CCEB Family Literacy Program Success Story by Martha Nieto

         My name is Martha Nieto. I came to the United States at the age of 16. The first years were very hard for me because I had to start working right away to support myself. At the age of 20 I got married and devoted myself to my home and children. I wanted to go to school and learn English to better myself; I knew that was the only way to get a better job opportunity.

         In 2005 I moved to San Pablo where I met a neighbor that worked in a Family Literacy Program where they provided free childcare while you were in classes learning English. I went to sign up as soon as possible and found that the program was full but, I signed up on the waiting list and was called about two months later.

         While in the program, not only was I receiving English classes but I also had the opportunity to participate every Tuesday in a PCILA (parent child interactive literacy activity) Activity. These parent/child workshops helped me feel very motivated to learn more about how to better my relationship with my children. I also received home visits in which I was shown how to read and do activities with my children and when I saw how my children paid attention and were engaged in the activities the home visitor brought I felt encouraged and motivated to learn about Early Childhood Education. I also participated in the Parenting Classes that were offered on Thursday’s where I received information on how to continue my education. One of the guest speakers said that we had the power to decide to go to College and even after- University! This motivated me to find out more about taking Early Childhood Education. The program director referred me to CCEB English Action Center where they helped me register into college classes, provided my books and tutoring. Having this opportunity helped me acquire knowledge in Early Childhood which made a great difference in my relationship with my family. I have better communication with my children, I am a better mother and I’m setting a positive example to my children that education is key to a better future.

          I want to thank CCEB Family Literacy program, my English teacher Mr. Ken Ryan and the English Action Center for all the help and motivational support I received and for helping me to set goals and accomplish them.

         A job position opened up in 2007 with CCEB Family Literacy Program, I applied and was given the job. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work in the place where I started learning English and be of service to the community and the families enrolled in the program.

          I also want to thank Martha Estrada and Marta Escobar for all their help and positive encouragement which has given me the self-confidence to continue learning new things and to set and accomplish new goals.

(Translated by Marta Escobar)

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