This past Thursday was the celebration of YA SÉ LEER for the first grade at NCA-Nejapa where our kids attend school. YA SÉ LEER translates as: Now, I know how to read!
From what we gather, first graders all over the country need to demonstrate that they can read. It is likely that the degree of demonstration varies. However, for Ella and her classmates, they spent many hours preparing for their YA SÉ LEER day. The theme was "cowboys and cowgirls". Dances were learned, songs were rehearsed, and reading was practiced. A couple of weeks ago, I asked Ella's teacher if we could have a copy of the paragraph that Ella would need to read in front of the audience of parents and teachers. (Needless to say, Ella was nervous...so it seemed like a good idea to have her practice the assigned reading.) However, I was informed that each child would pick a letter of the alphabet randomly out of a basket and then read the cooresponding paragraph from a book. These readings were not the simple "Dick and Jane can run." -- or in our case -- "Ricardo y Maria pueden correr."
As the ceremonial day approached, we realized how important this actually was to the students, teachers, and the school. Parents were asked to bring a small gift as a means to affirm your child's accomplishment. There was to be a "pizza party" afterward. The morning of the event, the first graders traveled classroom to classroom, sounding their noise-makers, announcing that "I CAN READ/ YA SÉ LEER"!!!! There was much excitement! Ella even looked more excited than nervous during the parade. When it came time for Ella to read...we prayed silently as our little girl approached the podium. She had randomly selected "L" from the basket. She stepped up to the microphone and carefully read her paragraph full of Spanish words that have the letter "L". We were so proud of her!!! It served as a great example for Ella to show her that...you can do all things (even scary things like reading in Spanish in front of an audience) through Christ who gives you strength (Phil. 4:13)...a verse of Scripture that we prayed with her the week leading up to this public speaking event. ***By the way, our friend Curtis was able to experience first hand the exciting YA SÉ LEER event.***
Enjoy some photos of the excitement....
"I CAN READ!!!!"
Ella dancing a country jig!
The Big Moment
Ella receiving her certificate from her wonderful teacher.