This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Read Conmigo and Latina Bloggers Connect. As always, my opinions, comments and love for bilingual education are my own.
I swear, even when my back is turned, I can hear my kids rolling their eyes when I talk about the importance of raising them with two languages. I’ve had to learn a lot over the years about what works and what doesn’t, and believe me, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. But they are bilingual, even if the younger one doesn’t realize it yet. He announced emphatically and in beautiful Spanish, “Yo no hablo español,” (I don’t speak Spanish) to my aunt that last time we visited her in Mexico. And of course they spent hours chatting and playing together in Spanish.
Of course, all the practical reasons our mothers give us for raising our kids bilingually are good ones:
- Job opportunities and advantages in hiring
- The ability to communicate with an extra billion or so other earthly inhabitants (heavenly ones, too, according to grandma)
- The cognitive benefits language switching provides
- speaking to constituents in their comfort languages when kids are running for President
- and, of course, helping preserve our cultures and identities through our languages.
But for me, in addition to all that, I just love hearing my boys say, “Can you read with me?” in both languages.
If you like the sound of that, too, then here is a tip on a great resource for helping in your own quest to raise bilingual children. Read Conmigo is a literacy program, sponsored by Infinity Auto Insurance, that gives parents, teachers, and students free bilingual children’s books in both English and Spanish. In addition, the program provides online bilingual tools designed for children ages preschool to 5th grade.
- Download the Read Conmigo book collection to any tablet or smartphone
- Receive a new book every 4 months for free!
- Access the app “learn with me” that reads The Alphabet Book to your kids in both languages.
To register online click here, or text the word “READ” to 323-767-8811.
Your Chance to Become a Children’s Book Author and Win $1000
Now maybe you’ve been thinking about writing a bilingual children’s book of your own. Did you know only 48 of the 3200 children’s works published in the US in 2013 were by Latino authors? Well, if you live in Southern California, here’s a great opportunity to get your feet wet and maybe even win some money, get published, and change that statistic!
Read Conmigo, sponsored by Infinity Auto Insurance, has introduced the “Preserving our Culture through Bilingual Literacy” contest for Latino children’s book authors based in the Southern California area.
You need to move quickly because your manuscript must be submitted by October 31, 2014. But don’t let that deter you, sometimes a little time pressure can really get the creative juices flowing. Participants in the “Preserving our Culture through Bilingual Literacy” contest will compete for an opportunity to have their children’s stories published nationally. Stories must feature one of several Read Conmigo characters and the winning author(s) will receive $1000 in prize money. Winner(s) will be notified by November 14th.
Authors and manuscripts must meet the following criteria:
- Author Profile – Must be from Southern California 18 years old or over, of Latino origin; no prior published work or writing experience necessary
- Target Reader – All submissions should be suitable for reading levels Pre-K through 5th Grade
- Language – Story must be submitted in both English and Spanish
- Characters- Story must include one or more of the Read Conmigo characters
- Word count: Minimum is 400 words; maximum length is 1500 words
To submit a manuscript and for complete rules and contest details visit www.ReadConmigo.org.
Good luck and go for it!