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Amy Welch - Amigos de La Cruz
July 23, 2016

Carmen and her Passion - the La Cruz children.

For those of you in La Cruz, you noticed that Friday was promotion day at the Elementary School (grades 1-6). For many students completing grade 6, they and their families will choose not to continue the child's schooling, even though the government has mandatory education through grade 8.

If you're a regular reader of these Amigos blasts, you know about Carmen Tapia. As a retired bilingual Reading Recovery teacher from Tucson, she has volunteered her time and energy in working with the La Cruz elementary school students. Carmen's goal is that children in the first and second grade, will be able to read and write Spanish at grade level by grade three.

Through donations from her former Tucson elementary school, and through the generosity of those who have read about Carmen and her work, she has acquired library books, rugs, chairs, tables, individual white boards (she needs more), and the list goes on. But in this struggling rural school, there is little furniture and books provided by the government. There is so much more to do.

Carmen is beginning to make change, but it takes significant dollars and materials to help not only her classroom, but those classrooms of the other teachers. There are over 400 students in the AM session, and 200+ in the PM session. Teachers try to do their best, but they have no books and no materials to work with - they rely on the kindness of others.

And as you may know, there are children coming into Carmen's classroom during recess - just to read books from her library. Even some of the fifth and sixth grade students want to visit Carmen's classroom, the library. Carmen wants to keep the books and room clean.  

When she meets the children at the door, each one of the children knows the rules, and shows that they have washed their hands before they enter the room. And children take off their shoes if they are sitting on a rug.

Here are Carmen's words:
Library Books

I would like early chapter books that have some drawings intertwined with the story, they will be a good addition for the coming school year, these early chapter books would ease the transition into higher level reading for the children who have passed to third grade or higher.

I would like Fables with some kind of drawing that would introduce them to a new genre while providing a moral teaching and good values for students to reflect upon.

Reading Program

I’m a retired teacher from the State of Arizona with a Reading and Writing Endorsement as well as Reading Recovery training. In November 2014, as a volunteer, I started a Reading and Writing program at the elementary school in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico.

This is a school with a low socioeconomic level population where some of the parents can’t read or write. The goal of the program is to target first and second graders with a two-year intervention program which will get them reading and writing at grade level by third grade.
This year 41% of the second graders reached this goal or higher, the more successful students started the program knowing only 33 letters of the alphabet in November 2014 and exhibited conduct problems; they finished second grade in June 2016 reading at fourth grade level with better than average behavior.
To get better results we need specific tools to help us increase our success rate. Next school year we are faced with 10 students coming to second grade that do not know the alphabet.
To be successful, our program needs books for teacher instruction. These are leveled books in packs of 6, each title specifically uses guided reading. Each packet gives us pre- and post tests to measure success.

The cost of this collection from Scholastic is $2,135.95 US Dollars.
Guided Reading en Español.
Complete set.
Levels 1-12; Supplementary Collection…..$2135.95
item # NTS966911
ISBN 9780439669115
Scholastic The Teacher Store

Thanks for caring for the education of our less advantaged students.

How can you help?

If you can bring books for the library to La Cruz, great!
If you can mail books to an Amigo to bring down - please let us know.
If you can donate money for Carmen to purchase the Scholastic Collection or purchase library books - that's all wonderful.

Any help is appreciated.

If you'd like US Tax Credit, please donate through Banderas Bay Charities, Inc.

If you'd like Canadian Tax Credit, please donate through Canadian Children's Shelter of Hope Foundation.

If you'd like Mexican Tax Credit, please donate to Amigos de La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, A.C. We do have donatario status.

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