On the Same PageTwo MDC professors link two communities with innovative writing project

Professors Jessyca Pérez and Yanely Cordero
Professors Jessyca Pérez and Yanely Cordero

Back in 2011, MDC Professor Yanely Cordero was looking for a way to empower students in her developmental reading classes at Homestead Campus. At the same time, she wanted to find a new way for MDC to expand its community outreach efforts to the children of migrant workers. This desire became the inspiration for the development of Pages for All Ages — an award-winning project in which MDC students help kids ages 5 to 13 develop into authors by working with them in the creation of their own children’s books.

Pages for All Ages has been such a positive influence in the community and among MDC students that it received the 2012 MDC Service Learning Project Impact Award. During the ceremony, Homestead Campus Psychology Professor Jessyca Pérez was inspired to lend a hand.

Pérez used her connections to establish a partnership with enFAMILIA, an organization that helps improve family life for migrant farm workers and other low-income families in South Dade. The nonprofit brings in the children and provides the location for the MDC students to visit once a week, serving as mentors. For eight weeks, the mentors guide the youngsters through the process of writing and illustrating their own books.

At the end of this creative journey, each book is presented to the child who wrote it at a ceremony honoring their role as new authors.

Cordero added that the partnership benefits MDC students, too. “They feel more connected to the community. And instead of being just students, they become leaders and teachers.”