Literacy occasion consists of all native readers | Schooling
KALIPATRIEN – The San Diego Special Needs Resource Foundation hosted an all-inclusive literacy event in the Best STEP Forward building on Saturday, July 31st.
San Diego Special Needs Resource Foundation representative Linda Bay said they are hosting such events in San Diego and brought the event to Imperial County for the first time last year in partnership with Best STEP Forward. However, due to the pandemic, the event had to be held virtually and this is the first year that a face-to-face gathering of this particular event is taking place in the region.
A collection of free books created by the Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego for the All inclusive literacy event in the Best STEP Forward building on Saturday July 31st.
“We brought a free book for each child participating, a free book bag for each child participating, and then we brought craft supplies for each of the different books, and then we brought snacks and groceries,” Bay said.
A child reads on All-inclusive literacy event in the Best STEP Forward building on Saturday, July 31st.
Bay said they also brought three recorded reading sessions from writers around the country reading the books they wrote to be read with the children in attendance.
Best STEP Forward Treasurer Christina Rivera-Lopez also held a reading session with some of the 45 children who signed up and said it was great to make that connection with children through reading together.
Treasurer for Best STEP Forward Christina Rivera-Lopez has a read-along session at All inclusive literacy event in the Best STEP Forward building on Saturday July 31st.
“You can see the interest in their eyes. I think they enjoy it and it makes them think about the story. I like to read a page and then take a break to talk to them about the story, ”said Rivera-Lopez.
Bay said the event went great and would not have been possible without Jaqueline Riddell, founder of Best STEP Forward.
“Jackie is amazing. She and her company are beyond excited and welcoming, and you are so lucky to have someone like Jackie and Best STEP Forward in Calipatria, ”said Bay.
Riddell said her organization provides sports and recreation for the underserved northern end of Imperial County, but is specifically geared towards the entire community with special needs in the area.
She said the event was aimed at the special needs community, but all-inclusive for everyone.
“In this way, we’re promoting a more acceptable environment for people born with differences,” said Riddell.
Riddell was grateful to the San Diego Special Needs Resource Foundation for all of their work in servicing the area they believe is so underserved.
“We’re thrilled that the early morning special needs team came here for us to bring all these amazing books to encourage fuller reading,” said Riddell.
She said they were invited by the resource team to a game day in San Diego for youth with special needs on September 25, where Best STEP Forward plans to teach soccer practice as this is one of the core aspects of their job.
“We’re the only special needs football league I’ve ever seen,” said Riddell.
Riddell said events like this at Best STEP Forward have been successful in creating a social platform for children with special needs who often have difficulty connecting with others in different settings.
She said many of the parents were grateful that their children were thriving with the program. As the mother of two autistic children, Riddell is passionate about making sure that Best STEP Forward continues to work for the special needs community.
“They didn’t have a circle, so we made the circle,” said Riddell.