By Dani Banegas

Are you wondering why the word S.H.A.R.E. is stylized this way? Well, it stands for the S.H.A.R.E. Program, a unique initiative designed for children between the ages of 3 and 12. More than just an acronym, S.H.A.R.E. represents a thinking studio with a purpose – to provide children with a space where they can Speak up, Hear Others, Analyze stories, Read texts, and Evolve into critical thinkers.

Cristina Pak, a senior at Langley High School, is the visionary founder of the S.H.A.R.E. Book Club. Her mission is to create a platform for children to learn and grow from one another, fostering an environment where they can freely express their thoughts. Recognizing the heightened need during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cristina believes that every child deserves a space to discuss, contemplate, and question the messages conveyed by books.

Co-founder Kayla Park, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, shares Cristina’s vision. The program aims to show students who may not have always enjoyed reading that it can be an enjoyable and enriching experience.

For the past four years, the S.H.A.R.E. thinking studio has been operating at Dolley Madison Library. Every other Saturday from 3-4 PM, Cristina and Kayla engage children in life lessons through hands-on activities, going beyond traditional curricula to enrich their intellectual curiosities.

One captivating activity involves a maze, where children learn about trust and the importance of earning the trust of others. As one child is blindfolded, the other provides specific directions to navigate through a handmade maze. The purpose of S.H.A.R.E. is to instill intellectual skills beyond a typical school curriculum and cultivate a love for learning at a young age.

Cristina emphasizes that learning is not quiet and believes in approaching challenges with a curious attitude. Through gamified activities at S.H.A.R.E., she instills in students the habit of viewing things as challenges, fostering a hunger for knowledge.

What makes this program even more remarkable is that it is entirely free of charge. Cristina and Kayla are passionate about ensuring that all interested households can benefit from the S.H.A.R.E. Program. Help spread the word and encourage the children in your community to join this interesting view.

For more information, visit the S.H.A.R.E. website at S.H.A.R.E. (google.com) or contact them via email at sharebookclub21@gmail.com.

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