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February 19, 2015

The Transformative Powers of New Partnerships

Christina Pham is a resource development associate at Somos Mayfair who also volunteers as a reading partner. Christina’s story illuminates the benefits of having a dedicated tutor and one-on-one support for one (formerly) shy Cesar Chavez Elementary School student.

When Christina Pham first met Matthew, a first-grade student at Cesar Chavez Elementary in East San Jose, he barely said a word. The two have been paired together for nearly a month now and neither can hide the grins on their faces when Christina picks Matthew up from class. Matthew discusses his love of the book Buffy by Bob Graham, and his desire to design airplanes when he grows up. He also bonds with Christina over their shared passion for their favorite food, ice cream.

With the careful instruction from Christina, Matthew has breezed through three levels of curriculum and is showing a more vocal presence both inside the reading center and in his classroom.

When asked for her thoughts on Reading Partners, Christina states, “Building relationships with adults who encourage children to read and write can be a transformative power in achieving success, especially in early literacy.” She is one of five Somos Mayfair staff members who work full time, but have dedicated their free time to tutoring students at Cesar Chavez Elementary with Reading Partners.

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