Teen Moms Gain New Understanding of the Power of the Written Word

Through a grant from the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust, teen moms at the Young Parents Center in Santa Clara were introduced to a world of books geared specifically to their interests. Classroom teachers read aloud The Circuit, an autobiography by Dr. Francisco Jimenez of his early life as a farm worker’s child and illegal immigrant in California. The class showed a never before seen level of emotional investment in the book’s characters and general enthusiasm for the reading experience overall. Continuing on the autobiography theme, the group created their own picture autobiographies to share with their children. Finally, the grant provided a new classroom collection of recreational reading materials based on the teens’ reading interests. Overall, this grant enabled library staff to focus on providing pleasure reading for these teen moms, and in turn introduced a story of a real person’s resilience and triumph over life’s challenges that is truly inspiring

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