I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about why I want to offer bilingual storytime. Why is it important? Why do I think it is something my community needs, even if they don’t necessarily know it? Well, I’m here to tell you why.
First, bilingual storytime is for native Spanish speaking families. Families with parents who don’t speak much English, or don’t come to regular storytime because of schedules or language or maybe they just don’t know about it or feel welcome. Bilingual storytime lets these families know they are welcome in the library, offers the same early literacy modeling that we do in storytime, and lets parents know that it is ok to do all that great stuff in their native language- they don’t have to speak English to help their kids become readers.
Next, I think it is really important for older kids to have bilingual storytime. Kids who speak Spanish at home but English at school, or don’t want to speak Spanish in public. I want to model that speaking Spanish can be a good thing, and cool! I also want to introduce Hispanic authors and illustrators as role models and show diversity both in the stories and in their creators.
Finally, we live in an increasingly diverse world, and Spanish is a growing language in this country. I want bilingual storytime to introduce everyone, all families, to Spanish and another culture. It is vital that children see all kinds of kids reflected in the stories they read, both kids who look like them and kids who are different that they can learn from.
Read more about my bilingual storytimes!