BUENA PARK, CA – Buena Park School District students are growing their literacy skills thanks to the Read with Me program, a summer reading program started by kindergarten teacher Leslee Milch more than 25 years ago.

Milch, who is a National Board Certified Teacher, said she was inspired to launch the program after one of her students asked who would be reading to him during the summer months. That same summer, Milch brought a chair, books, and a few snacks to Bellis Park and started reading to student participants.

Today, Milch reads to 50-75 students of all grade levels in the District every Wednesday at 1 p.m. This year’s program, which began in early June, will continue through Wednesday, July 12.

“It is so important for students to stay connected during the summer,” Milch said. “Coming to read with me at the park gives students something to do, gets them out of the house, and gets them into the sunshine and away from technology.”

The Read with Me program partners with Buena Park Library to give students books to borrow over the summer. Milch also receives donations including pizza and school supplies to provide for students, and schedules guests such as the Buena Park police chief and firemen to come and engage with students.

“Read with Me has continued to grow throughout the years and is an incredibly special and impactful program for students,” Interim Superintendent Dr. Yvette Cantu said. “Thank you to Mrs. Milch for her inspirational dedication and willingness to selflessly devote her time to our students.”


BUENA PARK_READ1: A group of Buena Park School District students gather to listen to Carl E. Gilbert kindergarten teacher Leslee Milch read. Milch started Read with Me more than 25 years ago to keep students connected and engaged during summer break.