting
new program possible!