By Nausha Brown Chavez, The READ Center Program Manager

The end of the school year brings about a lot of reflection. Teachers think about the pros and cons of the year; students remember what they have learned as the administration staff tries to take it all in. At the READ Center, things are no different! In the spirit of reflection, our Year End Celebration was the perfect way to close the 2018-19 school year. The day started a buzz as the staff prepared the building for the wonderful event that was happening in T-minus 2 hours. As items were being pulled from wagons, cars and an assortment of bags, one could feel the spirit of celebration taking over the space. Tables and chairs; check, decoration; check, food; check, guest; check, students; check. And so, the festivities began.

Students processing into the ceremony

The room was filled with admiring family, friends, tutors, teachers, friends of READ, board members and staff all ready to cheer our students on. As students entered the auditorium their faces were filled with surprise by the claps that filled the room. They sat and were still amazed by the applause. The program continues and they are center stage to be honored for their many achievements throughout the year.  Our students are a special group of people.

Friends & Family

They are adults ranging in age from 18 to 86 who have decided to go back to school to increase their literacy skills, so this is big. Some of our students have been told they can’t learn, they shouldn’t do it, it’s a waste of time and so on, but they are here achieving what they were told they couldn’t do – the impossible!

Pure joy was felt as names were being called for special honors bestowed upon certain students by their classmates for their tenacity and ability to persevere. You felt the admiration the students had for one another and you felt the sense of community and safety the READ Center provided for the year as students walked across the stage to receive their certificate and celebrate another letter written, book read, word learned, heartfelt story captured, goal accomplished and most of all a spirit of I CAN.