The importance of reading can never be underestimated. The staff of the Mission Promise Neighborhood — for which MEDA is the lead agency — always keep this fact front of mind when speaking to our families, whether at community-based organizations or in the four schools that comprise this federal education initiative.
To ensure that the historically underresourced community has the books they need to help their children thrive, the “Second Annual Mission Promise Neighborhood Holiday Book Giveaway & Resource Fair” was held Friday at MEDA’s Plaza Adelante.
Family Success Coach Manager Amelia M. Martinéz C. and her team have been hard at work planning the event.
“Our families were so appreciative of the donated books at the first holiday book giveaway last year, so I knew we had to hold another event this season. It definitely gets everyone in the holiday spirit and also serves as a way to give our families tools to help with reading,” explains Martinéz.
Collaboration with partners is always needed. That meant donations of hundreds of books — for infants to eighth-graders — from the San Francisco Public Library and Tandem, Partners in Early Learning, the latter having a designated room to hold storytime for infants to 6-year-olds. This activity was a definite success, based on the abundance of smiles on the faces of kids … and their parents.
Also joining as part of the resource fair were four partners. Good Samaritan Family Resource Center and Mission Neighborhood Centers availed parents of child care services, while the San Francisco Public Library and One Degree helped families connect to resources online and assisted those without an email to open an account.
In MEDA’s Digital Opportunity Center, parents with library cards were assisted in downloading free tickets to popular neighborhood attractions, including the Exploratorium. Holiday outings will definitely be amazing this December because of this “Discover and Go” activity.
To add a holiday touch, Papa Noel showed up (a.k.a. Executive Director Eddie Kaufman of Mission Graduates). Kids excitedly toting their new books took a picture with Santa. Kaufmann masterfully played his role, enthralling the youngsters.
To complete the community effort, volunteers from John O’Connell High School and promotoras (community outreach workers) were on hand.
¡Feliices pascuas y próspero año nuevo!