'Read With Me' celebrates legal milestone

Source: The Desert Sun

It was a beautiful morning for a special event called "Transportation to Literacy" held recently at Mecca Elementary school. The attendees were politicians, volunteers, teachers, principals, students and representatives from the non-profit Read With Me Volunteers. And they were there to celebrate the passing of special transportation bill AB 1453 thanks to the efforts of District 56 Assembly member Eduardo Garcia.

AB 1453 (E. Garcia) authorizes the governing board of a school district to additionally allow for the transportation of adult volunteers to and from educational activities. This measure was introduced to ensure that the Read with Me Volunteers program is able to continue transporting volunteers, mostly senior citizens, to remote schools in rural communities.

Read With Me's Volunteer's mission is to assist children from a low income, limited English speaking environment develop to their fullest potential by learning to read, comprehend and speak English. Of equal importance, perhaps, was that it also shows the children that people care about them as individuals. With the passing of this bill, once again the buses will be running and transporting volunteers to outlying elementary schools in rural areas.

The audience at the "Transportation to Literacy" ceremony were treated to inspiring speeches delivered by Gracie Gutierrez, principal of Mecca Elementary School; Dr. Edwin Gomez, CVUSD superintendent; Roberta Klein, director of Read With Me Volunteers; and Eduardo Garcia, District 56 assembly member.

"After the buses stopped last November our volunteer attendance dropped by 50%," said Read With Me Volunteers founder and director, Roberta Klein. "In January, Assembly member Eduardo Garcia agreed to introduce legislation to amend the vehicle code. In late August, Governor Brown, signed it into law."