Parent Leaders Growing

It was the first day of Kids Club. Excitement was high as 42 young faces new and old arrived to begin the year. As they settled in amidst laugher and talking the doorbell rang. Who could it be? At the door was Irma, the mother of a 5th grader, with a special treat for everyone: her homemade arroz con leche (rice pudding). “I brought dessert on the first day of school because I wanted to help motivate the kids,” she remarked later. It was a sweet gesture showing her heart to positively affect the community.

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Meet Your New Local Leaders

(Photo left to right: Ms. Maria, Mr. Kalin, Ms. Fran and Ms. Diana)


Ms. Fran has lived here in Chirilagua since she was 9 months old. Growing up she wanted to be part of Kids Club, but due to the size and popularity of the program was never able to gain her spot due to the long waitlist. Instead, she and her family developed ongoing relationships with their neighbors who had been volunteering with Casa since its early days. It was these connections that later led her back to Casa as a Kids Club Assistant with the Local Leader program.

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750 Million People Can’t Read This

Halle sat and watched this video published by UNESCO for International Literacy Day stating that there are still 750 million people around the globe who cannot read or write, two-thirds of them being women. Afterwards she responded, “We have to take action and change the world. I want to raise awareness about literacy beginning with neighbors right here in our community.”


Her hope is that no one will be left behind. “There are many people who want to learn English, but this can be very difficult if they do not know how to read and write in their primary language. I think we can begin bringing change by teaching others in our community how to read and write in Spanish,” she says.

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“You are not forgotten.”

One of Maria’s strengths is her patience. Every day she genuinely seeks to connect with each individual student in Kids Club. She finds that some students connect easily with their leaders – while other students remain reserved, requiring patience and creativity to build deeper relationships. These are the students she seeks out most on a daily basis.


“I want every student to know they are seen and that they are special to me, as well as the rest of the class,” says Maria, who is in her second year as a Kids Club assistant in Casa’s Local Leader program.

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