After four months of learning for two hours, three days a week, he can now write his name, knows his vowels and is even reading some books on his own.
Lucy Flores spends her days teaching preschool students how to read the alphabet and write their names. After school, the 23-year-old San Francisco native goes home and does the same for her dad, Luciano Flores, who is also learning to read and write for the first time at the age of 43. "I was thinking to myself, I'm able to teach these children how to read and write, why am I not teaching my own father how to read and write?" Flores told Good Morning America. "So we started about four months ago."
Growing up in Mexico, Luciano's family had very limited resources. The school he attended didn't have much to spare either. So, after about first grade, he stopped going to class and started working to provide for his family. When Lucy—one of his four children—was 3 years old, he moved his family to the United States and began a career in construction that he continues to this day. While, once in the U.S., his wife and children translated for him in situations that called for it, for the most part, Luciano was able to rely on skills beyond reading and writing to get by.
@floresfamily_25 I missed u guys so much! Just know I am reading all the comments 🍏 we had to take a break 🤎 But we are back 😄 #dadanddaughterlearningduo #schoolmaterials #teachersoftiktok #generationaltrauma #truamahealing ♬ original sound - FloresFamily25
"Because he works in construction, it’s not something where you have to sign things. It’s more math, which he is really good at," Flores said of her father. "But he said that he didn't even tell his friends or anyone around him that he didn't have these abilities [to read and write]." Unlike her dad, Flores thrived in school and used her studies to cope with "a difficult home life" that saw financial instability and, at one point, nearly one dozen people living in the family's two-bedroom apartment. Although she tried to teach her dad to read and write when she was younger, it didn't go well at the time and Flores doubled down on her own education instead. Last year, she became the first person in her family—on both parents' sides—to graduate from college.
A few months ago, Flores gave teaching her dad another shot, and this time—although hesitant at first—he was "excited" to learn. "That first day, I told him to write his name and he didn’t want to do it," she recalled. "He chose to sit at the dining room table by himself, nowhere near us, because he didn’t want anyone to see." After four months of working together for two hours, three days a week after both are done with work, Flores revealed that her dad can now write his name, knows his vowels and is even reading some books on his own. Flores has been documenting their inspiring journey on TikTok where over 91,500 followers are rooting for Luciano.
@floresfamily_25 I’m so excited! We are encouring more reading 📖 📚🧡 What are other food started books? 🤔🤔🤔#dadanddaughterlearningduo #schoolmaterials #teachersoftiktok #dadsoftiktok #generationaltrauma #generationaltrauma ♬ original sound - FloresFamily25
"I don’t know to this day if he understands how many people are watching him and following him," said Flores. "But I took it as an opportunity that would encourage him even more. I know that it has." She revealed that some of her followers have helped them in their pursuit by sharing lesson plan ideas and sending them school supplies and books. While witnessing her dad's progress and inspiring others to never give up on their dreams means a lot to Flores, the most gratifying part of the experience for her has been the change in their father-daughter relationship.
@floresfamily_25 I am trying to find more creative ways for him to practice his letters that is not just a paper and a pencil 🏽♥️ Comment Your Ideas 😄 @crayola #dadanddaughterlearningduo #schoolmaterials #crayola #mexicantiktok #traumahealing #traumahealing ♬ original sound - FloresFamily25
"In reality, me and him did not get along," said Flores, who described her dad as being quiet and not one to share his feelings or sit down and play with her when she was younger. "He has a lot of trauma that he's still dealing with, generational trauma, not having a father figure for him how he wished we would have. It's been such an amazing time, that he gets to sit down with us, we get to learn with him. The last video I posted was him and I sitting in our backyard, drawing with chalk, and that's nothing I've ever done with him in my whole life. None of my siblings have. It's never too late to spend that time with your child, so I'm glad that we're doing it now."
@floresfamily_25 Finally did a getting to know my dads childhood & reason why he didn’t finish school💛 #dadanddaughterlearningduo #teachersoftiktok #generationaltrauma #mexicantiktok #traumahealing ♬ original sound - FloresFamily25
Meanwhile, Luciano—who speaks Spanish—shared through his daughter that he's excited to continue learning letters and numbers and to spend time with his family. According to Flores, they're now planning a trip to a local library together. "He’s never been to a library," she said. "I’m just thinking [of] his reaction to seeing a whole library full of books."