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A Morning & A Night of Community Literacy

Ocotillo and Maldonado PACE Families

A Morning and A Night of Community Literacy with Ocotillo and Maldonado PACE Families

Cafecita1.jpgDuring their first year in the major, ECE pre-service teachers are busy completing their course work. In addition, through CREATE organized community activities students also spent time building relationships with mentor teachers, children, their parents, as well as their assigned site communities.

Cafecita2.jpgThe morning of Tuesday, April 3rd pre service teachers from the Ocotillo Sunnyside  Cohort hosted a Language Arts morning Cafecito through their Language Development and Emergent Literacy class.  In addition to all participating Case Study families, four early childhood classrooms were invited to join in the various project activities.

Cafecita3.jpgThrough collaborative time spent in class students were able to create centers that included read-a-loud, music, science, and art.  With a combination of learned concepts from their coursework and established relationships with families, students felt supported and secure in their role of hosting, sharing a learning experience, and some fun too!

Cafecita4.jpgOn the night March 29th, 2012 40 children from Maldonado’s PACE classrooms and their families were invited for a Family and Community Literacy Night.  Student’s from the TUSD section of cohort 5 hosted the night and were able to apply what they’ve learned through coursework, community involvement, and engage case study families.  Through classroom discussion and planning, students were able to design early literacy activities that could draw on children’s alphabetical and phonological knowledge, but most important was their integration and sharing of stories around the identified themes for the centers.


When the evening was in the early planning stages we suggested to Maldonado teacher’s that we could bring dinner as a way to make the evening turn out a little better and to alleviate the dinner time crunch that usually discourage families from attending school night events.  Instead of having us do so, Brenda and Ann, the PACE teachers, shared with us that when they gathered for family events families often asked to bring food to share with everyone so instead, we provided staples such as paper plates, cups, silverware, and drinks.

The evening featured 5 different literacy centers that were inspired by PACE founder Cecilia Avalos’ books and were hosted and designed by the TUSD section of cohort 5.  Children, their families and pre-service teachers started the night by interacting and engaging with each other at the various centers. Each family was given a tote with a copy of each of the Avalos books to take home along with a book of their choice that was provided by Reading Seed.

Centers featured seed planting, book making, creative role-playing, and tortilla making.  At one point in the evening, pre service teachers, CREATE faculty, and families were surrounding the tortilla center and sharing stories and recipes from there own childhood!

To bring the evening to a close, students invited families to enjoy dinner.  The menu consisted of tostadas that were made with fresh ingredients made by different families and a dessert, chocoflan, that was the specialty of the house.

Through the collaboration and planning efforts of the two PACE Maldonado teachers and pre-service teachers, faculty and staff from CREATE, students put together an incredible night where all had fun learning together!

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