ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools is working to bring culturally relevant and bilingual books into the homes of local families.
“It’s a good thing to see yourself in these books because it shows that you’re not the only one here. You’re not the only one with these disabilities or these issues in your life.”Alexandra Jaquez, Atrisco Heritage Academy
Sixty-six schools with bilingual programs are distributing a total of 40,000 books to 11,000 students across the district from kindergarten to 12th grade. The program is funded by the district’s Language and Cultural Equity Department, whose goal is not only to help students find mirrors of themselves in the literature they’re reading but also to build connections between students and their families.
“We hope at a high school and middle school level that kids go home and say hey mom hey dad, this book is so amazing you might love it too.”Rachel Altobelli, Librarian
The program’s first event took place at Atrisco Heritage Academy on Friday. Students each got to pick three books they were interested in, then they were given a bag to carry them home with, and ushered out with a free pizza lunch.
Librarians say helping students make connections with books, gives them a new outlet to explore and helps them understand that their culture is celebrated all over the world.
“It’s a really fun and exciting experience.”Alexandra Jaquez, Atrisco Heritage Academy
They hope being surrounded by culturally relevant books in the classroom, in their libraries, and at home will help them see that their stories and experiences are important and should be cherished. They also hope this program inspires the next generation of New Mexican writers.