Can they help you or tag team with you at first? What is their level of comfort speaking Spanish? That may help you determine your approach. If you don’t speak Spanish, or don’t speak with much fluency, you can try to recruit a volunteer to either lead or assist (with training).
Is you library willing to give you extra time to prepare, extra time to recruit participants, time or funding to go to a bilingual workshop or to seek out bilingual Storytimes in your area to shadow? extra time to meet with community groups you would like to work with? Time to go into the community to advertise? You may need to invest in some materials, depending on your library’s collection, such as a book like Mother goose on the loose for bilingual learners, cds in Spanish, or funding for new flannelboard materials for your new plans.
Begin with passport nametags- write name (writing skills) Always begin with a song or wiggles activity Alternate books with songs or fingerplays End with a song
Some of this is important information to collect to help you market your bilingual/Spanish language story time. But it is also great to include culturally relevant songs or books if you can, too. We’ll talk some more about that later.
You can look at the census, you can see if your school district posts demographic information—this may be a more accurate reflection of your community’s children than a simple census search. For planning purposes, look at the very young to see who will be in your schools down the road. We are talking spanish language today, but that doesn’t mean your community won’t have a bigger need for storytimes in another language besides english.
Secondarily, your library may want to you reach out to families whose children are Caucasian, but who are learning spanish in school. Check for spanish immersion programs in your area. You may be able to reach out to the coordinator to advertise your program to families there, or at “family nights”. Careful– don’t only ad
Check with already-established organizations that work with your targeted population to gather information or to advertise. For example, Headstart or Churches that offer services in Spanish. We advertised our storytimes at local grocery stores, churches, and apartment complexes that have high Latino populations.
Don’t use Google translate to translate your flyers! *Tip: Knowing your population will make translations more accurate too—there are lots of regional ways to say things country by country. There is NO “correct” spanish i.e. Spanish from Spain.
El cuentacuentos, la hora de cuentos, la hora del cuento, la hora del cuentacuentos
Some Spanish-speaking countries do not have a culture of libraries. For example, in Puerto Rico public libraries are very rare so families may not be familiar with how a library works or what services are normally offered. Keep your information basic but check your assumptions of what you think your audience knows. For example you might not normally say that story times are free when you advertise them in your community, but not everyone may automatically assume that such a service would be.
Let’s sing one together- Una sardina! Una sardina Una sardina, una sardina Nadando en el agua Una sardina, una sardina, Glo, glo, glo.. Oh no fue comida porrr.. Un pulpito, un pulpito Nadando en el agua, Un pulpito, un pulpito, Glo, glo, glo Oh no fué comido porrr.. Un atún, un atún, Nadando en el agua, Un atún, un atún, Glo, glo, glo Oh no fue comido porrr.. Un tiburón, un tiburón, Nadando en el agua, Un tiburón, un tiburón, Glo, glo, glo Oh no fue comido porrr.. Una ballena, una ballena, Nadando en el agua, Una balllena, una ballena, Glo, glo, glo.. Sonido de eructo (burp) Perdóname.
Let’s do “Un elefante se balanceaba”
Cristina Springfield Rodríguez
Fitchburg Public Library
-1st and only Spanish-speaking employee
-Later joined by another part-time Spanish
-Neither native speakers
Mi Cuerpo, mi cuerpo hace música (x2)
Mis manos hacen clap clap clap
Mis pies hacen boom boom boom
Mi boca dice la la la
Mi cintura hace cha cha cha
Assessing your library
• Who on staff speaks Spanish?
• Do you need to reach out and recruit a volunteer?
• How willing is your library to support you?
• Will your community be supportive of the program?
• Are there any resources you already have that you can
Solo: code switching, bilingual books or some books Spanish/some English
- Advantages: You only have to count on yourself! Flexibility based on who shows up
- Disadvantages: Language needs may be higher for presenter
Partnered: tandem songs and books or switching off with each
- Advantages: Can get a community member involved
- Disadvantages: More planning time, reliance on volunteers can be risky, need to train
Example of a partnered story time
Sample: Food-La Comida
Song: Good morning/Buenos Dias
Activity: Mira/Esucha/Sientate/Levantate excersize
Song: Bate, Bate, Chocolate/Stir, Stir, Chocolate
Book: The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos
Feltboard: Que hay en mi cazuela?
Book: To Market, To Market by Anne Miranda
Song: Tortillitas para mamá, tortillitas para papá
Book: The Three little Tamales by Eric Kimmel
Song: Mi cuerpo hace musica
Tortillitas para mamá
Tortillitas para mamá;
Tortillitas para papá.
Las quemaditas para mamá;
Las bonitas para papá.
• José-Luis Orozco
• Cri-Cri: El Grillito Cantor (Francisco Gabilondo Soler)
• Sol y Canto (local group)
• Dan Zanes (Spanish-influenced CDs)
• Jorge Anaya
• Dr. Jean en Español
• Little Pim CDs
• Random websites:
• Youtube is your best friend! Ex. Mi Tía Mónica
• Play the “remember” game using elements
from the book you read
• Use alongside appropriate songs or fingerplays
• Use with cumulative tales (ex. The cazuela that
the farm maiden stirred)
• Mother Goose on the Loose
• Cantemos Chiquitos: Songs and Fingerplays from
Spanish Speaking Countries by Georgette Baker
• ¡Pío Peep!: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes by
Alma Flor Ada
Print Motivation - I love books
Print Awareness - I see words
Letter Knowledge - I know my ABC's
Vocabulary - I know words
Narrative Skills - I tell stories
Phonological Awareness - I hear words
What to avoid
What to avoid:
• Overly wordy bilingual books
• Books that reinforce stereotypes
• Translated books with awkward word flow
• Books you don’t like
But what if I’m not bilingual?
• Incorporate books by Latino authors/illustrators
• Incorporate books that positively feature Latino
• Choose books that have some Spanish words in the
• Choose bilingual books and read the English, while
pointing out that Spanish text is also included
• Use Spanish and/or bilingual movement songs,
rhymes and fingerplays (use a CD version)
• Tandem programming with community volunteers
- Knowing whether to speak Spanish or English
- Usted vs. Tu
- Correct Spanish?
- Making an effort