Tulsa Bridges the Latino Children's Book Gap

Latino Children's Books

A quarter of all school children in America are Latino, but children's books are primarily written by whites and the characters are mostly white, reports National Public Radio.

Why is that bad? Latino children need to see people in their books that look like them. It will help them connect with books, and time spent reading is the most important factor in school success. White children, too, will benefit from seeing a world in books as diverse as the world they live in.

The Family Literacy program at the Tulsa City-County Library understands this problem and seeks to bridge the gap. Family Literacy administers two programs, The Krueger Read & Grow Program and the Friends First Book Program, that give free books to more than 1,300 three and four year-old children in Title I classes around Tulsa every month of the school year. All of these books are available in either bilingual, or both English and Spanish editions.

The first three books in the coming school year will all be bilingual books with Spanish connections. "The Library's Secret / El secreto de la biblioteca", is by Spanish author Anna Galan.  "The Day of the Dead/El Dia de los Muertos", by Parents Choice Award winning author Bob Barner is about this important Hispanic holiday. And Jerry Tello, the Latino author of "Abuelo and the Three Bears / Abuelo y los tres osos", is an internationally recognized authority on cross cultural issues.

The Krueger Read & Grow Program is funded by the Krueger Charitable Foundation. The Friends First Book Program is funded by the Friends of the Tulsa City-County Library.

Read the entire NPR article at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/06/25/193174358/as-demographics-shift-kids-books-stay-stubbornly-white

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