Meet Ciara and Shidoni

Nine-year-old twins Ciara and Shidoni hail from a low income community in Colorado where jobs are hard to come by and economic hardship is all too common. Their dad's biggest challenge is finding time to spend with each of his seven children on a regular basis, especially finding time to read with them. As a result, both girls in recent years tested below grade level on their reading exams. Recognizing the girls' need for extra literacy support, their teacher referred them to an after school reading support group administered by Save the Children's Child Sponsorship program.

Since joining Save the Children's Child Sponsorship program, both girls have shown tremendous improvement in reading; averaging over 95% on reading tests.

"I like school more now," Shidoni says. Adding Ciara, "we learn to read and make new friends."

In addition to improving their reading skills, the girls have received other benefits from participating in the after school program. The Save the Children liaison found that by placing the girls in separate groups, they have been able to shine individually, allowing them to have their own distinct voice.

Ciara is now more confident about reading aloud in class and willing to participate during group discussions. Shidoni has shown a significant boost in self-esteem and is more eager to share ideas with her peers. The girls also always look forward to putting their improved reading skills to use when they receive letters from their sponsors, excited to hear about their lives and answer questions the sponsors ask about the girls' favorite activities.

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