Estrella first became involved with Save the Children afterschool programming by staying with a cousin with whom she lives. Her demeanor was a mix of shyness and passive-aggression, but since participating in our programming she fully participates in all activities. Photo Credit: Lisa Potter-Smith/Save the Children 2013.

Estrella once shy and passive-aggressive, now participates in all activities at the Save the Children after-school program.

Becoming a Gold Star Reader

Estrella's Story

The odds were against Estrella to succeed. Growing up in a rural town in Kentucky in a single-parent household – she lacked stability. She never attended the same school for more than one year, so her reading scores were low and she often acted out in class. She didn’t want to do her homework – she would rather play outside. Estrella lacked the confidence and structure she needed to succeed.

Then Estrella started attending a Save the Children after-school program. The program gave her access to books every day – something many children from low-income families don’t have – plus tools to increase her vocabulary and writing skills. She also learned about making healthy food choices and leading a healthy lifestyle, programs that are lacking in many rural parts of America.

Now, she loves reading and considers it one of her favorite hobbies. Her grades have improved and she no longer acts out in class.

"I like after school because it’s fun and you get to go with Mr. Gibson to learn about healthy choices," Estrella said. "I like reading now and taking quizzes isn’t as hard since I started going to Save the Children."

Although Estrella doesn’t yet know what she wants to be when she grows up, she now has the opportunity to be whatever she sets her mind to. Through Save the Children programs she’s gaining the knowledge she needs to succeed in school, and the confidence she needs to succeed in life.

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