Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Learning Center at Vera Cruz Village Apartments

Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Learning Center at Vera Cruz Village Apartments

Richgrove Event

Posted on January 21, 2019

Richgrove, CA — On January 15, Self-Help Enterprises celebrated the opening of the Learning Center at the Vera Cruz Village Apartments in Richgrove. The onsite Learning Center houses a computer lab with internet access and over 600 books to support family literacy development for the community.

Children and young adults from both Nueva Sierra Vista and Vera Cruz Village can enjoy the cozy, big-city themed book nook to read a diverse selection of books during the onsite after-school program hours of Monday through Friday between 3 and 5pm. Many hours went in to curating the book catalog, which includes classics from Dr. Seuss to Beverly Cleary and newer releases such as Be Kind by Pat Miller and Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky. The ability to check out books will be available in the near future along with scheduled reading hours hosted by volunteers from partner organizations. In addition, residents have access to a newly updated computer lab, inclusive with internet access.

“Vera Cruz Village is our 4th book nook with plans to complete two more this year. This is an ongoing collaborative effort that creates a literacy enriched environment for kids to explore, learn, and enhance their reading skills,” said Tom Collishaw, President and CEO of Self-Help Enterprises. “We are committed to creating safe learning environments for residents and their children.”

“We didn’t have anything for the kids here for a long time and now we do,” said Virginia Simental, Rental Manager at Vera Cruz Village. “We are so thankful.”

Vera Cruz Village and Nueva Sierra Apartments have residents who are bilingual or whose primary language is Spanish. Therefore, children’s books are available in Spanish to encourage reading among Spanish-speaking families. Book titles in Spanish include Dentro de Mi Imaginación by Marta Arteaga and De Como Tía Lola Vino a Quedarse by Julia Alvarez.

The Learning Center increases educational opportunities for young residents who have limited access to books, especially during the school breaks.

In addition to book nooks, Self-Help Enterprises works with many community partners to provide free onsite resident services such as job training, health and medical services, financial training, homebuyer education, and computer literacy classes at the onsite computer lab.

The Whitney Foundation, Lions Pride Club, United Way of Tulare County, and Self-Help Enterprises provided the funding for the Book Nook furnishings and new books. To date, Self-Help Enterprises, with the help of its funding partners, has created book nooks in Goshen Village I and II in Goshen, Sand Creek in Orosi, and Vera Cruz Village in Richgrove, with plans to complete two more by mid-2019.

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