Preserving Bilingual Literacy with Read Conmigo

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Read Conmigo and Latina Bloggers Connect, however, all opinions are my own. 

In my home, although we mostly speak English I have been really making an effort to teach my daughters and myself more Spanish. Being a Latina Mom living and raising my children in East Los Angeles bilingual literacy is something that is very important to me. 
Here's an unfortunate fact: Did you know that less than two percent of children’s books written last year were Latino-themed and only 48 books of the 3,200 children’s works published in 2013 in the U.S. were written by Latino authors. In an effort to change these startling statistics, one book at a time, the nationally recognized bilingual literacy program Read Conmigo sponsored by Infinity Auto Insurance, is introducing the “Preserving our Culture through Bilingual Literacy” contest for budding Latino children’s book authors based in the Southern California area.

I have always loved writing. As a young girl I wrote stories in my free time (yes, I was that kid) and as a teenager I wrote short stories and submitted them to my school newspaper. Admittedly, I was also the Editor-in-Chief of my high school newspaper, so I may have had some pull in having my stories published. Nevertheless, there is nothing like getting lost in your mind, putting your thoughts into words and creating a world all your own. I know more than 48 Latinos have more to say, we can change this, we need to change this.

This is a great opportunity for all of you out there who love to write. Participants in the “Preserving our Culture through Bilingual Literacy” contest will compete for an opportunity to have their children’s story published. The story 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.
All manuscripts must be submitted by October 31, 2014 and 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.

Read Conmigo is an amazing bilingual literacy program that provides parents, teachers, and students FREE BILINGUAL CHILDREN'S BOOKS in English and Spanish as well as online resources for children in Preschool to 5th grade. I have signed up and it is such a great resource to have on hand. To register you can either visit ReadConmigo.org or Text the word READ to 323-767-8811 and from then on you can download the Read Conmigo book collection to any tablet or smartphone, you will also receive a new book every 4 months for free and have access to the "Learn with Me" app that reads an alphabet book in both languages to your child. 

Take a minute and head over to ReadConmigo.org to check out all of the fun resources like printable flash cards, personalized coloring sheets, games, and also check out if there are any events happening near you. Let's take advantage of these amazing resources and help our children the most we can. 

Let's Celebrate Bilingual Literacy Month with Read Conmigo and a Giveaway!


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Read Conmigo and Latina Bloggers Connect. As always, all opinions are my own. 
We have all heard the importance and benefits of being bilingual and raising bilingual children. I have learned this the hard way. I am a Latina, born and raised in East LA and although I can understand and follow along with a lot of Spanish conversations, and know a good amount of vocabulary, I never learned to speak it fluently. My mother never really focused on teaching me and my sister how to speak in Spanish, and because of that, we were never able to fully communicate with our own abuela. 
 This is where I take responsibility: When I was in high school and had to take a foreign language I opted to take 3 years of French. I know I was such a rebel. Well, when I got to college and attempted to take Spanish, I failed it. I had the hardest time going from the Spanglish that I knew, and the "proper" way to speak Spanish. It is unfortunate and it is something that I regret. I vow to not pass on this disadvantage to my children. 
My girls will learn to speak Spanish. Although, I've done my part, I have to thank Dora the Explorer for helping make learning a new language fun. Now, as my girls are getting older and in the beginning reading stages, I am ready to help them, with Read Conmigo.
Read Conmigo, sponsored by Infinity Auto Insurance, is a parent-focused bilingual literacy campaign that encourages Hispanic parents to read to their children at home through the distribution of free English-Spanish children's books. The program has already distributed more than 750,000 free books to classrooms and Hispanic families, and receives support from more than 9,200 educators. The campaign creates opportunities for new Hispanic authors and illustrators. Infinity Auto Insurance employees, along with Read Conmigo authors and illustrators, engage their communities at special events, schools and libraries to foster bilingual literacy in young readers.
The other day I was lucky enough to attend a celebration of #BilingualLiteracyMonth at Ford Blvd Elementary School in East Los Angeles, not too far from where I live now. We were treated to a bilingual reading from renowned Latino children's author Antonio Sacre. Sacre also shared some great tips on how to engage your child while reading together. 
  • Discuss the illustrations and ask you child what they think is going to happen in the story.
  • Be excited when reading and your child will be excited too! 
  • Stop and discuss what just happened in the story, and how they feel. 
The Los Angeles Board of Education declared that Read Conmigo and Bilingual Literacy Month for it's commitment to education and for promoting bilingual literacy. 
Look at all of those happy faces holding up their new book!



 
This is an example of a book you can download and read to your child. Read Conmigo also offers so many resources like personalized printables, reading charts, activity kits, flash cards, memory, and coloring pages.