An idea initiated by CoFiA was put into action this spring by Jenny Rama, an energetic teacher in the Lindberg Middle School in Palisades Park. Noticing that there are many story-time opportunities at the Palisades Park Public Library, we asked if it would be possible to have one in Spanish for pre-schoolers and their parents. The librarians agreed enthusiastically and almost immediately Ms. Rama recruited preschoolers and parents and began regular sessions on Wednesday afternoons. A recent article in the RECORD, by reporter Monsy Alvarado, included this program in a story on similar opportunities in other libraries.
The children and their parents have fun, but as Jenny Rama says, the purpose is serious. “Students who have not been exposed to literacy–regardless of their native language–have a difficult time in school.” If you learn literacy skills in your own language they transfer easily to another language.
Gloria Duarte, one of the parents who participated with her children and two nieces, said her 4-year old son Jose Daniel likes to color more now, and is more attentive when she speaks. It’s been a benefit for her too–she discovered the adult books in Spanish which she plans to use for herself.
While the program is ending for the summer, Mrs. Rama plans to resume in the fall. CoFiA staff person Angelica Martinez and member Margaret White are working closely with her and will be happy to tell anyone who is interested more about the program. Librarian Susan Kumar said she would like to have it year-round!