By Lupita Peimbert
(Community) – First of all, reading in the classroom matters for the well-being of all students, regardless of skin color. Children and youth get to see role models, expand their knowledge of their own cultural heritage, learn diverse cultural backgrounds, get ideas for careers and jobs, and listen to interesting stories.
For students of darker skin, for those who are part of immigrant families, and for new Americans, interacting with role models becomes even more relevant. Furthermore, teachers and school staff get inspired when they see that the community cares.
Reading to students creates readers. Students are more compelled to appreciate and read books, when books are read to them.
The Oakland Education Fund has organized a Latino/Latina Read-Aloud opportunity the week of October 3rd, coincidentally during Hispanic Heritage Month. According to the US Census, around 25% of Oakland population identifies as Hispanic/Latino.
“In a city as diverse as Oakland it is critical that students have opportunities to see themselves – and all of their classmates – in the books they read,” says Lilly Smith, program coordinator for the Latino/Latina Read-Aloud.
Simply said, the “reader,” either brings a book or is given one, comes to the classroom to read in an engaging manner, reads in English or Spanish or both, and interacts with the students in one or more classroom, one or more days of the week, perhaps telling them a little bit about their career or other interests.
And so this is a call to action. The participation of Latino/Latina professionals, entrepreneurs, business and community leaders is crucial. This is a call to action. The invitation extends to anybody who cares and appreciate the Latino/Hispanic culture.
Please invite yourself and others, and contact Lilly Smith as soon as possible to be enlisted as volunteer:
Lilly@oaklandedfund.org or 510.221.6968 x708. If you may, please mentionyou learned about this opportunity via Lupitanews.com as I am helping gathering a group of Latino and Latina stars to have a strong presence this year.
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”
— Margaret Fuller
I have read-aloud in several classrooms bilingually, and can attest to how fulfilling spending time with young students can be. Furthermore, as someone who speaks with an accent, I proudly empower students to be okay if their English doesn’t sound “perfect,” and to be respectful and comfortable with people who may speak with an accent. The quality and effectiveness of human communication can’t be limited by how words may sound, but rather be defined by the content, the message, and the messenger’s behavior.
I hope to see you at one of the Oakland schools! Let’s be part of this!
Remember to contact Lilly Smith as soon as possible to be enlisted as volunteer: Lilly@oaklandedfund.org or 510.221.6968 x708.
You can find magic
wherever you look.
Sit back and relax
all you need is a book!”
– Dr. Seuss