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November 22. 2019

Oak Avenue principal awarded for leadership

GREENFIELD — Oak Avenue Elementary School Principal Sonia Aramburo was awarded for her work in bringing an early literacy program that uniquely reaches pre-kindergarten-aged children to the Greenfield Union School District.

During a surprise presentation, Read to Me Project Founder Barbara Greenway praised Aramburo for her deep commitment to literacy and her role in bringing the program to nearly all the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade classes in the district.

“For the Read to Me Project, Greenfield Union School District is a watershed district — the very first to incorporate the innovative and powerful siblings-reading-to-siblings program into every elementary school districtwide,” Greenway said. “Sonia was the catalyst for bringing Read to Me Project to the Greenfield School District in 2012, and year over year, Greenfield’s student participation levels have been stellar.”

Greenway thanked Aramburo for her role in making Greenfield a model for how well Read to Me Project works to reach pre-kindergarten-aged children in their homes through their older student siblings to prepare them with the vocabulary, cognitive and comprehension skills needed to start school ready to succeed.

“The Read to Me Project is the only way schools have to penetrate into homes to provide early literacy experiences for children beginning at birth,” Aramburo said, adding that “Read to Me Project is a simple and impactful program that benefits communities, schools and the lives of students, little ones and parents.”

Oak Avenue Elementary School Vice Principal Myra Villagomez said Aramburo is a “transformation leader who aspires for every student to be literate.” She said Aramburo ensures that students have multiple opportunities for reading.

“Every classroom has a classroom library with an assortment of books readily available for all students,” Villagomez added. “It is an honor to work along her side. She brings a wealth of effective instructional practices that yield high levels of student learning, foster positive culture and has a high regard for staff and student expectations, which create an optimal learning environment for all.”

Aramburo has served as an educator for almost 30 years, having worked at the elementary, middle and high school levels as a teacher, counselor and administrator.

While serving as principal at Mary Chapa Academy, Aramburo was responsible for significantly raising state assessment scores — 211 points in two years — propelling the elementary school to exit Program Improvement Year 5.

Aramburo prides herself in providing leadership, vision and professional development opportunities for her teachers; helping them to maximize instruction and support for the students and families of Greenfield.

Read to Me Project is a prevention-based program that reaches infants, toddlers and pre-k-aged children (ages 0 to 5 years) through their fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade siblings. The program builds student reading confidence, sibling bonds and kindergarten readiness as well as disrupts the generational cycle of low-literacy among Monterey County’s underserved families. 

Greenway said the program is more cost-effective than remediation.

“Read to Me Project is a loving, unique and simple model for reaching children and families by providing books and training to fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students to read effectively to youngest family members — inspiring curiosity, wonder and love for learning and books,” she said.

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