Sara is from Ethiopia and has lived in Colorado for ten years. In Ethiopia, she graduated from college with a degree in secretarial science and office management, and then worked for eight years as a secretary. However, because of cultural obstacles and language barriers, her success in Ethiopia didn't transfer easily to Colorado. The mother of young children, she decided to attend a family literacy program, and took part in a Motheread class there. The program helped her become proficient in English, and to read better in English to her children. She attributes Motheread/Fatheread Colorado with providing her the skills and confidence to guide her children toward better school preparedness and continued success in school, and also to move forward in her personal and professional life. Sara recently graduated with an AA in professional office skills, and is now on our staff as a Motheread/Fatheread Colorado program assistant.

She wrote the following brief story of her experience with Motheread/Fatheread Colorado:

My name is Sara.

I am from Ethiopia and the mom of four boys.  We live in Colorado, now.

A couple of years ago, I attended a families learning together program at a Denver elementary school, and took Motheread classes. This program taught me how to tell stories and make reading time fun while teaching my children (and me) letters and sounds, new words, and new ideas. I read to my children as I was taught in the program. As a result, now, all my children are doing well in school, and reading together as a family is part of our daily routine.

Motheread was a perfect fit for me as I'm a mother of young boys. They were ages 1, 3, 5, and 7 when I was in the class.

After attending Motheread, I gained confidence and contacts to help me get a job. My first job in the U.S. was in an Early Learning Center in Denver. There I assisted with the children, and was able to use my new reading skills with the children. It was fun, but I wanted to go on and work in an office situation, which I had done in Ethiopia. I was still having fun reading with my own children.

So the next year, I went to school full time and obtained a Certificate in Professional Office Skills to add to my college degree from Ethiopia. Now, I work at Colorado Humanities as the Motheread/Fatheread Colorado program assistant. I am so very glad to help bring Motheread/Fatheread Colorado to others.  I know it will help them, as it has helped me and my family.

I have many new responsibilities as the program assistant, but my schedule is flexible so I can still attend my children's school functions. I get to learn new skills every day and work with a variety of great people. As my skills develop my life has gotten better; I bought a used car and have a little time to do special things with my children.

Motheread/Fatheread Colorado has benefitted me and my family in ways I can't fully describe. My boys are now all good students and leaders at their school. My oldest has received a scholarship from The Challenge Foundation. As a result, he attends Kent Denver School, and after can attend any college he chooses. His younger brother has also been accepted into Kent. This is an amazing opportunity for them, and a good experience for all of us. My younger boys say, "I'm going to be like them and do really good in school."

As you can see, Motheread/Fatheread Colorado has been an important and direct influence on our lives.

My story is not unusual, I am just at a place where I can tell it.