I made two trips to the library this week. I took Santi on a one-on-one little book date and literally scanned the picture book shelves for Latino-sounding last names…Morales, yes! Pull that book off that shelf! I do this a lot. I do racial profiling with books!! jajaja!
My second trip to the library was on Thursday. I was the Thursday Reader guest in Diego’s kindergarten (an awesome way to get parents in the classroom) and because I have a pretty full plate around here, I was not prepared. I asked Diego a few days before what he would like for me to read to the class. He said he wanted me to read How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (I told you it is one of our favorite things right now). On Thursday morning, it occurred to me that Las Posadas were about to begin!! I should have taken the opportunity to read to the kiddies about Las Posadas! What a great way for them to learn about the nine day procession and celebration of the birth of Baby Jesus!!! Too late. The teachers have to approve the book a few days before, etc., but I went to the library anyway AND I found something! Just ONE book and not by a Latino author (but it didn’t matter because the amazing Tomie DePaola is the author). I checked out The Night of Las Posadas, read it at home and thought, I’ll take it to school anyway.
When I arrived, I had a few minutes to talk to one of Diego’s teachers. I explained my bad timing and she graciously said they would read it to the kids on Friday! Success! I LOVE THAT! It shows that my child’s heritage, parental contribution and the study of different beliefs are important to his teachers and I appreciate that immensely. Diego just came home with a dreidel and talked all about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. I’m so happy that Las Posadas will be discussed too.
Lesson learned: never feel that you can’t contribute to your child’s education by participating in the classroom because more often than not, your teachers will be accepting and appreciative. Another lesson: find ways to celebrate your culture and heritage in any way you can. For us, because we are away from family and Diego hasn’t had a tamal yet, it is my responsibility to find what he needs to be more culturally aware (and it shouldn’t just stop with our own culture). I’m willing to contribute! It takes a village, remember?
P.s I can’t wait to do luminarias with them next year! Tomie DePaola included them in his picture book, of course! Click here for an awesome luminaria craft project by Mommy Maestra.
Note: I wrote this last Friday but due to the tragic events of Sandy Hook Elementary, I thought this story could wait.