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Entre actividades creativas, pasabocas y fotos con Santa Claus, decenas de niños del Distrito de la Mission en San Francisco regresaron a casa con las manos llenas después de participar  en la 8va entrega de libros de La Comunidad Promesa de la Mission (MPN) el jueves 8 de diciembre.

La lluvia que cayó en la tarde en San Francisco no impidió que las familias se acercaran al teatro de la escuela primaria comunitaria Buena Vista-Horace Mann para su cita con la lectura. Este año, MPN recolectó cerca de 2,850 libros gracias a donaciones de Tandem, Partners in Early Learning, Children’s Book Project, la Biblioteca Pública de San Francisco y la Biblioteca de la Escuela Primaria Leonard R. Flynn.

En las donaciones se destacó un gran número de libros en español lo que permite a los padres inmigrantes leer junto a sus hijos en casa, además de fomentar el bilingüismo. 

“El ambiente fue excelente, tuvimos todos los grados, de 0 a 12”, dijo Luis Roberto Ostolaza, Guía de éxito familiar de MPN. “Una de las misiones que tenemos en MPN es que cada niño tenga la oportunidad de leer y aprender durante todo el proceso”.

Este año fue la tercera ocasión que la entrega anual se celebró en una escuela de la Mission. El evento se pudo llevar a cabo durante 2020 y 2021 con un pre-registro de familias como parte de los protocolos de protección contra el COVID-19.  

La novedad de este año fue tener una mesa con libros para adultos por primera vez.  

“Es un evento muy bueno porque introduce a los niños a la lectura, a los libros”, dijo Claudia Rodríguez, madre de la Mission y quien también llevó libros para su lectura personal. “Hasta mi hijo más pequeño le encantan los libros”.

Cerca de 300 personas, entre niños, padres y educadores, estuvieron presentes en el evento. 

Read All About It: Mission Promise Community Celebrates “Eighth Annual Holiday Book Giveaway”

Dozens of children from San Francisco’s Mission returned home with their hands full after participating in the Mission Promise Neighborhood’s “Eighth Annual Holiday Book Giveaway” on Dec. 8. The event also included activities, snacks and the ever-popular family photo with Santa Claus.

Despite rainy skies, families headed to the theater of the Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 Community School to discover books that would make the ideal holiday gift for their young ones. This year, MPN collected around 2,850 books thanks to in-kind donations by Tandem, Partners in Early Learning, the Children’s Book Project, the San Francisco Public Library and the Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School Library.

As always, this year’s donations included a large number of Spanish-language books, allowing immigrant parents to read with their children at home while promoting bilingualism in the community.

“The atmosphere was excellent, as we had all the grades represented, from 0 to 12,” said Luis Roberto Ostolaza, Family Success Coach for MPN. “One of the missions we have at MPN is that every child has the opportunity to read and learn.”

This year marked the third time the annual event was held at a Mission school. The giveaway was also held during the 2020 and 2021 pandemic years, with a pre-registration for families as part of the protocols against COVID-19.

A new addition to this year’s event was a table with books for adults.

“It is a very good event because it introduces the children to reading, to books,” said Claudia Rodríguez, a Mission mother who also took home some adult books for herself. “Even my youngest kid loves books.”

About 300 people, including children, parents, volunteers and educators, attended the event.

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With the collective goal of fostering reading at home, the Mission Promise Neighborhood held its “Third Annual Holiday Book Giveaway” on Dec. 15. The venue was Plaza Adelante, the neighborhood center of the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA). MEDA is the lead agency of this education initiative.

Mission kids donning holiday attire — ranging from colorful sweaters to Santa hats — chose two or three books to go under their Christmas tree. The cute factor was high, as Mission Graduates’ Executive Director Eddie Kaufman played Papa Noel for the second year in a row, kids queuing up for a photo op.

There were books available for all children, with brackets of 0-3 years of age, Pre-K to kinder, first to third grade, fourth to fifth grade and middle school.

Choosing a book was no easy task for families, as there were 577 available. The majority of donations were via the Children’s Book Project, which for a quarter century has been bringing free books to underresourced kids.

The remainder of book donations came from Mission Promise Neighborhood partner Tandem, Partners in Early Learning, plus from members of MEDA’s Young Leaders Council.

With an amazing 445 books handed out in just two hours, the leftovers were put to good use, being forwarded to La Raza Community Resource Center, or Cesar Chavez and Bryant schools’ Parent Room libraries.

Additionally, there were 30 Talk, Read, Sing bags doled out at a workshop promoting early literacy at home, taught by Mission Promise Neighborhood Early Learning Program Manager Ada Alvarado.

Intern Maria Jose Gallo added an additional gift: Kids could be seen busily making a personalized bookmark using art supplies and crayons. She also created a two-pager advising parents that students get tested to ascertain their reading level — important to finding appropriate books to engage your child.

According to the 2016 Mission Promise Neighborhood survey (see Page 30), 77 percent of parents of children zero to five years of age now report reading to their child at least three times per week. This is an increase from 64 percent in 2014. Recent research has shown that children whose parents more frequently read to them, regardless of income or education, are more likely to do well in school.

As the Mission Promise Neighborhood is always using data to evaluate trends, there were 71 surveys collected from families at the book giveaway. Questions asked were along the lines of “How often do you read to your child at home?” and ”How often does your child read by themselves at home?”

The respondents by far indicated that they liked the event, offering ideas for betterment ranging from longer hours to maximize time at resource tables, augmenting donations so children could get three to five books each and finding toy donations, the latter possibly given out by raffle.

Upon departure, parents received gift bags with snacks and complimentary tickets to a pair of local museums: the Asian Art Museum and the California Academy of Sciences.

Stated one parent: “It was my first time attending an event like this one, I think it’s great so that as parents we can find out about programs and help our children for their future. Thank you!”

Thanks to partners Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, MEDA, Mission Graduates, The City and County of San Francisco Office of Workforce and Employment Development and the San Francisco Public Library for being on hand to make the holidays joyous for our Mission Promise Neighborhood families.

“The book giveaway means so much to our Mission families. This is a true collaborative effort. Thanks to the nine staff that volunteered their time, plus our many partners that contributed to this community event’s success,” summed up Mission Promise Neighborhood Family Support Manager Celina Ramos-Castro.


About Mission Promise Neighborhood

The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.


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(415) 569-2699
2301 Mission Street, Suite 304
San Francisco, CA 94110

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