Pre-K teacher raises funds to buy and donate toys to Dallas children


Rosa Yabur Holguin is combining her teaching talents and her Instagram following to brighten up the holidays for dozens of children in Dallas.

Holguin has been a Dallas ISD educator for the last four years and is currently teaching at a Dallas ISD Pre-K Partner Site called For Keep’s Sake Learning Center.

“Ms. Holguin is an amazing human being,” said Maria Molinares, principal of Dallas ISD Pre-K Partnerships. “She started planning for Christmas since the pandemic started and was determined to make this Holiday season special for many students in Dallas..”

Less than two years ago, she opened the Instagram account @entreletras_y_colores (“between letters and colors” in Spanish) to share her ideas with other educators and parents around the world.

Since then, she’s been posting pictures of the art projects that her students work on, and her account has over 10,600 followers. Since August, Holguin has used her social media influence to promote her own virtual private lessons, where she collects funds to buy toys that she’ll donate to children in Dallas.

“I believe that the simple fact that a kid gets a present that she or he wasn’t expecting is going to warm their hearts,” Holguin said. “Just them thinking about ‘Santa thought of me!’ or ‘someone thought of me’ will make them happy, and that’s the purpose of this project.

We spoke with Holguin, who told us about this end-of-the-year charity project:

How did you get started?

Due to the pandemic, there was an increase in unemployment. And since I work in a school where several of my students are in a low-socioeconomic status, I started thinking that many of them were going to experience a very different Christmas than in past years.

During the pandemic, I began using my social media channels to showcase the projects that I made with my students. I started this as a way to share ideas with other educators and with parents, and I started getting more and more followers. I thought: ‘Something can come from this and maybe I can raise money to buy presents for kids.’

Suddenly everything switched to virtual school. I started realizing that the students in my classroom liked dynamic art projects and dancing and singing. I thought: ‘I can do this in my free time too and raise funds!’ That’s how I started teaching private art lessons on Saturdays.

Tell us about your classes

The kids sign up for the Saturday Zoom classes and their parents pay $3 per session. I’m collecting that money so that I can buy presents before Christmas and then donate them to a foundation that can distribute them in communities in need.

In this virtual class, the materials are very basic and very easy to find around the house. Sometimes we do crafts of a specific theme, like Thanksgiving or Halloween.

I normally have somewhere between 10 and 15 students per session. I have a student that logs in from New York, and another one from California. There are also students from Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and El Salvador. And I have one student who joins us from Spain! And event hough there’s a big time difference, his mom wants him to participate.

The classes are in Spanish, therefore many parents sign up their students so that they can learn and practice the language. And they really have a good time dancing and singing, and doing crafts and practicing Spanish.

What made you want to do this?

I think that right now there is a lack of hope and generosity in the world, and I want the children to feel seen and to feel that they exist. And I want them to know that there are people who think about them, and that they’re important and valuable to the world.

I don’t care about children knowing that the gifts came from me. But I want them to know that someone is interested in their happiness. That there are people who care about making them smile.

The first five years of a child are vital for the development of their self-esteem, for their cognitive development and for the development of their personality. If we achieve that they have beautiful experiences during those first years, we’re developing a fruitful and favorable adult life and an opportunity for a better world.


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