Ruben is a father of four with a powerful story about the impact of family literacy. Ruben and his wife, Tania, came to the United States from Mexico more than 20 years ago in search of a better life. But it wasn’t until they moved to Florida that they found an opportunity that would allow them—and their children—to gain the literacy skills they need to work toward their dreams.
“My family is the reason why I’m in the program. I want to learn English, to be able to help them with their homework, and to have better communication with them. I want to show my children that they can dream big dreams and do great things.
Seeking to learn English and earn his GED, Ruben enrolled in a family literacy program that received support from the Barbara Bush Foundation. He encouraged his wife to join as well, and now the entire family has the opportunity to learn and grow together. The program, which meets three times a week at a local elementary school, provides tutoring for children and literacy training for parents.
Ruben and his family graciously shared their personal experience with the life-changing power of family literacy at the Barbara Bush Foundation’s 2017 Florida Celebration of Reading, where they received a standing ovation.
“My family is the reason why I’m in the program,” said Ruben. “I want to learn English, to be able to help them with their homework, and to have better communication with them. I want to show my children that they can dream big dreams and do great things.”
Before Ruben attended the family literacy program, he lacked the English skills, education and self-confidence he needed to look for better job opportunities. His improved reading and writing skills have already helped him secure a higher paying job that allows him to spend more time with his children. His wife, Tania, has also increased her literacy skills and self-confidence, allowing her to engage more fully in her children’s education. Now, both parents are able to help their children with homework, and they love to read together as a family. As a result, their children are doing well in school and have become avid readers.
Ruben is now well on the way to earning his GED, and he plans to continue his education at a local college. He dreams of opening his own business with the mission of giving back to his community.
“The Barbara Bush Foundation has given me the opportunity to better myself and to become a better provider for my family. My ultimate goal in life is to do for others what you all have done for me and my family,” Ruben shared. “Please know that you are changing lives every day throughout the United States. You’ve changed ours.”
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