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March 8, 2016

Casa de la Esperanza Partners with Longmont Public Library on Reading Program

Nine-week program focuses on getting children excited about reading

Boulder County, Colo. - Casa de la Esperanza has
partnered with the Longmont Public Library to strengthen the Casa de la
Esperanza Learning Center’s recently-established Breaking Barriers reading
program, which serves the community’s elementary-age students.

Participants in the
reading program–who range in age from six to nine years old–meet twice each
week at the Casa de la Esperanza Learning Center. The program is supported by
Casa’s youth interns, who conduct fun and interactive reading and writing
exercises and craft projects with the program participants.

Breaking Barriers was launched
last summer by Casa de la Esperanza Program Assistant Vanessa Escarcega and by Claire
McPeak, a senior at Dawson School in Lafayette and a regular Casa volunteer. McPeak
received a scholarship to fund a two-week program last summer and had enough money
remaining to support the current nine-week program, which runs through

“We’re very excited about this partnership,” said Claire. Breaking Barriers teaches the importance of language and the
different forms of communication we have. We can read, speak, write, act, or
create art to share connections through communication.”

In January, program
participants took a field trip to the Longmont Public Library where they were
hosted by bilingual children’s librarian Amy Fontenot. Each child received a
library card and a tour of the library and all were encouraged to participate
in the library’s free Summer Reading Program, which starts in late May.

“I want children to
know what a valuable gift they’ve been given to be bilingual,” Amy said. “And
to parents, I want to emphasize how important those language skills are for
children’s brain development, for sustaining our community’s diverse culture,
and for their children’s future education and career opportunities.”

The current Breaking
Barriers program will conclude March 17 with a celebratory field trip to Dizzy
Family Fun Center in Longmont. Casa de la Esperanza is currently exploring
funding options to support another program this summer.

About Casa de la Esperanza

Casa de la Esperanza is
a 32-unit residential community dedicated to helping agricultural workers. The
community is owned and operated by the Boulder County Housing Authority in the
City of Longmont. This center provides educational and recreational services to
Casa residents, including an onsite “after-school” program and academic center.

Boulder County’s
Community Action Programs (CAP) worked with the Boulder County Commissioners,
the Boulder County Housing Authority and other community members to make this housing
community a reality. The first migrant families moved in during the fall of
1993. CAP staff worked with the site manager to hire a bilingual coordinator in
June 1994.

The Casa de la Esperanza Learning Center
operates Mondays through Thursdays throughout the year, with occasional weekend
activities, and offers a variety of internship and volunteer opportunities.
Interested individuals should contact Learning Center Program Coordinator
Vanessa Escarcega at or 303-678-6220.