By Bette McFarren / La Junta Tribune-Democrat

Posted May 13, 2019 at 12:01 AM

The Children’s Literacy Project, under the direction of Sylvia Rocha, came to a successful conclusion this year in both Primary School and Intermediate School, all students having made measurable gains in basic skills.

Rocha is particularly proud of the high school students from Goal Academy who were tutors in the primary program, as well as retired teachers, an active teacher from Otero Junior College, a doctor, a city council member, and concerned citizens from all over the community.

Addressing the students at their year-end celebrations, East Otero School District Superintendent Rick Lovato said he is very proud of the teachers and the students for sticking with it and making the program a success.

“You have to be aggressive with your education,” Lovato said. “You have full power on what your attitude looks like every day.”

“Primary School children all gained from their previous levels, but will remain in the program for another semester, to ensure the gains stay, ” said Rocha.

Six students at the intermediate level (fourth grade) graduated from the program. They are Christopher Barela (tutor, Cathy Bollacker), Zarayah Hernandez (tutor, Timothy Ledna), Jaidyen Jaramillo (tutor, Stella Ocampo-Carale), Doniven Olague (tutor, Mary Castaneda), Nealani Sanchez (tutor, Judy Hensley) and Joy Williams (tutor, Karyl Sutherland).

Lovato said he is hopeful the program will be financed for another year.

“One student at a time, we are making progress,” he said.

The program is financed through the Children’s Literacy Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization out of Colorado Springs.