Summer Reading Enrichment Program Blog

This summer, Puentes Hacia El Futuro has launched an exciting new pilot summer reading program. Using a curriculum designed by graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, 20 students from Puentes Hacia El Futuro, along with 15 intern and volunteer tutors, are engaging in an intensive reading and writing program. Please follow the program here as we spend the summer getting excited about reading and writing! 

Week 1- Food!
In our first week of the Puentes Summer Reading Program, we studied food! We focused on the book Gregory, The Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat. We then designed our own gardens and created maps of food in our communities.

On Tuesday, everyone conducted interviews with our families about what food means to them. We took a survey of their favorite foods-- and  tamales were the winner!
Wednesday we learned about reading and following a recipe to make a delicious fruit salad! 

Our week culminated in an exciting visit to the beautiful farm of the Garces Group called Luna Farms. Both parents and tutors were able to join us. The students  picked garlic, saw chickens, smelled mint, planted their own herbs and vegetables, tried organic food, did yoga,  learned about new plants, and played in the grass!

Week 2- Art!
Our second was themed art! We focused on the questions: How do we understand ourselves through art? and How do we build community through art?
We used to book Me, Frida by Amy Novesky to start our discussion and referred to it throughout the week.
On Monday, we studied Frida Kahlo's self-portraits. You can see them on top of the white board! We worked on describing the main characters from our books. 
On Tuesday, we learned about ancient Mayan, Aztec, and Incan civilizations and built our own ancient city. We also talked about how to find the meanings of words we don't know, using both the context and the dictionary. 

On Wednesday, we learned about making connections between our own lives and our books. We also studied the murals of Diego Rivera and of Philadelphia, andwe made our own Puentes de Salud mural! 

On Thursday, we took a very special trip to Philadelphia's Magic Gardens where we learned about using repurposed materials to make mosaics. Everyone did a scavenger hunt to find images of animals in the 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!