This workshop was marvelous!

Posted on Sep 9, 2019

Araceli Godinez spends most of each day with her family. Within the routine of being a devoted mom, Araceli found that her relationship with her children deepened even more in a classroom environment after they all joined the KLRU KIDS outreach program.

“Through the workshops we become more united. I discover how much they learn, their abilities and what else they need me to help them with. A bond between a mother and child forms that is unbreakable because they know that I am there for them. I get to know them better.”

Araceli, along with her son Yael (11) and her daughters Evolet (8) and Jocelyn (6), recently attended KLRU’s four week Ready To Learn workshop.

She learned about KLRU’s program through her time with ASPIRE (Achieving Success through Parental Involvement, Reading and Education), a local family literacy initiative run by one of KLRU’s education partners, Communities In Schools. And for the Godinez family, the educational benefits of Ready To Learn ran parallel with the emotional impact.

“The resources they offered me – it wasn't something monetary – it was the learning, it was the opportunity to see my children grow, it was being able to share moments with them.”

Ready To Learn's goal is to help prepare for school readiness in a setting that encourages creativity and community building. Designed to spark STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) interest in young children, Ready To Learn also empowers parents like Araceli to support education both at school and home. The Godinezes, along with other families, start each weekly session with a shared meal, allowing the kids to ease into the experience while caregivers get to talk to other adults and form friendships that often go beyond the workshop.

“When you come in, it’s ‘Good afternoon, how are you?’ If you have any problem, you forget it.”

The sense of community and collaboration has everyone, from instructors to the youngest children, enter each session with eagerness.

When asked about the Ready To Learn workshop, Araceli’s kids also had positive reflections.

Evolet shared, “My favorite part was when we built the park. I remember that the ramps had tools to use to see how fast the cars could go and which one was the fastest.”

Joceyln chimed in that her “favorite show on PBS KIDS is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood because it shows empathy.” Our producer asked the children to elaborate on what empathy means, and Yael responded that “empathy is being kind to someone, helping them...it's like compassion."

Each week has a different interactive theme, and every session includes time devoted to reading and watching a PBS KIDS show that reinforces the day’s lessons. Caregivers are also given instructional material and books to take home and keep. And every graduating family is presented with a PBS KIDS Playtime Pad loaded with educational content and local resources. These devices provide much needed access to technology and platforms designed to practice STEM concepts.

Araceli can already see how their time with Ready To Learn has developed her kids’ interest in educational content. Empowered by this experience, she’s on the lookout for more camps and workshops that she and her family can grow with.

“This workshop was marvelous! I hope that they invite me again and I hope there are more opportunities where the whole community can keep participating.”

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Family & Community Learning (FCL) workshops are part of the Community Collaboratives for Early Learning and Media (CC-ELM) project through the Ready to Learn (RTL) initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.

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Get to know KLRU’s early childhood community partners: Thinkery, Communities In Schools of Central Texas and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area. These local organizations are essential to the success of our workshops! They recruit families like the Godinezes, provide the space and their staff lead instruction.

Lea la historia de Araceli en español aquí.