In 2012, SOMOS shifted its organizational strategy and moved all programmatic work under the In Our Hands (IOH) initiative, which focuses on early school success and relies on a network of community residents to close the opportunity gap. Since the launch of the initiative, SOMOS has trained a total of 166 Promotores who have worked directly with a total of 4,179 children and adults. Our efforts have supported a 43% gain in school readiness, and a 50% gain in 3rd grade reading proficiency, both key indicators for educational success. SOMOS’ approach of boosting parent engagement and community leadership through our Promotor Model has been effective in supporting school success, which research has shown is key to breaking the cycle of poverty.
In Mayfair we are working to prepare our children to succeed in school and nurturing healthy families at home and in the streets of Mayfair. Towards these goals, SOMOS Mayfair organizes a broad network of neighborhood leaders who are building a grassroots movement of families working together to ensure that:
- Our children enter Kindergarten fully ready for school;
- Our children are proficient readers by the end of third grade;
- Our families foster daily practices of good nutrition, exercise, and emotional self-care.
SOMOS partners with organizations in Mayfair as well as ARUSD, FIRST 5, Kidango, and the San Jose Public Library to align services/programs, share data and evaluation tools, and provide quality early learning opportunities to collectively increase kinder readiness and third-grade proficiency.
Our Early School Success Programs
Cesar Chavez FRC
We have a new location! For many community members and staff, this has been a dream come true since SOMOS’ inception. Our partners include Alum Rock Union School District, Kidango, FIRST 5, Grail Family Services, and the San Jose Public Library.
Supported Parent Voice
Across four different schools, SOMOS supports parents in thinking about what quality education looks like, getting involved in opportunities to support their students’ learning and addressing immediate gaps through community-led solutions and programming.
Reading Circles / San Jose Public Library
As one of the first community-led programs, Reading Circles continues to be a significantly important space in our strategy where parents are directly reading with their children in their preferred language. Parents have organized book drives to ensure access to bilingual books and stories, drive the mobile library across the neighborhood, and promote key activities to encourage reading in the home and community. This year we will launch Reading Circles at three different schools and partner with the San Jose Public Library to conduct literacy programming at the Cesar Chavez FRC.
First 5 Parent Workshops
Evidenced-based curriculums (SEEDS, Triple P, 24/7 DAD, and Abriendo Puertas) are developed specifically to increase literacy skills, developmental assets and positive parent engagement. The curriculums draw on participants’ real-life experiences and cultural strengths.
Raising a Reader / E-Readers
This program ensures all transitional-kinder (TK) and kindergarten classes have access to literacy materials at home through a weekly book bag rotation. As part of this work, staff will work with the school to deliver two fun literacy events! In partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Learning in Action, we also rotate kindles with RAR books to a TK classroom in Chavez to explore engagement with technology and reading.
While Mayfair parents participate in workshops or other programming, their children participate in an on-site quality child care program that is aligned with parenting workshops and engages them in age-appropriate, quality early learning activities. This year we are partnering with the director of early learning in Alum Rock Union School District to develop an early learning framework aligned with state standards.
Bridge to Kinder Programs
This is a three-week, school readiness program for incoming kindergarteners – and their parents – who will attend eight local elementary schools at four sites (Adelante, McCollam, San Antonio and Arbuckle). Parents simultaneously engage in promotora-facilitated parent workshops to learn strategies for best supporting their children throughout their educational journeys. Students will receive an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) to ensure students are developmentally on track for early literacy skills, and will receive a one-on-onewith a trained staff to go over results and referrals.