Summer Reading Enrichment Program Blog


Summer 2015

We continued our Summer Literacy Program this summer using the same challenging, bilingual curriculum that is both reading and writing intensive. All of our texts focused on social justice topics, such as fighting for equality, nature preservation, and immigration, and each text also aligned with our theme for that week. The students learned different styles of writing as each week focused on a different one. Along with reading and writing, we took a field trip each week to connect what we were learning to what is happening in Philadelphia. Follow along to see how our summer shapes up!

Week 1: Nature

In our first week of camp, we studied nature! Through the texts we read, we learned about the importance of protecting the environment and practiced convincing others to do so by writing a persuasive argument

For our trip on Thursday, we went to Passyunk Community Garden where we learned how to grow food, planted food in the garden, helped maintain the garden by weeding, and even got to take home basil or cilantro!




Pictured above (left to right): Laura with a beautiful potted plant she got to take home; Mirian, Maria, Esmeralda, and Beatriz relaxing in the shade with some herbs they would plant later in the day; We even got to eat some freshly grown food at the garden! Here Luis is chomping on a spicy jalapeno.

To end the week, we made some beautiful artwork depicting nature!


Week 2: Food

During our second week, we explored our theme of food by reading poetry. The texts we read were in different styles and from each we learned about descriptive and figurative language. Each day, we practiced writing a different form of poetry - color poems, diamante poems, and haikus. We also each brought in a family recipe which we hope to put together into a Puentes Recipe Book!

On Thursday, we went to Bartram's Garden where the younger group collected insects to classify and the older group learned more how to grow food and got to take home some potted potatoes!


Pictured above (left to right): Sury being silly and using magnifying glasses as eye glasses; The whole group together!; Beatriz, Jocelin, Belen, and Stephanie shredding carrots that the older group used to make a salad. Other students made the salad dressing, washed the tomatoes, and picked the greens. The end result was a delicious salad we enjoyed for lunch.

On Friday, we followed a recipe together making trail mix to celebrate the week. We also wrote a final copy of our favorite poem from the week and drew some artwork to accompany it.


Week 3: Music

This week we read about famous Latino musicians such as Tito Puente and Celia Cruz. We practiced visualizing while we read and also practiced using descriptive language by writing sensory short stories. We made sure to include words relating to all five of our senses!

On Thursday, a musician Mafalda taught us all about music and rhythm. She brought many instruments that we got a play and she showed us how to do a fun African dance. We ended the day with a game of limbo!

Pictured above (left to right): The older group learning how to keep a rhythm with different instruments; Alex rocking the drums!; The older group playing limbo at the end of the day.

On Friday, we wrote final drafts of our sensory stories and also made sound collages to accompany them.


Week 4: Journalism

To learn about journalism, we focused on reading news articles from Al Dia, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Times. We learned words to describe the different aspects of a newspaper such as a headline, a byline, a banner, quotations, and more! We also increased our vocabulary by finding words we did not know, using our context clues to guess what they mean, and finally looking them up in a dictionary. For writing, we worked on writing our very own news articles. We made sure to include the 5W's and H (Who, What, Where, When, Why, How) and also to interview someone to make our article more credible. 

To explore the theme of journalism further, we went to Philatinos Radio. This is a radio station started by Edgar Ramirez and Susana Pimentel (one of Puentes' promotoas!) The radio station broadcasts Spanish music and talk programming. The audience of the radio station is mainly Mexican immigrants and reaches people in Philadelphia, Queens, Long Island, Miami, and Mexico! Check out this short article about Philatinos Radio.

When we traveled here on Thursday, the kids got to meet a news presenter from Telemundo! They also got the chance to host their own radio show which then aired on Philatinos Radio. 




Pictured above (left to right): Juan and Maria learning how to use the camera; The younger group talking on the Philatinos Radio station; Brian and Juilo getting excited to host a radio show!

To end the week, we finalized our news stories and shared them with each other.


Week 5: Superheroes

Our last week focused on superheroes as real people who fight for equality. We read texts that showed people fighting for wage equality and against discrimination and we had discussions about superheroes such as Malala Yousafzai and Caesar Chavez. We encouraged the students to think about themselves as superheroes and to identify qualities (superpowers) they have that can change the world. Then, we complied the information into our own autobiographies!

To celebrate the whole summer, we had our annual pool party and BBQ at Haverford College! There was lots of food and fun. The kids got to break open a pinata and received books as a gift from Puentes. 

Unfortunately, we do not have pictures from our last week yet, so below are some pictures from throughout the summer.



Pictured above (left to right): (Top) The younger group together, go team!; Maci (tutor) with Esmeralda and Alison doing some yoga; Juan, Sury, Elizabeth, Bryan, and Sammy playing soccer at recess. (Bottom) Keily and Sury working on some writing; Juilo, Elizabeth, Bryan, and Miguel playing a board game as they waited for their parents to come pick them up; Luis and Alex demonstrating how to properly brush your teeth. This summer, our two tutors from UPenn's Bridging the Gap program led health sessions for the kids. This one was based on oral hygiene. We all got to take home toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss for ourselves and our families! Thanks Maci and Sehe!

A special thanks to Mighty Writers for sharing their space!
¡Mil gracias a todos por un verano increíble!


Summer 2013



This summer we piloted an exciting, innovative curriculum that has an intensive reading and writing focus. We are excited work with our interns, tutors, and students for an engaging summer!


Week 1- Food

Our theme this week was food! We read books about Dolores Huerta and Caesar Chavez and talked about social change for migrant farm workers.

To celebrate the end of the week, we traveled to Garces Luna Farm where we planted food and herbs, did yoga, and cooked lunch!


Week 2- Art

For our art week, we interviewed our families and put all the information together into a narrative. We also traveled to Puentes Art Studio where we made some art!


The whole group at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens!

Week 3- Animals 

This week we focused on animals and the zoo: how animals are similar and different to humans, and what the space of the zoo is like. 

On Monday, the students designed and explained their own zoos! 

On Tuesday, we had a very special visit from People Helping People, part of the Goldenberg Foundation. Their team read with the students, and in the afternoon, made amazing monkey hats with the kids! We talked about how monkeys and humans are both similar and different. 

On Wednesday, everyone designed the cover of their own book about animals and wrote a short summary. 
Finally on Thursday we took an exciting trip to the zoo, where we did a scavenger hunt to find different animals! Here you can see us with some giraffes!





Week 4- Philadelphia!
We started this week by talking about who a mayor is and what a mayor does. The students answered the prompt If I were the mayor of Philadelphia for one day... Many of the students wrote topics like cleaning up the streets and adding more parks, and some said they would have a giant pizza party!

On Tuesday, students all got to draw maps of Philadelphia. The weather was so beautiful we did our activity outside! 

On Wednesday, we talked about what communities are, what communities we found in our books, and what communities we are a part of! We talked about how we are all part of the Puentes community. 

Our week ended in a trip to one of Philadelphia's most special places: the Franklin Institute. We loved exploring the giant heart, learning about aerodynamics and the physics of sports, and meeting Benjamin Franklin! We also got to see a show in the planetarium! On the way back to the subway, we stopped through Philly's famous Love Park! 





Week 5- Sports!
This week we talked about the what it means to be a good teammate, and the importance of sports. We read Miss Nelson Has A Field Day by Harry Allard  as a group, and worked on the difference between past and present tense verbs. We also discussed the rules of baseball and everyone made a "dream team" for their favorite sport! 

Finally, on Thursday, we went to a Phillies game! Everyone enjoyed hot dogs, cotton candy, and pretzels and we even saw ourselves on the "Phanvision" screen! The Phillies won 12-1! It was Summer Camp Day at the Phillies, so we got an extra-special treat and the Puentes kids got to run the bases. It was an exciting day for everyone! 


Week 6- Family!
For our final week, the theme was family. We focused on the bilingual book: Family Portraits/Cuadros de Familia by Carmen Garza. In our journals we wrote letters to family members far away, we described our families, and wrote about our favorite family memories! We also made family trees, schedules for a typical day in our families, and family photo albums with photos from the summer. 
We ended the summer with an amazing pool party and cook-out with family and friends at Haverford College. After we dried off, we had a piñata and certificate ceremony with goodie bags! All students got to take home three books from the Puentes library to read and write about in their journals before school starts. The student who writes the most will get a prize in the fall! 
Thanks for following us here! Stay tuned for more exciting projects from Puentes Hacia El Futuro! 

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