Naidoo, J. C. (2010). Using print and digital Latino children’s books to promote multiple literacies in classrooms and libraries. In J. C. Naidoo (Ed.), Celebrating cuentos: promoting Latino children’s literature and literacy in classrooms and libraries (pp. 301-317). Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
As a relatively new Spanish bilingual teacher-librarian in a high-needs public elementary school in San Francisco, I spent my first year completely reorganizing the library space. Before I started this project, all of the Spanish books were stuffed into one shelf area with several small rolling carts used for overflow. After months of hard work and funding for new shelving, the library is now clearly divided so that all of the English books are on one side and all of the Spanish books are on the other and are spread out among seven new ample book shelves. Starting this year, I am focused on improving the online links for teachers and students on our school library webpage as well as providing relevant and engaging lessons teaching our students how to use online resources effectively. Therefore, Jamie Naidoo’s essay has given me wonderful ideas about using digital resources among our Latino students.
Naidoo’s essay recreates a lesson by a sixth grade teacher reading Julia Alvarez’s Return to Sender, which sparks a lively debate about immigration and deportation among his students. To learn more, the teacher directs students to a Webquest site where they find out information on current immigration laws as well as important leaders in the Latino community such as César Chávez and Dolores Huerta. Quite frankly, this lesson overview has opened my eyes to a myriad of ways in which I could enhance the learning experiences of the students at our school. The only obstacle I see at this point is the fact that the fourth and fifth graders are already loaded down with reports on other topics such as the California Native American tribes and US Presidents, which are required by California curriculum standards. Nevertheless, it is worth talking to the upper grade teachers at my school about fitting in a new topic such as immigration that is more personally relevant to our students given that more than 90% are Latino.