¡Es divertido hablar dos idiomas!

A place to share books, music, techniques, and all things related to bilingual storytime!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Once Upon a Cuento Giveaway!

Yes, the time has finally arrived. Once Upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytimes in English and Spanish (co-authored by Jamie Campbell Naidoo and myself) is available for purchase in the ALA Store! I have to say, I am so proud of how this manual turned out. It is a complete guide for library staff on how to develop and implement a bilingual storytime program. Chapters focus on making the case for the need for bilingual storytime programs, conducting outreach to Latino communities, strategies for presenting bilingual storytime when you do not speak Spanish yourself, various formats and styles of presenting bilingual storytime, and using digital media in bilingual storytime settings. This is followed by 18 ready-to-use bilingual storytime plans and an extensive resource section that guides readers to useful books, music and online sources. If you are interested in bilingual storytime, this manual will help you find your way!

It should be noted that this manual can be used by librarians offering monolingual storytimes as well. If you are interested in Spanish-only storytime, the outreach guide, program plans, and resources will help you find your audience and design your programs. If you are interested in English-only storytimes, you will learn about excellent Latino authors and illustrators you can include in your programs, and what options are available to you to help make your programs more inclusive of Latino and Spanish-speaking families. There is truly something for everyone.

In celebration of its publication, I am giving away one copy of this title. Next month (August), I will be offering my final session of 2016 of "Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca" through Library Juice Academy. This is a four-week, asynchronous online class in which participants will learn the details of and find helpful resources for planning and presenting bilingual storytime programs. Everyone who participates in this session of the workshop will be entered into a drawing for a free copy of Once Upon a Cuento. Find more information about the workshop and full registration details here - http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/033-storytime-biblioteca.php. If you've been thinking about taking this workshop but have not yet had the chance, now is the time to join us! I hope to see many of you in the group next month!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Great Resources!

Recently I discovered two wonderful resources that I have to share with you all - stORytime and "Beyond Bilingual Storytime and ESL," a presentation from this year's recent PLA conference.

StORytime is "a new early learning initiative created with the help of communities across Oregon with an investment from the state legislature. The initiative brings together parents, educators, Early Learning Hubs, Regional Achievement Collaboratives, libraries, local businesses, and culturally specific community partners to build awareness and shared responsibility for ensuring our youngest Oregonians are on track to read by third grade." I love this resource because it is all about empowering families AND...they have lots of great resources available in Spanish! Materials in Spanish include suggested early literacy activities for families, printable handouts and more. Great job Oregon!

"Beyond Bilingual Storytime and ESL"
A colleague who attended PLA in Denver shared the information from this session with me, and it is fantastic. It's all about outreach, and the presentation and outreach planning guide available on the session page clarify some extremely valuable points about outreach to Latino communities. For example, there isn't one "Latino" community! They also point out why traditional models of program development don't really work for underserved communities and propose a different, community-focused strategy. It's great work, and I highly recommend you check it out. Way to go Adriana (Ady) Huertas, Zoe Jarocki, and Simone Groene-Nieto.

What great resources have you come across lately that help you in service to Latino and Spanish-speaking children and families? Share them with us here!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Professional Development Opportunities and GIVEAWAY!

Hi all! First, I want to apologize that this blog has in many ways become a channel for self-promotion. I realize that I am doing a less than stellar job at keeping it up-to-date with fresh bilingual storytime programming content. The simple fact is that there are only so many hours in the day, and (like everyone else) I do the best that I can to keep up! I am very fortunate that a number of new opportunities have found their way into my life, and currently, this blog is much further down on the priority list than some of my other responsibilities. But, it's still one of the best tools that I have to let you know when I am offering training and other professional development opportunities, so that's what I am often sharing. I do feel bad that I'm not giving you more...so that has inspired a giveaway! Read on to the bottom of the post for more information.

There are lots of professional development opportunities happening with me this spring. On March 7, my four-week workshop "Building Relationships, Building Bridges: Library Outreach and Marketing to Latino and Spanish-Speaking Families" starts through Library Juice Academy. It is very common that libraries struggle to connect with Latinos and Spanish-speakers, particularly first-generation immigrant communities. This workshop helps participants explore potential barriers to access and how to overcome them. We focus on outreach, identifying and working with community partners, and marketing/advertising. I strongly recommend this course for anyone who is considering launching a bilingual storytime program, especially if you are hoping this storytime will help attract new library users from the Latino community. It's also useful for library staff in adult services, outreach, administration or any library department looking for strategies to improve relationships among the Latino and Spanish-speaking community.

I also have two ongoing workshops on bilingual storytime that I offer through Northern Kentucky University. One is a workshop for library staff who are themselves bilingual, the other is a workshop for library staff who are not bilingual. Each explores the fundamentals of bilingual storytime programming, but they are presented differently, as the ways in which bilingual/nonbilingual staff will go about designing and implementing bilingual storytime are different. These workshops are entirely self-paced, and the new session starts on March 6 (though participants can join anytime from now through April).

Finally, I co-authored a book! What an experience! I poured my whole heart into this work, and I'm truly proud of the outcome. Once Upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytime in English and Spanish, co-authored by myself and Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo, will be available from ALA in May. Check out the beautiful cover illustration from illustrator John Parra!

So friends, you can see, I may not be as active here these days, but there is a lot going on. Did you know that I'm also a yoga teacher, specializing in teaching yoga to kids? And guess what? I'm writing a book about that too! The tentatively titled Stories and Stretches: Enhancing Storytime with Yoga and Creative Movement is going to be published by ALA sometime in late 2017. It will be a guide for librarians and staff who offer storytimes on how to incorporate yoga and other kinds of creative movement into their programs. I'm so excited to be working on it! If this sounds of interest to you, you can check out some of my ideas for sharing yoga with young children on my other blog at www.katiescherreryoga.com.

Now, on to the giveaway! This year, illustrator Rafael López won the Pura Belpré award for illustration for his work in Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle. In celebration, I have two of his past books to giveaway to two lucky blog readers - My Name is Celia / Me llamo Celia by Monica Brown and Book Fiesta! by Pat Mora. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post by March 6, 2016. You can tell me a topic you'd like to have more professional development on, share something that's been useful if you've participated in one of my workshops in the past, share what you think of Drum Dream Girl or other books illustrated by Rafael López, or simply say you'd like to be entered in the drawing. On March 7, 2016, I will randomly select two winners from those who posted and announce them in the comments. Be sure to watch for this, as I will need you contact me with your shipping address if you win (please do not share your shipping address in the comments - watch your privacy, people!). Spread the word...I'd love to see lots of names in the drawing! In the meantime, check out this great reaction video from Rafael learning he won the 2016 Pura Belpré award for illustration! And thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca - February Class

My goodness, 2016 has arrived with a bang! There are so many exciting things happening already. The Pura Belpré award turns 20, I'm serving my second term on the Pura Belpré award committee, my bilingual storytime manual (co-authored with Jamie Campbell Naidoo) comes out from ALA Editions in May, and I'm working on a second title for 2017! More information about all of these things will be coming soon, I promise, but for now, I just want to quickly let you know that I'm teaching a new session of "Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca" through Library Juice Academy in February.

I love teaching this class! It never fails that the group is dedicated, passionate and loves to share. I am always inspired by the ideas that come forward and heartened at the way children's librarians and other library staff involved with children's services are truly committed to serving ALL members of their diverse communities. If you are thinking about adding or updating a bilingual program in advance of your DIA celebration or summer reading program, now is a great time to learn some new techniques and find some new materials to share with your community. Though I stress here on the blog and in the workshop that you must be able to communicate with ease in both languages if you want to offer a bilingual storytime on your own, this class is not limited to those who speak Spanish. Options are included for all language skill levels, such as working in tandem with bilingual partners and/or being intentional about using materials that positively include Latino cultures in your English storytime programs. I hope you will consider joining us!

For more information and to register, please visit Library Juice Academy. You can also contact me if you have any specific questions. ¡Hasta luego!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Flannel Friday Guest Post - Soy un vaquero / I'm a Cowboy

Hi everyone! A large chunk of what I spend my time doing these days is leading online classes that teach participants how to design and implement bilingual storytime programs. Each session is so much fun! Participants share with each other, and I am always amazed and re-energized by the enthusiasm and creativity of the groups. From time to time, I like to share something special that was shared within the class by inviting a participant to do a guest post here on the blog. This post comes from Kate Cruz, a Library Assistant at the Washoe County Library System. Thanks, Kate, for being so generous as to share your ideas and these amazing flannel designs!

From Kate Cruz:
I Am a Cowboy/Soy un Vaquero
Duke was my solution to a classic bilingual story time dilemma—How do I to get the audience to participate in an activity/song, regardless of the language they speak, while keeping the program fresh each week?

I had heard a song called Cowgirl Clothes by GoGo Lingo and used that as a starting point. It’s a cumulative song, but has a simple tune that is easy to remember. You can check it out here:

I decided not to keep it cumulative, making the song easier for the younger audience to keep up with. I also decided to make the cowgirl a cowboy—because I felt that the one less syllable per line made the song easier to sing…
"Soy una vaquera" = 6 syllables

"Soy un vaquero" = 5 syllables

…especially as the weeks went by and I was trying to fit more vocab into the song for different themes.  Trust me on this one.

The first felt piece I made was Duke. He is dressed plainly, a blank slate. Then I created the clothing/accessories to match the cowboy theme (a hat, a lasso, boots, a bandana, a guitar, and a horse). When choosing Duke’s accompanying items, make sure you can easily fit the English and Spanish translations into the lines. 2-3 syllables is best, 4 can be done—but it’s a mouthful.

I set up the board with Duke on one side, and the items on the other. When I introduce the activity, I explain (going back and forth in English and Spanish) that Duke is a little boy who loves to dress-up in different costumes. Then I ask the audience what they think Duke will be dressing as today based on the items on the board. “¡Sí—un vaquero! A cowboy!” Then we review the items in both English and Spanish before we begin our song. I explain that we will begin in English and then alternate between English and Spanish throughout. I also tell them that even if they don’t know the whole song, that they can help me by naming each item Duke is going to wear as we go along. But don’t worry—they will pick it up quickly! Here is how I sing it:

I am a cowboy and a cowboy needs a…. (point to felt piece and pause for answer from group) hat!

(place felt piece on Duke, repeat line without pause)

Pause for a moment here and remind the group that the next verse will be in Spanish.
Soy un vaquero y un vaquero necesita unas… (point to felt piece and pause for answer from group) ¡botas!

(place felt piece on boy, repeat line without pause)

Pause a moment and remind them, “Y ahora en Ingles/and now in English.”
I am a cowboy and a cowboy needs a…. (point to felt piece and pause for answer from group) lasso!

(place felt piece on boy’s hand, repeat line without pause)

Pause a moment and remind them, “and now in Spanish/y ahora en Español.”
Soy un vaquero y un vaquero necesita un… (point to felt piece and pause for answer from group) ¡pañuelo!

(place felt piece on boy, repeat line without pause)

Pause a moment and remind them, “Y ahora en Ingles/and now in English.”
I am a cowboy and a cowboy needs a…. (point to felt piece and pause for answer from group) guitar!

(place felt piece on boy’s hand, repeat line without pause)

Pause a moment and remind them, “and now in Spanish/y ahora en Español.”
Soy un vaquero y un vaquero necesita un… (point to felt piece and pause for answer from group) ¡caballo!

(place felt piece next to boy, repeat line without pause)

(Taking a break from the song, tell the group that Duke’s Mom is calling for him to come eat lunch—“It’s time to take off your costume!”)
(Repeat song—this time do the Spanish lines in English, and vice-versa. Take the felt pieces off the boy as you sing about each item)

I don’t always stick to a theme in my story time, but I try to pair at least one book to Duke’s costume so it makes an easy transition in the program. For Duke the cowboy, we stayed on the farm and smoothly transitioned to Clic, Clac, Muu: Vacas Escritoras/ Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin.

You could do this activity in a variety of ways. I once did the entire song in English and then in Spanish, and I’ve also thought about bringing in props/costume pieces instead of using the felt board. If you have a small group, you can ask the children to help you place the items onto Duke as you sing. Another idea is to nix Duke all together, and instead create a background, adding items to the scene throughout the song. For example, you could start with a simple gray castle…
I am a castle and a castle needs a---MOAT! (gate, flags, etc.)
This activity is so versatile, and you can make it your own.  Here are some other themes that I’ve done:

I Am a Barber/Soy un Barbero

I Am a Doctor/Soy un Doctor

I Am a Pirate/Soy un Pirata

I Am a Ranger/Soy un Guardabosque

Wow! So creative and fun! Thanks again Kate for sharing these super cute flannels with us. If you give them a try in your bilingual storytime, let us know how it goes! What other ideas can you come up with for Duke?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

November Session of "Building Relationships, Building Bridges: Library Outreach and Marketing to Latino and Spanish-Speaking Families"

November Session of "Building Relationships, Building Bridges: Library Outreach and Marketing to Latino and Spanish-Speaking Families"

I want to quickly let you all know that I am leading a session of my outreach class November 2-27 through Library Juice Academy. This class is all about how to reach Latino and Spanish-speaking families in your community. It is designed as a companion workshop to "Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca," though those interested in outreach/adult services who aren't interested in bilingual storytime are also encouraged to participate.  

The biggest challenge I hear over and again in "Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca" is that Latino and Spanish-speaking families aren't coming to the library for the program. So often we think that a bilingual storytime will be enough to draw new families to the library, but it just isn't. Outreach is critical. This class presents the basics of outreach and marketing, and can help you think through how to better deliver your bilingual programming (or library service in general) to the Latino and Spanish-speaking families you are trying to reach. You can find more information and register here if you are interested: http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/032-spanish-speaking.php

This is a completely asynchronous online class that runs from November 2 - November 27. Please don't hesitate to leave a comment or send me a question via my website if you have any questions. Hope to see some of you who follow the blog in the class!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Big Announcements and Recommended Music

Yes, I've fallen off of updating the blog lately, but I promise you, it's been for a great reason! I'm so excited to share that I am close to finishing a book that is all about bilingual storytime! I'm co-authoring it with Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo, and it is being published by ALA Editions. Our working title is Once Upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytimes in English and Spanish. I've been pouring my heart into this work for the better part of a year now, and I'm feeling very excited about it as it gets closer and closer to finished. We are covering all of the "how-to's" of bilingual storytime planning, as well as the critical component of library outreach to Latino and Spanish-speaking communities. Whether you speak Spanish yourself or not, if you are wanting to develop library programming for young children that engages Spanish-speaking families, this book will help you find your way. And it will be full of awesome resource and sample program plans. I'll keep you posted with all the details as the book gets closer to publication!

Another announcement is that registration is now open for my fall session of "Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca." This is always such a fun class! It's totally online and asynchronous, but we do interact a lot throughout the month, meaning that participants are often learning as much from each other as they are from me, which is one of the best parts of the class. Please consider enrolling if you'd like to learn more about establishing a bilingual storytime or if you're looking for new tips and tricks for your current program. 

Finally, since it's been so long since I've posted anything useful, I wanted to share some pretty great stuff today. I remember when I first started offering bilingual storytime, one of my biggest challenges was to find fun Spanish-language or bilingual children's music. José-Luis Orozco is, of course, one of the best out there, and I was so happy when I finally found him. Today, however, there are so many amazing children's performers creating really fun music bilingually or in Spanish. I wanted to share with you a few of my most recent favorites. Check them out, and have fun getting your groove on in bilingual storytime!

Basho & Friends
Favorite Song: "Baila con tu cuerpo" from ¡Aún Más!

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band
Favorite Song: "A bailar" from ¡Fantástico!

Mister G
Favorite Song: "Frota tu panza" from ABC Fiesta

Nathalia Palis
Favorite Song: "Animal Bop" from From Here to There

Patty Shukla
Favorite Song: "Muévete" from Canta y baila con Patty