I am thrilled and honored to share that I have been invited to present a workshop on bilingual programming at the 2010 Virginia Hamilton Conference in Kent, Ohio! The Virginia Hamilton Conference is focused entirely on multiculturalism in literature for children and young adults, and is the longest running event of this kind. Though this conference may not be as widely known as larger events for librarians and educators, this conference attracts hundreds of public and school librarians and teachers. It also brings together some extremely important authors. This year, Pam Muñoz Ryan, author of Becoming Naomi Leon and Esperanza Rising among many others, will be the recipient of the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award. Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Chains and Speak will also be at this event.
I will be one of several presenters offering workshops at this conference, and mine will be on the topic of Bilingual Preschool Storytime. This is truly exciting for me, as I have now been part of creating a successful bilingual storytime program from scratch for two very different library systems. This experience means there are many angles from which I could approach this workshop - advocacy, marketing, early literacy, outreach, the practical elements of designing bilingual storytimes, how to find and select books, etc. As I am working on this project, I find myself thinking back to when I was first approaching bilingual programming. What did I want to know? What would have been the most useful information when I was first preparing to offer bilingual programs? I remember feeling very nervous, overwhelmed, isolated and intimidated at the prospect of launching this new program. What could have calmed my nerves? What resources did I need that I struggled to find?
My biggest goal with this workshop is that participants will leave with something practical and tangible that they can take back to their libraries or schools. I want them to feel more prepared to offer bilingual storytimes, as well as more connected to a community of bilingual programming practicioners than when they entered the room. So I'm wondering if anyone out there has ideas or suggestions for important elements to cover during the course of the workshop. What were your burning questions when you first began bilingual programming? What were your challenges? Have you trained others in presenting bilingual programs before? If so, what information did they find most beneficial?
I'll update the blog with the info I plan to share as the conference gets closer, and I will make everything available online afterward.
10 months ago