bububooks

Helping children develop their American and native cultural identities together.

Posts Tagged ‘Latino Americans’

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Launches New Educational Resources for Latino Youth

Posted by bububooks on April 30, 2010

I wanted to share something I received from Kirk Whisler’s newsletter at the Latino Print Network regarding some exciting opportunities for Latino youth in America.  Check them out and let us know what you think about them.

For more information on CHCI, click www.chci.org.  I’ve also posted Kirk’s contact information below if you’d like more information about the Latino Print Network.

CHCI logoCHCI Launches New Educational Resources for Latino Youth

For more than 20 years, CHCI’s education clearinghouse has provided critical information to Latino youth, parents, and educators to ensure access to scholarships, internships, fellowships, financial aid, and other opportunities.  Thanks to the support of State Farm Insurance Companies, CHCI is proud to launch updated versions of its very popular publications that help students prepare for college, as well as apply for financial aid and scholarships.

The College Preparatory Kit for High School Students helps students select the right high school courses and prepare for college entrance exams.  There are helpful tips on selecting a college and how to effectively keep track of application deadlines.

The Guide to Applying for Financial Aid & Scholarships provides in-depth information on how to apply for grants, scholarships, federal student loans, work study, and more. This comprehensive guide is a must for any student needing financial assistance to complete his/her higher education.

The Pre-College Planning Checklist for Parents and Middle School Students is a road map for parents and students to work together toward achieving the goal of a higher education.  This document is targeted to Latino parents of sixth to ninth grade students who lack the information and knowledge to assist their children in preparing for college and puts them on the pathway to success.

CHCI’s National Directory of Scholarships, Internships, and Fellowships for Latino Youth, launched in 2008, remains the most popular document at www.chci.org with more than 650,000 downloaded in 2009.

“Hispanics are the largest and youngest minority group with the projected growth of nearly 40 percent over the next two decades and 100 percent by 2040. It is imperative that our future generation of Latino leaders is armed with the necessary education and professional skills to succeed,” said Esther Aguilera, CHCI President & CEO.  “Our founding members envisioned education as the key to success and as the foundation of leadership development.  CHCI is proud to have impacted hundreds of thousands of lives through our education clearinghouse over the years.”

While CHCI is nationally known for its leadership development programs and serving as a pipeline to develop the next generation of Latino leaders, it has provided comprehensive educational and informational resources since 1987. What started with a national hotline and small newsletter to inform the Latino community about higher education opportunities, evolved into an online comprehensive educational clearinghouse in 2001 that continues to be the destination of choice for Latino students looking for information in 2010.

email: kirk@whisler.com
voice: (760) 434-1223
Latino Print Network overall: 760-434-7474
web: www.hm101.com
Podcast: www.mylatinonetwork.com

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Uplifting Women of Our Time

Posted by bububooks on March 26, 2010

In November 2009, we at bububooks had the pleasure of hosting Milka Duno, Indy Car racer, to autograph her book and speak with children and fans during the Miami Book Fair International.  As the Indy season gets underway, we’re excited to watch her progress through this male-dominated sport.  Recently, Milka sat down with a reporter for the New Straits Times while she was in Kuala Lumpur to speak at a conference celebrating International Women’s Day.  You can read that article below.

If you’d like to catch a glimpse at her bilingual children’s book, Go, Milka, Go!/¡Corre, Milka, Corre!, click here.

Scroll down to see Milka Duno’s racing schedule for this season!

New Straits Times
Thursday, March 18, 2010, 01.06 AM

WOMEN: Driving dreams

Milka DunoHispanic beauty Milka Duno shares the ups and downs of being a professional car racer in a male-dominated sport with VIMALA SENEVIRATNE

VENEZUELAN beauty Milka Duno strikes a vampish pose with a mischievous look in her eyes and a white rose tucked behind her right ear.

Showing off her well-toned body to advantage, she’s sexy without being sleazy. “This reminds me of my modelling days while at university,” she says with a smile that can light up a room.

But her Latin American charm has little to do with what she does for a living. Duno is a professional race car driver who loves the challenge of burning tyres at 300kmph, a speed which would land most of us with a ticket.

“I didn’t plan on being a car racer. It was an opportunity that came my way. I tried it and haven’t looked back since,” she says. The former naval engineer and Caracas native was in Kuala Lumpur as one of the speakers at the Women of Independence — The Power of One conference held in conjunction with International Women’s Day recently. She has just finished her presentation and is taking a well-deserved break.

“I haven’t slept well in a long time,” she says while relaxing on a sofa, her right leg comfortably tucked in. “People think that I’m addicted to speed. It heightens your senses, but what I find most thrilling is the challenge. Conquering the challenge is what drives me.

“I thrive on challenges, be it on the race track, in my job or personal life. I compete to win. It’s hard work, but not impossible,” says the thirtysomething who made history last year when she became the first Hispanic woman to compete in the 93 years of the Indy 500 race.

It’s not surprising that her grit and courage have enabled her to take part in just about every major car race in the world — the 24-hour Daytona, Le Mans Series and Indy 500 — while collecting a series of titles such as “first woman to race here”, “win this” and “finish there”. She has eight wins in major sports car races and was recently inducted into the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame. She now competes in the Indy Car Series. “There are 17 races a year, and next I will be racing in Brazil. I have to be mentally, physically and emotionally prepared.” And how does she do that? “Two hours of workout every day — a combination of weight training, swimming, running and eating healthy meals. Being single also helps as I’m able to concentrate fully on my career,” she says. Duno spends hours practising with her coach. When she gets behind the wheel, her gender takes secondary role. “I’m a driver just like the others in the race. We have only one aim — to win. This is where your co-ordination, skill and experience come into play,” she says.

Duno learnt to drive her mother’s car (without permission) in her teens. She has now set her sights on F1, considered the ultimate car race. “Any serious car racer will tell you that winning takes precise timing, mechanical knowledge, stamina and most of all, unwavering focus. I’m working towards that race.” The second of three children of a sales-manager father and lawyer mother, Duno lives in Miami, Florida.

She once played the role of Kellie “Gearbox”, a race car driver in the Speed Racer movie based on the 1960 classic animated series. “I hadn’t done movies before so it was a good experience. But that’s not where my heart is,” she says.

Duno, who had harboured dreams of becoming a naval engineer, also realised the importance of a good education towards achieving this goal.

“Both my parents, especially my mother, always stressed that a solid education was a stepping stone to achieving one’s dreams. As for my dreams, call it an obsession with the navy,” she says with a giggle. “I used to spend hours at the port watching ships and wondering what kept them afloat.” She enrolled in a naval university and was one of four students from a class of 120 who graduated with a degree. She went on to earn four Masters in Organisational Development, Naval Architecture, Maritime Business and Marine Biology. “I was interested in all those subjects, and I worked as an engineer for a short while,” she explains.

In 1996, she was introduced to car racing when a friend asked her to take part in a Porsche Driving Clinic in Venezuela. She came in second and realised that racing fuelled her passion for challenge and competition. “That did it. I switched careers,” she says. Her parents, she recalls, were aghast. “They wanted me to have a regular job and they feared for my safety. I eventually won them over and now they are my No. 1 fans.” To excel in the sport, she realised that she needed training, knowledge and experience. “That’s how I ended up in Miami, to take up race car driving lessons,” she explains. By 2000, Duno was already in the door of the male-dominated profession.

She devotes her free time to giving talks to children of all ages on the importance of education through the Milka Way programme she set up six years ago. “I hope to inspire and motivate the children to realise their dreams, just as I did mine,” she says.

“It’s rewarding to get letters from young adults thanking me for encouraging them to continue with their education. Many who had dropped out of school or university and went back to complete their studies, are now holding well-paying jobs.” She has also come up with the bilingual children’s book Go, Milka, Go!, which depicts her as a cartoon character teaching the importance of education to children. “I try to show readers the joy of competing and winning and the importance of team effort and determination as necessary tools to a successful life.” And what about her future plans? “Married with lots of children and living happily ever after,” she says with a laugh.

“I’m aware that there will come a day when I will have to leave professional racing. I will concentrate on my Milka programme and maybe produce more children’s books.”

Indycar logo

DATE                                                            VENUE

March 14                                          Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil

March 28                                         Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida

April 11                                              Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama

April 18                                             Streets of Long Beach, California

May 1                                                  Kansas Speedway, Kansas

May 30                                              Indianapolis 500, Indiana

June 5                                                Texas Motor Speedway, Texas

June 20                                             Iowa Speedway, Iowa

July 4                                                 Watkins Glen International, New York

July 18                                               Streets of Toronto, Canada

July 25                                               Edmonton City Centre Airport, Canada

August 8                                           Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Ohio

August 22                                        Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, California

August 28                                        Chicagoland Speedway, Illinois

September 4                                   Kentucky Speedway, Kentucky

September 18                                 Twin Ring Motegi, Japan

October 2                                         Homestead-Miami Speedway, Florida

For more information, visit Milka’s official website.

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Upcoming Latino Children’s Literature Conference

Posted by bububooks on February 22, 2010

Hi there!  We wanted to share some information on an upcoming conference.  Let us know if you’re going!

Latino Children’s Literature Conference

photo of Latino Conference

National Latino Children’s Literature Conference: Connecting Culture & Celebrating cuentos
This April 23rd and 24th celebrate the rich traditions and diversity within the Latino cultures at the National Celebration of Latino Children’s Literature Conference. Discover how to meet the informational and literacy needs of Latino children via high quality, culturally-relevant literature and the latest educational strategies. Engage in unique networking opportunities with librarians, teachers, educators, and researchers from across the nation as we explore how to make intercultural connections and serve this rapidly growing, uniquely diverse population. 

As the number of Latino children and their families continues to increase, so does the need for understanding these diverse cultures.  This exclusive conference provides a forum for sharing current research and practice addressing the cultural, educational, and informational needs of Latino children and their families. At the same time, the conference also examines the many social influences that Latino children’s literature has upon the developing child. 

Beginning Friday April 23rd at 1 p.m. on the historical University of Alabama campus, nationally-recognized Latino children’s literature expert Oralia Garza de Cortés will launch the recurring conference theme “Connecting Cultures and Celebrating Cuentos” with a powerful keynote address. Participants will then have the opportunity to attend breakout sessions related to Latino children’s and young adult literature, library services to Latinos, and literacy education for Latino children.  Immediately following these small group sessions, award-winning Latina author Monica Brown and award-winning Latino artist Rafael López will discuss the collaborative synergy behind their work.

Friday evening, award-winning Latina author and storyteller Carmen Tafolla will celebrate El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), Latino children’s literature, and cultural literacy with a free community event at the Tuscaloosa Public Library. This Noche de Cuentos (Evening of Stories) begins at 7 p.m. and includes storytelling, refreshments, and free books for the niños. 

On Saturday April 24th, Dr. Monica Brown energizes participants and opens the day’s events with a keynote address at Mary Hewell Alston Hall. Breakout sessions for both practitioners and researchers as well as graduate and undergraduate students will follow and include a variety of topics related to Latino children’s literature and literacy. Research posters will also be on display throughout the conference.

Lunch will be served at the Ferguson Center and will be followed by an engaging keynote at Mary Hewell Alston Hall with award-winning artist and illustrator Rafael López. Afterwards breakout sessions will include topics related to education, literacy, storytelling, and library services for Latino children. Storyteller and award-winning author Dr. Carmen Tafolla will bring down the house with a grand finale performance followed by a book signing with conference authors. Attendees will have additional opportunities to talk with first-time, Latina children’s literature authors: Jennifer Cervantes, Christina Diaz Gonzalez, and Guadalupe Garcia McCall. 

By attending the Connecting Cultures & Celebrating Cuentos Conference, you have the chance to meet award-winning Latino authors and illustrators, participate in exciting break-out sessions, engage in exclusive networking opportunities, and celebrate cultural literacy in a Día community event. Come deepen your understanding of the Latino cultures and celebrate their rich diversity within our classrooms and libraries. See you in April! 

Dr. Jamie C. Naidoo
SLIS Assistant & Foster-EBSCO Endowed Professor
Conference Chair

For more information and To Register for the Conference Please go to the official Conference webpage: http://www.latinochildlitconf.org/

Sponsored by the
School of Library and Information Studies
@ the University of Alabama

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Book Review: Iguanas in the Snow and Other Winter Poems/Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno by Francisco X. Alarcón

Posted by bububooks on December 14, 2009

book coverIguanas in the Snow and Other Winter Poems/Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno is an absolute delight.  Parents, do not be intimidated by the word poem in the title!  What Francisco X. Alarcón gives us with this picture book is an introduction to image. The poems, short and simple, will teach your children to grow with an acute appetite for sensory details.  This collection, like the others in its series, is very visual and while it explores much associated with winter it also touches on many important themes our children face each day such as identity, community and cultural awareness.

The illustrations, by Maya Christina Gonzalez, are vivid and play a large role in the overall joy that is found in this book.  Gonzalez does an excellent job complimenting each poem and her artwork is colorful and alive.

Suited perfectly for children in grades 3-5, this book will help children begin to build their creative process using small detail.  Because the poems are observations, young readers will be able to identify similar visual details during their own day-to-day experiences.  While in nature, walking to school, or even while spending time with family at home, they may begin to notice detail in a new way, an important skill for all children.  This book, and the others in this seasonal series provide an excellent tool for building sensory skills.

Furthermore, if your child is a young student of Spanish, this book is effective in isolating a few words at a time, so the Spanish does not become overwhelming.  Because the poems are short, they can be broken up into daily lessons.  It is a perfect and joyful book for any age to read.

–Jacey

For this book and the others in its series (Spring, Summer and Fall), click here.  Get it in time for Christmas!

We wanted to share with you one of Jacey’s favorite poems from the book, perfect for the season! Happy Holidays!

Nochebuena                                            Christmas Eve

me encanta                                              I love
el sabroso                                                the delicious
olor                                                            aroma

de tamales                                               of tamales
cociéndose                                              simmering
al vapor                                                    in their steam

toda mi familia                                      my family
a mi alrededor                                        all around me
cantando                                                 singing

las alegres                                              the joyful
canciones de                                          songs of
Las Posadas                                          Las Posadas

todos                                                       everybody
ansiosos                                                eagerly
esperando                                              awaiting

ese ruido                                                that very
de papel                                                 special
tan especial                                          paper noise

que hacen                                             gifts make
los regalos                                           when we
al abrirlos                                             unwrap them

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Spending the Day with Milka Duno, Indy Racecar Driver

Posted by bububooks on November 23, 2009

For the weekend of November 13-15, Jacey and I headed down to Miami for the annual Miami Book Fair International.  We were excited to participate in such a popular annual event and to spread our mission of bilingualism to the wonderful South Floridians!

On Saturday and Sunday of that weekend, Milka Duno joined us to sign her book and take photos with fans.  We truly enjoyed spending those two days with her (an awesome and dedicated woman!)

Milka’s book, Go, Milka, Go!/¡Corre, Milka, Corre!, highlights her life and the importance of studying hard to succeed.  She spoke with children about the importance of education and her foundation, Milka Way. The program’s mission is to inspire children and young adults to “Aim for the Stars” and achieve academic excellence.

I personally felt inspired by how she brightened up the day and spoke words of encouragement for so many children, families and fans who got to meet and speak with her.  Indeed, one fan even drove two hours just to meet her and get his copy of her book autographed!

We were honored to have Milka join us because her passions are so closely aligned with ours and because she is such a great person.  We share our focus on education and literacy not bound by language.  We’ll be sure to let you know the next time Milka will visit our booth!

Milka’s first book is bilingual in Spanish and English and at the reading level for ages 8-12.  We brought back a limited number of autographed copies. Buy yours now before they’re gone!

Check out some of the photos below. Thank you Milka!

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Celebrate El DÍa de los Muertos

Posted by bububooks on November 2, 2009

Many of you have probably heard of the Day of the Dead, celebrated in Mexico, and more and more in the United States, this time of year.  It is a holiday for family and friends to gather and remember friends and family who have passed away.  Not a somber event, the celebration includes cleaning the house, building an offering, or ofrenda, that includes candles, flowers, their favorite items while alive and other items to help them on their journey and visiting their graves. This holiday also coincides with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

Holidays like the Day of the Dead are celebrated throughout the world and in various cultures, where families come together to honor the dead.  In Korea, for

Celebrations Cover

example, a large feast is cooked. Fruit is placed on the table in odd numbers with the top of one cut off. Chopsticks are placed upright in a bowl of rice. The front door is left opened during the ceremony. These actions allow for the dead to enter and enjoy the food!

Many in the United States have embraced the Day of the Dead holiday. One town in Texas, for instance, held a shoebox ofrenda competition.  There are free processions tonight in San Francisco and Oakland, etc. Check your local area for events!

For more information on ofrenda, check out: http://www.inside-mexico.com/ofrenda.htm and for information on the Day of the Dead holiday, visit http://www.dayofthedead.com/

In the meantime, enjoy the fall and upcoming holidays!

I also would like to use this holiday to highlight a bilingual book we carry at bububooks called: Celebrations / Celebraciones: Holidays of the United States of America and Mexico / Dias feriados de los Estados Unidos y Mexico. In it, author Nancy Tabor explains major holidays in the US and Mexico and how they are celebrated. Be sure to check it out!

Inside Peek to Celebrations

 

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Latino teens happier, healthier if families embrace biculturalism

Posted by bububooks on October 23, 2009

Latino Print NetworkI wanted to share this article I received from the Latino Print Network by Kirk Whisler.  A new study from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill shows that Latino teens who embrace their Latino culture and whose parents embrace U.S. culture live healthier lives, academically, socially and emotionally.  I think the benefits of biculturalism would apply to all ethnic groups in the US because embracing both cultures in a family and environment supports a family and community bond. Read on and share your thoughts!

Over the years, research has shown that Latino youth face numerous risk factors when integrating into American culture, including increased rates of alcohol and substance use and higher rates of dropping out of school.

But a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows adolescents who actively embrace their native culture – and whose parents become more involved in U.S. culture – stand a greater chance of avoiding these risks and developing healthier behaviors overall.

The findings are from a longitudinal study by the UNC-based Latino Acculturation and Health Project, which is supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and directed by Paul Smokowski, Ph.D., an associate professor at the UNC School of Social Work. Researchers interviewed 281 Latino youths and parents in North Carolina and Arizona, asking questions about a wide range of measures of lifestyle and mental health. Participants answered according to how much they agreed with each question (for example, from “not at all” to “very much”), resulting in scores on a scale for each measure.

“We found teens who maintain strong ties to their Latino cultures perform better academically and adjust more easily socially,” Smokowski said. “When we repeated the survey a year later, for every 1-point increase in involvement in their Latino cultures, we saw a 13 percent rise in self-esteem and a 12 to 13 percent decrease in hopelessness, social problems and aggressive behavior.

“Also, the study showed parents who develop a strong bicultural perspective have teen children who are less likely to feel anxiety and face fewer social problems,” he said. “For every increase in a parent’s involvement in United States culture, we saw a 15 to 18 percent decrease in adolescent social problems, aggression and anxiety one year later. Parents who were more involved in U.S. culture were in a better position to proactively help their adolescents with peer relations, forming friendships and staying engaged in school. This decreases the chances of social problems arising.”

“Such results suggest that Latino youth and their parents benefit from biculturalism,” Smokowski said.

The findings are presented as part of a series of articles featured next month in a special issue of The Journal of Primary Prevention, a collaborative initiative between UNC and the CDC. The special issue presents the latest research on how cultural adaptation influences Latino youth behaviors – including involvement in violence, smoking and substance use, as well as overall emotional well-being – and offers suggestions for primary prevention programs that support minority families.

“Bicultural adolescents tend to do better in school, report higher self esteem, and experience less anxiety, depression and aggression,” said study co-author Martica Bacallao, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, whose work is also featured in the special issue. “It is interesting that, in order to obtain these benefits of biculturalism, adolescents and parents often need to do the opposite of what their natural tendencies tell them. Parents who are strongly tied to their native cultures must reach out to learn skills in the new culture. Adolescents who quickly soak up new cultural behaviors should slow down and cultivate the richness in their native cultures.”

Smokowski added: “The burgeoning size of the Latino population and the increasingly important roles that Latino youth will play in American culture are worthy of community attention. Communities can either invest in prevention to nurture Latino youth as a national resource or pay a heavy price later in trying to help these youth address social problems such as substance use, aggression or dropping out of school; all of which often results from the stress of acculturation.”

Along with Smokowski and Bacallao, Rachel L. Buchanan, Ph.D., assistant professor of social work at Salisbury University in Maryland, was a co-author of the study, titled “Acculturation and Adjustment in Latino Adolescents: How Cultural Risk Factors and Assets Influence Multiple Domains of Adolescent Mental Health.”

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New book at bububooks: Luna Needs a Miracle!/¡Luna Necesita un Milagro!

Posted by bububooks on September 29, 2009

Book cover

Book cover

We at bububooks are excited to announce our newest book, Luna Needs a Miracle!/¡Luna Necesita un Milagro!, written by celebrity Chef Paul Luna.  Now you must be thinking this book is about food, but it’s not!  Luna explores the themes of love, fear, family and friendship in this bilingual—Spanish/English—children’s book.  The main character, whose name is also Luna and does not speak or understand English, faces his fears as he prepares for his first day at a new school in a new country in this colorfully illustrated hardcover.

Luna prays for the school to be closed and, as a result, no longer worries about his first day in a new situation.  Yet as he walks closer and closer to school that morning, Luna discovers the school is still open, but finds his prayer answered in another, more universal way. (We won’t want to spoil it!)

“Experiencing something radically different from what you know can be frightening, but can also create a window of opportunity upon which you can take action with clarity and confidence,” said author Luna.  He continues, “writing this book was a way for me to break past my own fears of doing something new and unknown, while also sharing an important lesson that we are all the same.  We all have fears, challenges and successes in our lives.”

Laura, founder of bububooks, got to personally meet Luna and his fiancée, Cynthia.  “Our missions are quite the same. We understand and appreciate the value of languages and of reading.  It was never any question to him—the book had to be bilingual.  I am inspired by his passion and am proud that we are carrying their book. We look forward to reading more from him!”

Get the book in hardcover version at www.bububooks.com for $24.99.

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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept 15-Oct 15

Posted by bububooks on September 17, 2009

iStock_000006456892SmallHispanic Heritage Month began this week.  It originally began as a week long celebration in 1968 when Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim it.  During this month, we celebrate the cultures and traditions of Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and Spanish-speaking countries of Central and South Americas and the Caribbean.  Hispanic Heritage Month begins on Sept 15 because five Latin American countries gained independence from Spain on this day: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.  Also, Mexico celebrates its independence day on Sept. 16th, while Chile celebrates its on the 18th.

National Activities
You can use this month to celebrate Hispanic culture in America and to learn more about it.  There is so much to do!  For a list of events throughout the nation, be sure to check out http://www.hispanicheritagemonth.net/calendar.html.

Children’s Activities
colorin coloradoOf course, with us being a children’s bookstore, we need to focus on activities for the kids!  For that, we turn to our all-time favorite, ¡Colorín colorado! On this page, you can find fun activities for your kids, including word searches and crossword puzzles as well as other activity sheets focusing on words and language.  Also, ¡Colorín colorado! has set up a link where you can send e-cards to your friends and families!  Now, for the adults, this awesome website offers information, history, teaching materials, classroom activities, lesson plans and other resources and links for you to use.  Be sure to bookmark that page!

Children’s Reading List
We at bububooks have also created a book list to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with your children.

Celebrations / Celebraciones: Holidays of the United States of America and Mexico / Dias feriados de los Estados Unidos y Mexico

Celebrations

Explore the ways Mexicans and Americans observe holidays throughout the year and learn how the common values and beliefs these countries share are reflected in their special days.

Purchase this bilingual book

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Somo un arco iris / We are a Rainbow

Rainbow “Are we as different as we might think? I say sol. You say sun. No matter how we say it, it is the same one.” Nancy Maria Grande Tabor, via a simple text and vivid art, establishes that children of two entirely different cultures are really quite similar. We Are a Rainbow helps young readers begin building the cultural bridges of common human understanding through simple comparisons of culture from breakfast foods to legends. Colorful cut-paper art and gentle language deliver this universal message eloquently.

Purchase this bilingual book

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El gusto del mercado Mexicano / A Taste of the Mexican Market

Mexican Market

Let’s visit a Mexican market!

Along the way you can compare, weigh, count, and learn about culture and customs. From bunches of hanging bananas and braids of garlic to pyramids of melon and baskets of sweet cheese, this Mexican market is full of fun and surprises.

Colorful cut-paper art sets the scene for a creative way to build new vocabulary for beginning readers of Spanish or English.

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Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems/ Jitomatesrisueños y otros poemas de primavera

Laughing TomatoesFrom the imagination of poet Francisco X. Alarcón comes this playful and moving collection of twenty poems about spring in English and Spanish. Tomatoes laugh, chiles explode, and tortillas applaud the sun! With joy and tenderness, delight and sadness, Francisco’s poems honor the wonders of life and nature: welcoming the morning sun, remembering his grandmother’s songs, paying tribute to children working in the fields, and sharing his dream of a world filled with gardens. Artist Maya Christina Gonzalez invites us to experience the poems with her lively cast of characters—including a spirited grandmother, four vivacious children, and playful pets who tease and delight. Follow them from page to page as they bring the spring season to colorful life.

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Ve lo que dices / See What You Say

See what you say

In this entertaining, bilingual exploration of language, children are introduced to a second language and get a glimpse of another culture. Ve lo que dices/See What You Say explores the ways two different cultures view their own languages through familiar idioms. Sometimes the words we use have a different meaning from what we say. For instance, if a person becomes hasty and does things out of order, in English we say he has put the cart before the horse. In Spanish he is starting to build the house at the roof. Although they mean the same thing, the literal sense of these phrases is quite different. In Ve lo que dices/See What You Say, these contrasting expressions become charming and vivid vignettes.

Nancy María Grande Tabor’s signature cut paper illustrations are remarkable in their three-dimensional quality and light-hearted presentation of some very off-the-wall phrases. Children and adults alike will have a great time guessing what idiom each illustration represents.

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Where Fireflies Dance / Ahí donde bailan las luciérnagas

where fireflies danceIn her first book for children, award-winning author Lucha Corpi remembers her childhood growing up in Jáltipan, Mexico, where the moon hung low and the fireflies flickered in the night air. In vivid and poetic detail, she recalls exploring with her brother the old haunted house of the legendary revolutionary Juan Sebastián, discovering the music that came from the jukebox at the local cantina, and getting caught by their mother for their mischievous adventures. Most of all, she remembers the ballads her father sang and the stories her grandmother told. In her stories, her grandmother passes on an important message about growing up—each person, like the revolutionary Juan Sebastián, has a destiny to follow.

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Flag Quiz
Click here to test your knowledge of flags throughout Latin America, provided by WTXL ABC 27 in Tallahassee, Fla. Bet you’ll beat Laura!

Fun Facts
For some interesting statistics on the Hispanic population in America, click here.  Test your knowledge and learn more too!

Activities in Chicago
For events occurring throughout Hispanic Heritage Month in Chicago, check out ABC 7 Chicago’s The Ñ Beat with Theresa Gutierrez. Click here for more information.

Activities in South Georgia
Valdosta State University will host several events throughout month.  See the list here–hope to see you there!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this posting and are excited as we are to check out some of these events.  Feel free to share more!

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Tips for teachers of English language learners

Posted by bububooks on September 13, 2009

As teachers get ready for school to start in the fall, they might consider a few tips on making students welcome who don’t speak English as a native language. More students speak Spanish as their first language than any other group in the U.S., but there are over a hundred other mother tongues spoken by kids from kindergarten to twelfth grade around this country. No one teacher can possibly know all of these. So, what’s a teacher to do? Two websites offer some practical advice:

http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3747021&FullBreadCrumb=%3Ca+href%3D%22http%3A%2F

and http://www.colorincolorado.org/educators/reachingout/welcoming

There is plenty of research demonstrating that English language learners (or ELLs for short) learn best by drawing on what they already know. That means, they learn best when they start with the language they already speak, their native language (or L1). Children are not blank states when starting kindergarten. This tends to be an unpopular notion in many places, as it was in the Word Geek’s childhood. The idea back in the Olden Days was to punish a child for speaking anything but the “best” meaning the textbook or Standard version of English. The result was, predictably, that kids who didn’t already speak a pretty standard version quit talking altogether in school and made very little progress, then stopped going to school as soon as they could get away with it. This tended to be around the fourth grade (age 8 or 9). Or, because these children struggle to learn math and science in their L2, they get placed in special education classes in which they become bored and disgruntled. This pattern is NOT recommended!

Instead of following this mournful and unsuccessful pattern, consider the tips described by David and Yvonne Freeman at the first site above:

1. Pair a newcomer (an ELL with little or no English) with a partner who speaks his or her L1 as well as some English. Make sure the partner knows this buddy position is a prestigious job and you are very impressed at how well he or she carries it off. The buddy’s job description should include making sure the newcomer knows the class rules, gets the class assignments, and, hopefully, this buddy does some translating.

2. Invite a parent volunteer into the classroom to read aloud to the class in the L1 of the newcomer(s). If this involves showing lots of pictures, even the English speakers should get something out of it. Plus, they’ll get some idea of what it’s like to be unable to understand every word of what’s going on – empathy, in other words. Not a bad idea!

3. Let the kids speak in their L1. The Word Geek wishes to put this one up in lights, so she will repeat it in capital letters and add an exclamation mark: LET THE KIDS SPEAK IN THEIR L1! Maybe she should throw some firecrackers in to get some people’s attention here, adding extra exclamation marks for more emphasis. LET THE KIDS SPEAK IN THEIR L1!!!

4. Build a class library in the students’ L1s. It’s especially helpful if some of these books are what we once called “ponies,” in the Olden Days. That means, there is the L1 on one page. On the facing page, the same text is in English. This way, a student sees that his or her native language is respected and supported, and the child can go from the known (L1) to the unknown (L2), with a lot less pain and hassle. The Word Geek was once very fond of such ponies and still has a few in her possession.

5. Organize bilingual tutoring, for example by partnering with a teacher of a class a year or two older than your own, in which there are students who speak the same L1 as your students. These older kids who presumably also speak a little more English can help tutor your students, do a little translating. It’s good for their education and self-esteem as well as helping your students along. A person never learns better than when helping someone else learn.

6. Provide students pen pals, whether in their L1 or L2, and whether through e-mail or by means of old-fashioned pen and paper. Go to the first website above to find a couple of online sites to locate e-mail pen pals. This type of writing is a lot more interesting than writing boring sentences in response to even duller reading exercises.

7. Encourage writing in a journal, whether in the L1 or L2. Sometimes, writing about the acquisition of L2 (namely English) in the L1 is one of the best ways to get a student to think about it after school.

8. Create books of students’ own writings. That is to say, with the computer it is relatively easy to type up things that students write, duplicate them, print them out, and even bind them in inexpensive ways. These can be done in the L1 or L2. “Ponies” created in this way can be distributed to the entire class, giving a newcomer a new feeling of being part of a class, not an outsider. Many of the fonts required to print, say, Vietnamese or Arabic or whatever are already available on the internet for free – or relatively cheaply.

9. Use L1 storytellers to support the ELLs language and culture and share with the rest of the class. The teacher can help bring in the rest of the class by teaching a story ahead of time, or having the class read the story or act it out, if they are too young to read it yet. That way, no one need feel left out when the storyteller comes and speaks another language.

10. Put up the signs that are displayed in the classroom in both English and any L1s spoken by students. This shows that the L1 is valued and, therefore, the student who speaks it is also valued.

Time for an object lesson:  When the Word Geek took an introductory linguistics class in college, years ago, the professor told of taking a rabbit in a cage to a first grade classroom. The children in the classroom seemed inordinately quiet and the regular teacher agreed, saying that the kiddies were all “culturally deprived” (using the parlance of the times).

The linguistics professor said that she had a cure for that dread condition. The rabbit was part of it. She put the cage on the teacher’s desk and told the silent students that she and the other teacher had to leave the classroom for a moment. “But I need you kids to help me out,” she told them. “Mr. Bunny will get very, very sick if I go away and nobody talks to him. So, while we’re gone, you need to talk to him and keep talking until I get back. Will you do that for me?” 

The kids silently nodded.

The professor and the teacher silently left the classroom. The kids did not see, but the professor had silently started a tape recorder behind the desk.

When the professor got back, as soon as she opened the door of the classroom, the kids were quiet, so she had no idea if her plan had worked. But later, when she played the tape for the teacher, the two adults heard a great cacophony of noise. The whole time the grownups had been out of the room, all the children had been talking to that rabbit, calling him “Mr. Bunny,” telling him not to be scared, letting him know he would be all right. They did not speak perfect Standard English. But they could speak all right and their meaning was clear enough.

Why wouldn’t they talk when their teacher was there? As the professor pointed out to us, when someone gets onto you every time you open your mouth, you stop opening your mouth. So, at the risk of beating a dead horse, LET THE KIDS SPEAK IN THEIR L1. They’ll eventually get to L2 that way. But if they stop talking altogether, they’ll never get anywhere.

This article was written by Diana Gainer, the Word Geek Examiner, on http://www.examiner.com.  Laura Renner added some of her own thoughts as well.

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