I may have misled you when I mentioned I was a stay at home parent and sounded a bit too exclusive to the cause of parenting. In reality I work as a part time library ninja in the children’s department of my local library. This position enables me to flex my literary muscle, interact with kids and parents, mingle with like-minded literature loving adults and recently being allowed programming rights to showcase Pinterest talents and my lifelong love of reading.
Last Saturday I began the journey (after utilizing my “project management” skills) of launching a Bilingual Storytime…exclusively coined, “Once Upon a Cuento”… see what I did there?
Naturally I had anxiety, wondering if people and children would show, etc. I had marketed at all the recommended places when aiming toward interesting a Latino audience, local Latin groceries, laundromat, businesses etc. Using word-of-mouth marketing as well to many of the families that came into the library asking reference questions. If ever there was an opportunity to toot my horn, toot I did.
While attempting to remain inclusive I scoped it to reach all families as a method of learning a new language for non Spanish speakers and also increasing the knowledge of library materials to monolingual and bilingual families alike.
All that said and done, the storytime was a great success. I read two exceptional books, What can you do with a Paleta/Que puedes hacer con una Paleta? By Carmen Tafolla…the kids really loved this one…it was an easy read and had the English and Spanish on both pages. The story engages the readers by showcasing the beautiful colors that are often around us everywhere in life and the significance of a culturally relevant food.
The next book I read was a bit more challenging because there is no bilingual copy. I used a Spanish and English copy to read to the children. I found a volunteer almost immediately to hold the English copy as I clutched onto the Spanish one and tried to not lose my place. The book I read was The Dot or El Punto by Peter Reynolds. This was a spirited story of the struggle in childhood to find value in oneself. The children in the room recognized this book right away as it is popular in schools as a tool to motivate young children. It went well and the children really enjoyed the story.
From there we went on to a really neat activity of tempera ice cube painting on large butcher block paper. For the little people in the room this really plays a great role in sensory development because of the coldness and also the ability to create art. I should mention my story time is for all ages, families etc. Everyone was really into this…you could see the varying levels of creativity with the age groups…big siblings helping little siblings, etc.
Yes, my kids were present 🙂 All in all I had 30 participants of varying backgrounds and ages.
Everyone agreed that the purple ice cubes were the best colors…At the end the kids enjoyed paletas to keep the theme alive. There was also plenty of Spanish music reverbeating in the background and a few shimmy and shakes with the storytime parachute and music instruments. It made for a really great fiesta.
All that Spanish speaking gave me a hankering for Mexican food…so after I celebrated at my favorite local Mexican place…Salud!