Changing Stories along the US-Mexico Border

Borders are barriers over more than just land.

They also disrupt education.

For young children at the US-Mexico border, BookSmart is helping make a difference by providing free and accessible reading materials.

Together with World Vision and Urban Strategies, Worldreader helps provide children who are unaccompanied minors or immigrating with their families with education and stability while allowing their caregivers to work.

Reading with BookSmart has given children the resources and educational opportunities they need to succeed.

Rodrigo, a 3-year-old in the program, and his brother have enjoyed reading on BookSmart. “They like it. They like reading. They’re going to go and learn something that’s going to help them get prepared for school,” their mother says.

Kimberly Padilla, Rodrigo’s teacher, enjoys the language advantages of BookSmart. “The majority of our parents are Spanish-speaking, so it does help a lot. They enjoy that it comes in both languages because they’re trying to teach their children both English and Spanish.”

Regular reading also improves educational outcomes, emotional intelligence, and earning potential as children gain reading comprehension and digital skills.

Ana Brenda, a 3-year-old in the program, and her mother Alicia have both seen what BookSmart can offer.

I've noticed that Ana Brenda learns faster than my other children. We're very grateful for the tablets that were donated because it has helped my daughter a lot,” Alicia says.

Where she grew up in Mexico, parents may not have the opportunity to read with their children, but with the tablet and BookSmart app, Alicia can learn alongside her daughter.

BookSmart's diverse library of thousands of stories can teach children important life lessons about empathy and compassion.

"It helps them have that experience of being able to learn about different places and different things." - Marivel Herrera, a director at an unaccompanied minor shelter

By increasing access to books and strengthening key skills, World Vision and Worldreader are getting children at the border reading so they can reach their potential. See the impact in this little quiet moment of a mother with her two children:

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All images and videos are courtesy of World Vision, Inc.