/ Modified nov 5, 2015 11:17 a.m.

Program 'Opening Doors' for Spanish-Speaking Parents

Reading to children 0 to 5 years old important regardless of the language

Opening Doors Make Way for Books Instructors (PHOTO: Nancy Montoya, AZPM)

Many Immigrant parents struggling with English often fear they are stagnating their child’s ability to do well in school. Nancy Montoya reports on a new program in Tucson through Make Way for Books that takes aim at those parents to boost their self confidence to become their child’s first and best teacher.

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Make Way for Books instructors open each class with a decho or a saying -

“Today’s decho es “saber es poder – knowledge is power,” said literacy instructor Fernando González, as he greeted a half-dozen parents who showed up for class.

"Abriendo Puertas", or Opening Doors, is a program brought to Tucson by Make Way for Books.

The targeted group are parents with young children and limited English proficiency. Most of the parents here speak very little or broken English. Abriendo Puertas instructors want parents to know that regardless of the home’s primary language – it is important to:

“Talk, read, sing play everywhere everyday.”

Dianette Palacio, is one of the trainers – she says reading or singing to children ages 0 to 5 years old is critical regardless of the language.

“Whatever language you tell your baby you love them in should be the language you are reading to them in,”she said.

Abriendo Puertas is funded by a grant from the Helios Foundation, in coordination with Chicanos Por la Causa and implemented by Make Way for Books.

Classes are ongoing until December 8.

For more information or to enroll visit their website.

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