The Border View Family YMCA collaborates with the Chula Vista Elementary School District to offer literacy programming at Los Altos and Silver Wing Elementary Schools to 60 students. The program provides 45 minutes of direct literacy instruction to students 1st-6th grade who attend the YMCA STRETCH program before or after school. Curriculum projects are STEAM-based, pertaining to the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math; and influenced by the San Diego County Office of Education’s Community of Practice Program. The students’ i-Ready diagnostic results and individual interests are used to develop personalized instruction.

The 2016-17 school year has been great for L.I.T. (Learn. Inspire. Thrive.). At the end of January, the Scripps Howard Foundation granted the program $10K to continue and expand its impact to one more school. At the end of the school year, the program was piloted at Juarez-Lincoln Elementary and will continue to run next school year, serving an additional 20 students. Also at the end of January, Channel 10 News donated over 1,300 books to L.I.T. These books were distributed to all of the students in the program, other school sites, Child Watch, and the Teen Center. Some of the books were also used for curriculum and kept by the students after they finished their projects.

On May 5, L.I.T. and STRETCH collaborated to host a Reading Fiesta at Silver Wing Elementary for the STRETCH students at the four elementary schools in the area: Finney, Juarez-Lincoln, Los Altos, and Silver Wing. Special thanks go to Sarah Evans and Vivian Moreno, Board Chair and Board Member of the Border View Family YMCA, and our YMCA staff for helping us put on the event for over 80 children in attendance. Each of the children participated in a 30-minute reading challenge with the books donated by Channel 10 News, receiving a free Chipotle kid’s meal coupon and bookmark if they read a certain number of pages based on their grade. The children kept each book that they read during the reading challenge. After the reading challenge, the children enjoyed arts and crafts projects, took pictures at our photo booth, and received raffle prizes.

On May 30, the Altrusa Club of Chula Vista completed their Mini Libraries Project with Altrusa International Foundation funds of $2K to purchase books for the students in the L.I.T. program. With $200 in additional funds from the Altrusa Club of Chula Vista Foundation, L.I.T. held an end-of-year ceremony, during which the students received certificates, special awards based on their progress, bookmarks, and a set of 5 personalized books based on each student’s interests to start their own libraries. Special thanks go to Altrusa members Glenda Hogg, Rosemarie Hudson, Marta Michael, Kathi Pietila, and Shauna Stokes for planning and attending the event. We are looking forward to another fantastic year!