Read With Me

Every Wednesday afternoon in the heart of Buena Park, you can find an incredible teacher animatedly reading a story to a group of engaged kids chomping on a healthy snack. Local parents and their kids walk miles to check out a new library book and hear Ms. Milch read them the latest heroic tale.

Over fifteen years ago Leslee Milch, a teacher at Gilbert Elementary, saw a need for continued education for her students throughout the summer months. She knew that “many [parents] do not speak English, rely on public transportation or simply do not know what to do to help their children [academically].” Thus, she began her summer reading program in the park: READ WITH ME.

She first began reading to just her students, but the program seemed to grow each week. Now, 40-50 kids attend every week. Seeing the impact this program has on the community, Giving Children Hope, Community Action Partnership, and the Buena Park Library have now joined in to support this cause. Ms. Milch noticed many of the kids arrive hungry so Giving Children Hope provides a healthy snack each week for the kids to enjoy while they read. The Buena Park Library unloads a van with books the kids can check out each week based on the honor system. To increase parent involvement and education, Community Action Partnership hosts exercise and nutrition classes for adults while the children are reading. It’s truly a collaborative effort!

Each week Ms. Milch looks forward seeing the kids as they rush to help unload her car each week to carry everything. “I love seeing the kids sit down and start reading their library books while they wait for me to get started,” she said.

We are thrilled to count Ms. Milch as one of our partners here at Giving Children Hope.

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