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Del Sol Books provides you with the very best Spanish, English, and Bilingual Children's Books and Music,
featuring Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy, and Suni Paz at 20%-Off, with Free Immediate Mailing and No Sales Tax

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Alma Flor Ada Colleción Spanish
$489.08, Including 20%-Off, Free Mailing, and No Sales Tax

32 Books,, 7 CDs, and 1 DVD : 3 Hardcover Spanish Books, 5 Hardcover Bilingual Books, 1 Big Book, 4 Oversized Books, 16 Softcover Spanish Books, 3 Softcover Bilingual Books, 2 Spanish Storytelling CDs, 1 Bilingual Storytelling CD, 2 Spanish Music CDs, and 1 Spanish DVD

Abecedario de los animales, Softcover, Spanish, Big Book, Alma Flor Ada, Vivi Escriva, Preschool and Up, 9780075765295, $25.00
Abecedario de los animales, Spanish, Music CD, Suni Paz, Preschool and Up, $12.50   Listen
Abeceloco, Softcover, Spanish, Oversized Book, Alma Flor Ada, Maria Jesus Alvarez, Preschool and Up, 9781601283276, $26.99
Atentamente ricitos de oro, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Leslie Tryon, Preschool and Up, 9781598205978, $13.95
Bajo las palmas reales, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, 3rd Grade and Up, 9781603963961, $13.95
Clave de sol, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Teacher, 9781598205084, $19.95
Con Cariño Amalia
, Hardcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Gabriel Zubizarreta, 3rd Grade and Up, 9781442424050, $15.99
Cristina y la rana, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Claudia Legnazzi, Preschool and Up, 9781601283139, $7.99
Cuentos que contaban nuestras abuelas
, Hardcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Felipe Davalos, Susan Guevara, and Leyla Torres, Felipe Davalos, 3rd Grade and Up, 9781416919056, $19.95
Cuentos que contaban nuestras abuelas, Spanish, 2 Storytelling CDs, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, 3rd Grade and Up, $29.95   Listen
Daniel y su mascota - Daniels Pet, Softcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada, G. Brian Karas, Preschool and Up, 9780152062439, $4.95   Listen 
Diez Perritos - Ten Little Puppies, Hardcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Ulises Wensell, Preschool and Up, 9780061470431, $16.99
Ecos del pasado, Softcover, Spanish, Oversized Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, 3rd Grade and Up, 9780153070297, $19.95
Encaje de piedra, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Kitty Lorefice de Passalia, 3rd Grade and Up, 9789505003556, $19.95
Encuentro mágico con el folklore infantil, Spanish, DVD, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, 3rd Grade and Up, $19.95   Watch
Lectura creadora
, Spanish, DVD, Alma Flor Ada, Teacher, $19.95   Watch
Extra Extra, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Leslie Tryon, Preschool and Up, 9781598209433, $13.95
Gallo que fue a la boda de su tio
, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Kathleen Kuchera, Preschool and Up, 9780698116832, $7.99
Gathering the Sun
, Hardcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Simon Silva, Rosa Zubizarreta, Preschool and Up, 9780688139032, $17.99   Watch   Listen   Listen 
Gathering the Sun, Spanish, Music CD, Suni Paz, Preschool and Up, $12.50   Listen 
Gorrión Gorrión, Softcover, Spanish, Oversized Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Maribel Suarez, Preschool and Up, 9780153069390, $19.95
Habia una vez en Dragolandia, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Sandra Lavandeira, Preschool and Up, 9781601282231, $7.99
Lagartija y el sol - The Lizard and the Sun
, Softcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor AdaFelipe Davalos, Rosa Zubizarreta, Preschool and Up, 9780440415312, $6.99   Watch   Listen   Listen 
Me encantan los Saturdays y los domingos, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Elivia Savadier, Preschool and Up, 9781594375767, $13.95
Me llamo Maria Isabel, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, K. Dyble Thompson, 2nd Grade and Up, 9780689810992, $4.99
Merry Navidad, Hardcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Vivi Escriva, Rosa Zubizarreta, Suni Paz, Preschool and Up, 9780060584344, $16.99   Listen 
Misterioso huevo de Daniel - Daniels Mystery Egg, Softcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada, G. Brian Karas, Preschool and Up, 0152059717, $4.95   Listen
Moneda de oro, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, 2nd Grade and Up, 9788424133641, $9.50
Moneda de oro - Gold Coin
, Bilingual, Storytelling CD, Alma Flor Ada, 2nd Grade and Up, $19.95   Listen 
Muu Moo, Hardcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Vivi Escriva, Preschool and Up, 9780061346132, $16.99
Nacer Bailando
, Hardcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Gabriel Zubizarreta, 3rd Grade and Up, 9781442420618, $14.99   Watch
Pio Peep, Hardcover, Bilingual, Book and 16-Song Music CD, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Vivi Escriva, Alice Schertle, Preschool and Up, 9780061116667, $16.99   Watch   Listen    Listen    Listen   Listen
Quiero ayudar - Let Me Help, Softcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Angela Dominguez, Preschool - 2nd Grade, 9780892392391, $8.95
Reino de la geometria, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Jose Ramon Sanchez, Preschool and Up, 9781564921093, $19.95
Salta Saltarin, Softcover, Spanish, Oversized Book, Alma Flor AdaF. Isabel Campoy, Claudia Legnazzi, Preschool and Up, 9781601283290, $22.99 
Todo es cancion, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, 3rd Grade and Up, 9781616051730, $12.95
Unicornio del oeste
, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Preschool and Up, 9781416968443, $11.99
Verde limon, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Vivi Escriva, Kindergarten and Up, 9780153069437, $19.95
Vivir en Dos Idiomas, Softcover, Spanish, Book, Alma Flor Ada, 3rd Grade and Up, 9781603966115,  $19.99

 

Alma Flor Ada English Collection
$649.74, Including 20%-Off, Free Mailing, and No Sales Tax

31 Books, 3 CDs, and 3 DVDs : 12 Hardcover English Books, 5 Hardcover Bilingual Books, 10 Softcover English Spanish Books, 4 Softcover Bilingual Books, 1 English Storytelling CD, 1 Bilingual Storytelling CD, 1 Bilingual Music CD, and 3 English DVDs

Alma Flor Ada and You One, Softcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Teacher, 9781591581864, $35.00
Alma Flor Ada and You Two, Softcover, English, Book, 
Alma Flor Ada, Teacher, 9781591582281, $35.00 
Authors in the Classroom, Softcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Teacher, 9780205351398, $50.99
Creative Reading, English, DVD, Alma Flor Ada, Teacher, $19.95   Watch 
Dancing Home, Hardcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Gabriel Zubizarreta, 3rd Grade and Up, 9781416900887, $14.99   Watch
Daniel y su mascota - Daniels Pet, Softcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada, G. Brian Karas, Preschool and Up, 9780152062439, $4.95   Listen 
Dear Peter Rabbit, Hardcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Leslie Tryon, Preschool and Up, 9780689318504, $17.95   Watch
Diez Perritos - Ten Little Puppies, Hardcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Ulises Wensell, Preschool and Up, 9780061470431, $16.99
Extra Extra, Hardcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Leslie Tryon, Preschool and Up, 9780689825828, $17.99   Watch
Gathering the Sun, Hardcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Simon Silva, Rosa Zubizarreta, Preschool and Up, 9780688139032, $17.99   Watch   Listen   Listen 
Gold Coin, Softcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, 2nd Grade and Up, 9780689717932, $6.99
Gold Coin - Moneda de oro, Bilingual, Storytelling CD, Alma Flor Ada, 2nd Grade and Up, $19.95   Listen
Hagamos Caminos, English, DVD, Alma Flor Ada, Teacher, $19.95   Watch
I Love Saturdays y domingos, Softcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Elivia Savadier, Preschool and Up, 9780689874093, $6.99   Watch
Lagartija y el sol - The Lizard and the Sun, Softcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor AdaFelipe Davalos, Rosa Zubizarreta, Preschool and Up, 9780440415312, $6.99   Watch   Listen   Listen 
Love Amalia, Hardcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Gabriel Zubizarreta, 3rd Grade and Up, 9781442424029, $15.99
Magical Encounter, Softcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Teacher, 9780205355440, $45.50 
Malachite Palace, Hardcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Preschool and Up, 9780689319723, $16.95   Watch
Malachite Palace, Jordis Star, and Unicorn of the West, English, Storytelling CD, Alma Flor Ada, Preschool and Up, $19.95   Listen 

Merry Navidad, Hardcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Vivi Escriva, Rosa Zubizarreta, Suni Paz, Preschool and Up, 9780060584344, $16.99   Listen 
Misterioso huevo de Daniel - Daniels Mystery Egg, Softcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada, G. Brian Karas, Preschool and Up, 0152059717, $4.95   Listen
Muu Moo, Hardcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Vivi Escriva, Preschool and Up, 9780061346132, $16.99
My Name is Maria Isabel, Hardcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, K. Dyble Thompson, 2nd Grade and Up, 9780689315176, $17.95   Watch
Owning Meaning, Softcover, English, Book, 
Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy Teacher, $19.95
Participatory Research, English, DVD, Alma Flor Ada, Teacher, $19.95   Watch
Pio Peep, Hardcover, Bilingual, Book and 16-Song Music CD, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Vivi Escriva, Alice Schertle, Preschool and Up, 9780061116667, $16.99   Watch   Listen    Listen    Listen   Listen 
Quiero ayudar - Let Me Help, Softcover, Bilingual, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Angela Dominguez, Preschool - 2nd Grade, 9780892392391, $8.95
Rooster Who Went to His Uncles Wedding, Hardcover, English, Book, 
Alma Flor Ada, Kathleen Kuchera, Preschool and Up, 9780399224126, $17.95   Watch
Spanish Literacy Strategies for Young Learners, Softcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Teacher, 9781601283702, $29.99 
Tales Our Abuelitas Told, Hardcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, Felipe Davalos, Susan Guevara, and Leyla Torres, Felipe Davalos, 3rd Grade and Up, 9780689825835, $19.95   Watch 
Three Golden Oranges, Hardcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Reg Cartwright, 2nd Grade and Up, 9780689807756, $17.99
Under the Royal Palms, Hardcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, 3rd Grade and Up, 9780689806315, $17.99   Watch   Listen   Listen
Unicorn of the West, Hardcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Preschool and Up, 9780689317781, $16.95   Watch
Where the Flame Trees Bloom, Softcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, 3rd Grade and up, 9781416968405, $9.95   Watch
With Love Little Red Hen, Softcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Leslie Tryon, Preschool and Up, 9780689870613, $7.99   Watch
Yours Truly Goldilocks, Hardcover, English, Book, Alma Flor Ada, Leslie Tryon, Preschool and Up, 9780689816086, $17.95   Watch

 

If you want to choose individual titles instead of entire sets, then feel free to do so at the same 20%-Off, with Free Immediate Mailing and No Sales Tax.  Email Rey Del Sol
If you need to buy in quantity, then feel free to request almost any US Book at the same 20%-Off, with Free Mailing and No Sales Tax.  Email Rey Del Sol


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My grandmother taught me to read before I was three by writing the names of plants and flowers on the earth with a stick. Reading and nature became very intertwined for me. The joy of reading a book was increased if I could read it outdoors, especially high up in the branches of a large tree. From that favorite hideaway I could also observe the river down below and the world of small animals living in and around the river.  My grandmother and one of my uncles were great storytellers. And every night, at bedtime, my father told me stories he invented to explain to me all that he knew about the history of the world. With all these storytellers around me, it is not a surprise that I like to tell stories. And it was a great joy when one of the bedtime stories that I made up for some of my favorite nieces became a beautiful book, The Unicorn of the West! My growing-up years were a fun and exciting time. I have compiled some of the stories of my childhood in Cuba, as well as stories that I heard from my family when I was a child, in the books Where the Flame Trees Bloom and Under the Royal Palms.  Besides writing children's books, I am a professor at the University of San Francisco. I also work in schools with teachers, children, and parents. The feelings that children experience when teachers do not acknowledge their real name led me to write My Name is María Isabel. All my life I have had a difficult time getting people to acknowledge that my first name is Alma Flor, so I know personally how this feels.  I enjoy writing many different kinds of books. I Love Saturdays y Domingos portrays a young girl who has two very different sets of grandparents, like my own grandchildren do. I also enjoy retelling the old tales that I loved so much as a child. That is why I wrote The Three Golden Oranges, so that children in the United States can get to know one of the most beautiful of the traditional Spanish stories.  Knowing two languages has made the world richer for me. I believe that all children should be given the opportunity of learning two or more languages when they are young, and can do so easily. For that reason I am delighted that most of my books are published both in English and in Spanish. And it makes me even happier that my own daughter has done many of the translations of my books.


Latin Baby Book Club

Latino parents are frequently concerned about their children's language development. They want to make sure that their children learn to speak English very well. It is a valid concern, and everyone wishing the wellbeing of Latino children want them to learn English well. The problem is that there is a popular misconception that children will learn English better if they are encouraged, or allowed, to use only English even when the parent's language may be Spanish. This is not so.  When a child has a well developed first language, in this case, Spanish, they will learn better the second language, in this case, English. All the skills they have acquired in the first language will transfer to the second one.  Parents will be able to develop better the language they know best. If that language is Spanish, that is the language they should model for their children.  A child who learns to speak two languages will have many more opportunities than a monolingual child. But important as the opportunities offered by knowing two languages, there are more powerful reasons to encourage a child to grow up bilingually.  If the primary language of parents, grandparents, or caregivers is Spanish the children who can only speak English will be deprived of the very valuable cultural and human enrichment that they could receive in Spanish. And this is a loss that cannot be overestimated.  Many parents emphasize English, disregarding Spanish, considering that in this way their children will be better able to compete and succeed in an English-speaking world. What is very unfortunate is that they fail to realize that the World is becoming less and less monolingual, and that many English-speaking parents are choosing to ensure that their children become bilingual. Thus, someday Latinos may find themselves not being in a good competitive situation not because they do not know English, but because they know only English, when others, who had no Latino heritage, have become fluent two languages.  Human beings are extraordinarily able to survive limitations, but, given a choice, two feet make life easier than one, two hands, easier than one. Why would it be difficult to realize that two languages will provide twice as many opportunities than one?  My own life has been enriched by bilingualism. I did not have the good fortune of growing up bilingual, and had to go the long route of learning English when already almost an adult. Yet, knowing two languages has given me great opportunities --for work, for professional enrichment, for traveling, for developing friendships and relationships, for growing in understanding of other human beings. If I were to single out the most valuable tool in my life it would be knowing two languages, and when I have recently published my life memoirs I have called it Vivir en dos idiomas or "living in two languages" to acknowledge the significance of my two languages in my long and rich life.  I chose to bring up my own four children speaking Spanish. It was the only language used at home. They learned English in school not only without difficulty, but rather with the added support of knowing well another language. Today all four are very successful professionals in different areas --each and everyone has benefited from being bilingual.  Latino children have a most rich cultural heritage that they will never be able to fully enjoy unless they know Spanish well. Let's not deprive out children from this rightful heritage, let's give them the power of two languages, the joy of bilingualism, the opportunity to do twice as much good unto others.  Few friends could be more valuable for children than books.  Books can be fun and entertaining offering children wonderful moments. But they certainly do much more.  Books can be informative, and allow children to learn about any topic, any time, any place. But they do much more.  Books invite children to open their imagination, to conceive realities never before experienced. They prepare children for new circumstances and help them understand the richness of diversity in human beings and life.  These wonderful friends also provide children with a great gift: the tool to succeed academically.  When we select appropriate books for children, books rich in words and concepts, children's vocabulary will grow. The richer the vocabulary the more possibility for school success.  When we help children own, or borrow from the public library, engaging books that they will be reading over and over, we give them the means to develop their reading fluency. A child who reads well has much better opportunities to succeed in school and in life.  Because we love our children, because we want them to succeed, let's make sure we foster this most valuable friendship, the friendship of books.


Yuyi Morales

I met Alma Flor Ada at one of the first “Reading the World” conferences at the University of San Francisco a few years ago. She went around the USF building surrounded by people, listening to all of those who needed to talk to her. It seems like everybody had questions or requests for Alma Flor. I was a reader; I had known Alma’s books for a long time, and she was already in my mind as some kind of warrior from a Spanish written tale –a woman who had come to a foreign land, had conquered, and was leaving a precious legacy.  At the time I was already very interested in writing and illustrating children’s books, but I lacked direction. When Alma Flor heard that I wanted to write, she invited me –a mere stranger who had just shaken her hand for the first time—to visit one of the classes she was giving at the multi­cultural literature program at USF. The class was called “The Author Within,” and after that first class I was hooked. How could I leave her class if Alma was talking exactly about what I wanted to learn, about raiding the stories from inside me and sharing them out with the world? It took all my courage to ask Alma Flor, but she said yes; I could keep coming to the class, and along with the enrolled students I stayed for the rest of the semester.  Why does one stick with Alma Flor? Perhaps it is because she becomes some sort of a headlight in one’s life. During this class, Alma Flor looked at me in the eyes many times and told me that I had talent, that I was a writer. And I believed her.  Or perhaps because she has the manner of a mother; when she takes you under her wings, and her warmth surrounds you, you know you have arrived in a safe place.  Or perhaps it is because she is a role model, a Latina who came to the USA and crafted meticulously her own life and career. And what woman doesn’t want to be like Alma Flor?  I do.


Barbara Merino

As a teacher, scholar, author and poet, Alma Flor Ada has inspired and influenced count less children, families, teachers and researchers in bilingual and literacy education. No one else, to my knowledge, has woven these multiple persona so successfully.  As a teacher, Alma Flor Ada began her career teaching literature at the high school level in Lima, Peru. After receiving her Ph.D. in the Humanities, from the Universidad Catolica del Peru, she came to the United States on a Fulbright, continuing post-doctoral work at Harvard. She then taught at several universities, most notably the University of San Francisco (1976–2004), where she was Director of Doctoral Studies in the International Multi-Cultural Program in the School of Education and where she founded and led the Center for Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults. Besides mentoring as Chair more than 160 dissertations during her tenure at USF, Alma Flor received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Teaching Award (1985). No one who has attended a work shop or presentation with Alma Flor Ada can for get the power of her approach as a teacher. Whether with an audience of twelve or two hundred she moves participants to write from the heart. At a recent work shop at UC Davis, she asked us to remember an important person in our lives and then through a series of one word line starters, had us all write our own memories. She began the process, with “Oigo” ( I hear) , an evocative cue that prompted emotion, passion and the beginnings of poetry.  As a scholar, Alma Flor Ada has published 12 books, many as single author, 15 chapters, numerous journal articles, co-founded and edited the NABE Journal and chaired and co-directed numerous conferences in the United States, Latin America and Europe on literacy development and children’s literature. In addition, over the span of her career, she has been lead author of literacy curricula for a variety of publishers including Santillana and Harcourt. In these activities, she represents the apotheosis of the engaged scholar/teacher/poet. For example, her seminal work involving parents as co-teachers and authors in Pajaro Valley (1988), explored the effectiveness of a new paradigm for parent participation, with parents sharing and co-writing stories with their children. This work inspired many of her doctoral students in similar paths and culminated in one of her many publications in poetry: Gathering the Sun, an anthology of bilingual poems, presented as an ABC book, that draws powerfully from the lives of workers in the fields of California. Magical Encounter, Latino children’s literature in the class room, now in its second edition, weaves research with practical advice for teachers, richly illustrated with specific scenarios on how to share the power of good books with children. Most recently, Authors in the Classroom (co-authored with Isabel Campoy) effectively extends this work, exploring ways in which students can develop as writers through the inspiration of literature and co-construction of their own work.  As an author and poet of children’s literature and most recently of adult literature, Alma Flor Ada’s is a remarkable story. Poetry, narrative, memoir, biography and fables, are among the many genres she has tackled, garnering awards and international recognition in each of these. Indeed, children’s literature in the United States and in Latin America would not be the same with out her. Her stories and poetry have captured the imagination and broaden the landscape of the Latino experience as seen through children’s eyes in substantive ways. To date she has authored or coauthored over two hundred books in children’s literature. Among many notable entries of her work we include, in Cuentos, Tales Our Abuelitas told (2006) winner of the Literary Guild Medal and Kirkus Reviews Best book of the year; in memoir, Under the Royal Palms (2000), American Library Association Award; in folktales, Medio-Pollito (1997) American Folklore Association; in poetry, Gathering the Sun (1997), American Booksellers Association.  Finally, on a personal note and I know I speak for many parents, Alma Flor’s books have helped us all in nurturing bilingualism, biliteracy and social justice in our children. This work has been made more powerful because of Dr. Ada’s engagement with children’s literature as a point of inquiry in her own scholarship and the research of her students. Dr. Ada’s work as a teacher, with her students and still today with children, teachers and parents, she models, facilitates and evokes inspiration and opens pathways for unleashing the writers within us. I urge the Hispanic SIG to honor Alma Flor Ada for her accomplishments and for her contributions to our communities.


English Interview with Colorin Colorado  Watch

Alma Flor Ada is the award-winning author of more than 200 books for children. She is also a poet, storyteller, educator, mother, and grandmother. With a Ph.D. in literature and a lifelong love for stories, Ada has mastered the art of retelling traditional folktales and nursery rhymes from across Latin America. A native of Cuba who has also lived in Spain, Peru, and the United States, Alma Flor Ada writes poetry, picture books, and novels that offer rich, multicultural perspectives for all children. Alma Flor Ada grew up with her extended family in a big house on the outskirts of Camagüey, Cuba. As a young girl, she loved to read, play outside on the farm, and listen to her mother sing old ballads at bedtime. Alma Flor's grandmother used to recite poetry and tell her traditional folktales. After studying English and attending bilingual schools, Alma Flor Ada earned a scholarship to a college in the United States at the age of 17. For many years, Ada followed her academic interests around the globe. In Spain she earned a degree in Hispanic Studies. In Peru she received a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature. After conducting post-doctoral research at Harvard University, Ada became a professor at the University of San Francisco, where she directed the Center for Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults. Over the years, Ada has been an influential leader in the field of bilingual education in the United States. Alma Flor Ada's career as an author first began when she started developing text books for her high school students in Peru. Her first children's book, which she originally wrote for her daughter, became required reading for tens of thousands of Peruvian school children. Since moving to the United States, Ada has developed educational materials, retold folktales, and written original picture books and middle grade novels. Among her many awards are the Christopher Award for The Golden Coin and the Pura Belpré Award for Under the Royal Palms. Alma Flor Ada lives Mill Valley, California and is a Professor Emeritus at the University of San Francisco. I had a blessed childhood. I lived with my extended family in my grandmother's house, and she's the person who taught me to read - taught me to read in a very amazing way. Even though she was a teacher and there was plenty of paper at home, she taught me to read by writing words on the earth, with a stick, as we walked around our farm. Whenever there was something that caught my attention or that she knew was of interest to me, she'd spell the name, and she'd tell me that. And so, in a way, it made reading so organic and so related to nature, to the outdoors, to the world, that it's - it was fascinating. And I've written about this, and I won't tell you now all these stories, but I do remember when she taught me the word for "rose" in - in a way to teach me the letter "r" and how she wrote it in her cursive with a little - with a little loop up there and told me that that was a rose that wanted so much to see the world and was climbing the wall of the garden because of the wonders that exist in the world outside. And I can even remember her voice right now. And I was only three years old, but it impressed me so much - that idea of seeing the world, that it's something that stayed with me. The love for roses also stayed with me, and the love for words. But I must say that before learning to read, I learned to enjoy words. My mother used to sing me all these old, ancient, medieval ballads to put me to sleep, and I loved listening to these words, some of which I understood and some which I did not, but which had such a resounding charm to me. And my grandmother used to sing me verses that she put her own music to. And my own father, who was not very musical, he would still sing me songs. And all of these words I kept during the day, and I kept remembering them. I memorized them. My grandmother taught me poem after poem that I memorized when I was very young, so finding them in books, then, was a revelation. It was like, "I can hold on to them; they are here, for me." But the love for words was essential, and it began so early. From Cuba to Colorado 
I came first to the United States when I was 15. My parents gave me the option of having a quinceañera party and spend money on that, or send me to the United States for a summer to learn English, and I decided that it'd make much more sense to come to the States for a summer than to have a lavish party. And I came to Pennsylvania to a girls' school for summer, where I learned some English. And then when I was - when I finished - I was 17 when I finished high school - I was able to get a scholarship to a college in Colorado, where I was asked to be the assistant to the Spanish department teachers, who knew the language grammatically and knew a lot of the literature, but really had not the fluency with it. And it was - this is pre language labs technology, so they wanted somebody that would actually read the lessons and practice the exercises and give a pronunciation model to the students. And that was my first experience on becoming a teacher, because as fate would have it, the sweet nun that was supposed to be the professor of the course had a stroke a couple of days before classes began, so they didn't have a replacement, and they said, "Well, let's put the Cuban girl there to just take over the classes for a few days until we get somebody." And then they decided, "Well, she's doing it so well, she can stay." So, at 17, I found myself teaching Spanish 101 and Spanish 201. It's been such a blessed life, but it's happened - you know, now I have - I've written more than 200 children's books. I mean it's - and it's even a little bit scary to say that. But I never set out to do it. I never said, "I'm gonna be an author." "I'm gonna win awards." "I'm gonna be" - none of that. It was all organic. I wrote the first books, because I wanted my students to have that material. I wrote these sort things. I wanted my daughter to have it and then other children to have it, and - and it has all happened a little bit at a time. It's like - and I tell kids when they comment on this, and I go, "Look, I never set out to be a grandmother of nine kids. I can tell you I first had a daughter and then a son and then another. And, you know, today, here is where I see myself."
And it's the same with these books. They - they were all born out of real experiences. I mean you take Gathering the Sun on the table, which is one of my most well known and most beloved books. These were poems that I would write at night when I came from working with field - farm workers in the fields in California, and I would just - these ideas would just come, and I would write. And I wrote other poems that were far more complex and I haven't made those into a book. But one day, I was given the opportunity to put these poems together, and they got shortened so that you could have it in two languages when you need two languages on a page, and because I wanted these wonderful illustrations of Simon Silva. But the reality is that I never set out to do this. I did it a bit at a time - one here, one there. And that's true of so many other things. I write when - when I get an idea, and sometimes I don't even know I'm making a book. The Gold Coin. And it's a story that was very difficult to get published. Most publishers told me that American children would not be interested in such a story. I have all this series of rejection letters, but eventually Athenaeum picked it up, and then they published it, and it won the Christopher Award. And that really opened doors for me to be able to submit other manuscripts for publication. But it's a story that just came to me one night after working with farm working parents, talking to them about the importance of education, what they could do for them — and all of that late at night, because it was summer, and they work on the fields until ten o'clock. I'm returning by myself, through the fields, on my car, and I began seeing this story as if you were seeing it in a movie on the windshield. I mean the story was just there, passing by. It was just all there. So, I cried all the way home. When I got home, I went to the basement, where I had my desk, and I sat down and wrote the whole story and just left it there, because I knew I would forget, otherwise. And I went to bed and went to sleep, and when I woke up in the morning, I said, "Last night I had a dream of a story. I only wish I could remember what it was." And when I found the papers, I couldn't believe it. And it was, you know, all there. So, sometimes they just come. A bilingual author. Well, I have written very different kinds of books. It seems part of it is the fact of being bilingual. For example, poetry and writing poetry is one of my most significant creative things, but I can only do that in Spanish. I can't really do poetry in English, so I have a world of poetry with many books, an A, B, C - an animal A, B, C - which has poems about animals whose name begins with the letters, but poems about the letters themselves, which is very well known among the Spanish-speaking children. And whenever I go, they will tell me back their favorite, and they know them very well. I have another ABC of the ocean that was recently published. I have just collections and collections of poems in multiple anthologies, so that the author in me. But in English, I found that I needed to depend more on the story — on the power of the story, because I can't do the playful things that I do with the language in Spanish, the puns, the rhymes, the alliterations - those things. I don't have that skill in English, so I need to depend on strong characters, strong plot, a good narrative, a good pace to get the kids interested. So, then I become a different person and a different writer in the other language, and that's, you know, part of the richness of being bicultural. A source of unity. The folktales have been a source of unity. Again, it's a wonderful thing to be together with groups of parents that have different backgrounds, and when one mentions one of those stories, they will know it — maybe with variations. Many of the stories have different endings and different developments, but they have the same characters, and so that's a wonderful source of commonality; as are the nursery rhymes. And that's why those two books Pio Peep! and Mamá Goose are so important to me, because they are not only rescuing for other generations the nursery rhymes that we learned and our grandparents knew, but it's also showing the children that, regardless of what part of the Spanish-speaking world they come from, some of these are the same. And others have evolved and now have many different versions, but that's also part of the richness. You know, people make a lot of issue about the Spanish language, saying, "Oh, but that's Mexican Spanish," versus, "That's Colombian Spanish," or, "Castilian Spanish," as if it wasn't the same language. And I try to emphasize the fact that all these variations are synonyms and that what makes the Spanish language rich in that respect is precisely that there may be multiple ways of saying the same thing. Family wisdom. It started in the struggle for bilingual education in 1970. So, you see, it's been a long time. It's 36 years of seeing one generation after another, after another, of parents who want the best for their children, who dream about their children being able to enjoy that American dream that they will never be able to be quite a part of, that hope for their children to have a better future and a fruitful life. Because I do ask the parents - and I have tons and tons of answers from the parents - "What are your goals for your children?" And you'd be surprised. None of them really say that they'd be rich. They say, "We want them to not struggle as hard as we have, but we want them to be honest. We want them to be respectful. We want them to be kind to other people. We want them to be part of the other community in a healthy way." I mean everything they want for their children is so admirable. But I also see how so many of those children don't really make it through; how they don't finish high school; how they end up in the menial jobs, and how many of them do get involved in gangs, in problems. And all we have to do is look at statistics of our jails. I mean it's horrible how much delinquency there is in our nation, and we have to prevent that from happening. And I'm convinced that one of the ways to prevent that is to strengthen the family, is to strengthen the role of the parents in the eyes of their children, is for the schools to ask something from the parents not on the terms of, you know, "Come and help us with a potluck," but, "What is the wisdom?" "What have you learned through life?" "What is your best advice for your children?" "What are your dreams and goals for your children?" "What is a proverb that has been useful to you in life?" "What is a saying that you remember in" - "in moments of significance in your life?" "What is the moment that changed your life?" "What is a meaningful contribution you've made to life?" "What is something you know how to do well, and how did you learn to do that?" Those kinds of reflections — this is the work I do — aside from writing children's books: is to work with parents and schools into developing a home-school connection in which the parents become the authors of books where this is the content - books that are published by the teachers, books that are collected by the teachers. Many times, it's the children that are bringing in the information to the classroom, but that we like to call our families' wisdom, and where we want to recognize that these parents, who may not have a formal education, who may sometimes not even know how to read or write very well, do have a knowledge gained from life and from their struggle and from the heritage of having listened to the stories of their ancestors, and having listened to how other people in their family have gone through life. And rescuing that is really my mission.


Teaching Multicultural Literature

Raised in a family of storytellers, Alma Flor Ada grew up listening to tales of all kinds, from folktales to stories about Cuban history to fantasies about other worlds. Her grandmother taught her to read before she was three by writing the names of flowers and plants on the ground with a stick. Yet Ada only began writing books when she became a teacher. Unsatisfied with the materials she was given, she began to write her own. A professor in one of her college classes saw what she was writing and helped her to get it published, and soon she was writing textbooks. One day, however, her four-year-old daughter told her that the textbooks she was writing were "ugly" and asked her to write books for her instead. "At that time," Ada says, "I didn't know what I know now. I didn't know that everyone is an author; that everyone has stories to tell. I was very shy and so I started by telling the stories my grandmother used to tell me." Now Alma Flor Ada has over 200 books to her name, many drawn from her own childhood or from the folktales her family told her. Ada was born in 1938 outside Camaguey, Cuba, and grew up there. As a young woman she moved to Peru and began teaching, but this, her first immigrant experience, left her lonely, afraid, and yearning for familiar food and friends. After 10 years in Peru, she moved with her husband to the United States and, once again, had to negotiate the life of a person of two cultures -- a theme that appears again and again in her work. Yet, she says, "The beautiful thing is that I now know that although I live in another country, I don't have to stop being who I am or change the way I think or feel. I bring a richness, a value to this country, and I can serve as a bridge between two cultures." Immigrants are "border crossers," Ada says, but "the important thing is to learn that we can eliminate that border" by virtue of being people who understand two cultures. Reading about other cultures, she believes, also helps us cross borders in understanding different people and their traditions. "Through the wonderful multicultural literature that exists, you can really make friends with children of other cultures." A fierce proponent of bilingual education, Ada was a professor at the University of San Francisco, where she directed the Center for Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults. In her school visits, Ada constantly reminds students to find and use their true voices to express their ideas and speak up for what is right. Because she greatly admires people like César Chávez who fought for the rights of others, she reminds young people that "we cannot just wait for another César Chávez to appear. Every one of us has to be a César Chávez inside and do our part so that this happens." My Name Is María Isabel. For María Isabel Salazar López, the first day at a new school is hard enough, but then her teacher suggests to her that, with two other Marias in the class, the class should "call you Mary instead." For María Isabel, who is named for both of her grandmothers as well as an uncle and a father, the loss of her real name is the loss of herself. In fact, she often doesn't realize the teacher is calling on her when she says the foreign name "Mary Lopez," and as a result she misses the opportunity to take part in her school's winter pageant. But when the teacher asks the students to write about their "greatest wish," María writes, "My greatest wish is to be called María Isabel Salazar López. When that was my name, I felt proud of being named María, like my papa's mother, and Isabel, like my grandmother Chabela." In the happy ending, María gets to sing in the winter pageant, and, most important of all, her teacher recognizes the importance of calling her by her real name. Alma Flor Ada drew this story from her own life as an immigrant, but she also had the actual experience of a teacher changing her name. In third grade her teacher decided that her name was just "Alma" rather than "Alma Flor," and for years Ada was known simply as "Alma" as a result. "But in reality it wasn't my real name," Ada says, remembering that it took years to convince people to use her full name again. "Now," she says, "my real friends call me Alma Flor." But her story is very common for immigrant children, Ada says; "My own personal experience grew to be the experience of many people." In schools all over the United States, children change their original names -- for example, "Jesus" or "Jose" -- to more "American" names like "Chuck" or "Joe," and lose, she suggests, a piece of their culture in the process. In My Name is Maria Isabel, readers can see from the point of view of a little girl the larger struggles of a Puerto Rican family to improve their lives in America. María Isabel's experience will resonate for readers regardless of background. Talking with Alma Flor Ada, as interviewed by students in Laura Alvarez's class. What was it like when you immigrated? When I immigrated to Peru, my hope was to be able to study. And eventually I was able to do that. It wasn't easy at the beginning. I think I immigrated there a little bit more [from] needing to go to someplace rather than having made all those expectations. Sometimes people immigrate because they have those dreams and they say, "I'm going to go to this place where I'm going to be able to have a better life," and all that. Sometimes they immigrate because they have to. My family moved from Cuba, so I couldn't go back and I didn't really have much choice. So it was kind of that situation. When I came to the United States, it wasn't my choice either. It was just a circumstance that brought me here. I was married at the time. It was my husband who wanted to come. And, if I must be truthful, I wanted to raise my children in a Spanish-speaking country and I would have stayed in Peru even if the economic conditions were lower and the material life was not as good. It would have been originally my choice. Once I came into this country, then I was very fortunate because I was highly educated so I had wonderful opportunities. But then I realized the reality of my people in this country. And then it became a true reason to be here, to try to work with the community, to try to help them achieve what they had always dreamed [of] -- which is better education for their children. So then it became more of a mission, and it's been a wonderful mission. Do you feel different when you write in Spanish and when you write in English? I feel like when I write in Spanish I focus more on the feelings and I take more time with the feelings. And when I do it in English, I feel like I have to think more of the plot and moving the story quicker -- and it's because the two cultures are different. And that's what's exciting about being bicultural. To be able to do it well in one language and to do it well in the other language. It's like moving from two very different places, like at the beach and in the mountains. You do different things in the two places. And the good thing is to be able to do both. Why are books important to you? I think reading is so important because we get to know ourselves better and to understand other people better. We can begin thinking ahead. We can begin asking ourselves, "What can I do the next time I see a kid that just arrived that doesn't know English?" And we can begin asking ourselves, "How can I help this new student? How can I be her friend, his friend?" That's what's so powerful [about] reading, that it helps us become better people. We become not only brighter, but also more generous, kinder, stronger. You're coming as immigrants or children of immigrant families to a country that is made up of many different cultures. And one way in which this country can be stronger is if everyone learns about each other's different cultures and learns not only about their celebrations and their food but also about their values, their ideas, their history, their dreams -- so that we can learn to not only celebrate but also deeply respect and appreciate others. And just as we want them to learn about our Latino cultures -- because we are one major part of this nation -- also we should learn about all the other cultures that exist here. And one of the wonderful things about books is that they really [help you] understand other people. And through the wonderful multicultural literature that exists, you can really make friends with children of other cultures. Maybe if you've never met them in person, you meet them through the characters in the books, you see the inside of their homes, and you see their families and how they interact with each other. It's the great way, by reading that wonderful multicultural literature, that we have available to get to know the different people in this nation.


CABE Lifetime Achievement Award Acceptance Speech

I stand in front of you with immense gratitude to the CABE president, the members of the Board and the organizers of this Gala, and to the incansable y entusiasta María Quezada for the honor that they has bestowed on me tonight, and for the great pleasure  of addressing you. It has been 32 years since I attended my first CABE Conference, a momentous instance in my life because it contributed to my decision to move to California, knowing that in CABE there would be a strong supportive group to nourish my commitment to bilingual education, to strengthen my own vision. As the years passed, and we faced both evolution and drawbacks, we have learned and developed, we have faced the attacks and the restrictions imposed by those who do not have the best future of our children at heart, but at no time have we given up, no matter the constraints. The fact that we are gathered here tonight, in this hospitable city of Long Beach, under the leadership of the Board of the California Association for Bilingual Education is a testimony to the human spirit and human determination, to the generosity of those willing to give and sacrifice in order to support what is educationally sound and a moral imperative: the right of children to the best possible education, one that not only foster the development of their talents and abilities but guarantee their inalienable right of full communication with their parents and relatives. We are here because we believe that everyone can make a difference, because we know that social realities are not irrevocable conditions we must endure, but rather that the great promise of the human adventure is that we can create a caring society, one that offers all children opportunities to develop to their full potential, that we can commit to achieve a society based on principles of equality and justice for all people. We bilingual educators are non-conformists. We are visionaries. In the midst of misunderstanding, of policies that harm the most vulnerable in society, the children, and in particular the children who lack social and economic advantages, we have raised our voices to demand that these children be given what they deserve: the best education to meet their needs, an education that ensures their future development without alienating them from their families and communities, without imposing on them the damaging loss of their home language and their cultural heritage. While there had been a long history of bilingual education in this country during the 18th and 19th century, geared mainly to German, French, and Scandinavian people, the Bilingual Education movement as represented in the history of CABE had humble beginnings in the late nineteen sixties. Several factors supported the passing of the 1968 Title VII Bilingual Act. At the time of the Civil Rights Movement Latino communities requested what they treasured the most: educational opportunities for their children. The arrival in the City of Miami and in Dade County of a large contingent of Cuban immigrants, who knew that the benefits of bilingual education made it the preferred education of the elites in Cuba as well as in Latin America, led to the establishment of bilingual programs in South Florida public schools as early as 1959. The famous Coral Way School in Miami became an example of how public schools could educate children in two languages with high success. Bilingual education successes were also achieved in Texas and New Mexico. Following another vein, since 1958, as a result of the launching of Sputnik by the Soviet Union, curriculum changes were instituted to match the perceived educational superiority of the Soviets. The Defense Department provided funds for FLES, Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools programs, many of which also proved to be very effective. But the most significant act, the court case Lau vs. Nichols which provided the strongest legal grounds for bilingual education happened here, in California. The Title VII Bilingual Education Act provided federal funds for schools throughout the nation. These funds were allocated on a competitive basis through proposals submitted to the Office of Education.  They facilitated the development of exemplary programs and of bilingual educational materials, like those developed at the three Spanish Curriculum Development Centers, as well as the education of teachers and educational leaders through the Title VII Bilingual Fellowship Program.  But in order to reach all the children whose home language was other than English, and to offer the benefits of two languages to other children, state-mandated bilingual education was needed. That was the time when we walked the streets, knocked on doors, and stood outside supermarkets to educate the public and ask for signatures supporting state laws. It was the time when we organized hearings and brought forth the stories of the parents and their children. It was long, demanding work, done by volunteers who were not deterred by the cold winters of Boston, Massachusetts or Hartford, Connecticut, or the summer heat of Michigan and Illinois, and whose names are today mostly forgotten, although I will never forget their faces, their resilience, their courage, or their smiles. Not one of the state laws came to be without enormous effort. Each one is proof of what people can achieve when they organize and act for a common dream. Those efforts of years past are far from finished today. The struggle goes on. And it that struggle the work of CABE has been paramount, both facilitating the on-going learning of parents, teachers, administrators, researchers, university faculty, authors and publishers, organizations, elected officials, any one responsible for children’s education, as well as lobbying and informing the general population. These achievements are too many to be mentioned individually but one of the many contributions of CABE is their highly informative website where you can look them up if you want specific details. CABE example should rekindle in all of us the conviction that we must stand together, as we have been doing for over three decades to protect the rights of children who depend on us; that even when are beaten, as we were through the infamous Unz initiative and other similar English Only movements,  we are not conquered; that sometimes we may even have to relinquish some language and labels that were dear to us, because they have been soiled, but that we can resurface under new names, as has happened as programs have chosen to adopt the terminology Dual Language Immersion; that sometimes we change venues of action, but the courageous Shelley Spiegel-Coleman of Californians Together is our same courageous Shelley Spiegel-Coleman of CABE. Above all we must keep alive the conviction that we shall overcome.  The organized attacks against Bilingual Education during the last few years have not only had damaging results in the passing of legislation negating the right of children to the best possible education, they have also eroded the conviction of many who, though they know the power and strength derived from having two languages, have given up in the face of legislation and mandates. Perhaps those of us who have been in this struggle for over thirty years bear some responsibility for not warning new bilingual educators early on, that what we were asking them to join, when they entered our teacher education programs or when they were hired by our districts, was a never ending effort: that social justice and freedom are always in peril and must be defended every day. Perhaps we ourselves had hoped to reach levels of success that would never bring a backlash. We knew that we had ample substantive research to prove that there is no better education than one that is additive, where acquisition of another language complements the home language of students rather than eroding that primary vehicle for understanding the world and for communicating with their families. The home language is a treasure students bring with them to school.  It is the obligation of the schools to respect and enhance it, not to destroy it. While teachers who joined bilingual education when the legislation was supportive, and the funds had been allocated, must surely have sensed many times that there was not always public support for this movement, they were not prepared to understand the magnitude of what had been achieved not the peril ahead—the peril that the achievements could be threatened and even lost. Never again should we fail to tell the story of the sacrifices, the many hours away from family and fun, our own personal financial contributions, the scars from many wounds received in defending unpopular measures, the scorn, the discrimination, the ostracism, the promotions not received, or the unjust terminations many of us have experienced. We must denounce the inequities; denounce that many times our programs have been housed in portables in the schools and in basements at the universities, and that we have been hired with soft moneys and less security. Because we acted from generosity, we have never discussed what our attainments cost us individually and collectively. And now we must do so to prepare future generations to make the same kind of sacrifice. Also, perhaps because we are delighted with the real achievements we have made, the leadership of the Bilingual Education Movement has not denounced loudly enough the spurious programs which operated under the name of Bilingual Education but did not fully embrace the same philosophy, or lacked the necessary support to be truly effective. Thus, our credibility was damaged by programs improperly funded, managed, or implemented. We must never allow this to happen again. The authenticity we demand of our own actions needs to be demanded of all, and we must be the first to indicate the reasons—usually beyond the control of well-intended educators—why these programs were set up for failure. We also need to be aware that life is a continuous effort. We cannot take the luxury of stopping to breathe for a few days in order to rest from breathing; the same is true about our efforts on behalf of education. There was a moment when I personally felt I could not speak to one more group of parents, because I was repeating the same things I had already said hundreds of times. Then, I realized that while I was the same, and my message had not changed very much except to adapt to the moment, the parents were not the same. These parents arriving today may have the same dreams and aspirations, the same difficulties and concerns, as other parents I have already spoken to, but they are not the same ones who came two years ago, five years ago, ten or twenty years ago. And they need to hear the truth we have repeated so many times, the truth that they are hearing for the first time. Teachers who will carry this message to parents need to stress that: Unless parents understand that schools expect their presence and participation—and not for them to stay away from the school out of respect for the teachers—they will be labeled, as many parents before them, as uninterested in their children’s education; Unless parents develop in their children a sense of trust and the habit of sharing with them everything that happens daily, one day their children may face risks posed by peers and society and may not trust their parents enough to seek their advice. Unless parents understand that if they stop being their children’s language teachers by not demanding that all communication with them happens in the home language, their children will not only loose the valuable asset of mastering their home language, but may grow to feel ashamed of their parents and loose respect for them as life teachers; Unless parents understand the danger of allowing their children to respond to them in English and use English at home, they may wake one day to the realization that their children cannot communicate with them anymore, and that they have lost the possibility of transmitting to their children the family history, traditions and values. The fact that many parents have experienced these losses before them will in no way diminish their own pain. As for teachers, while fortunately teachers continue in their positions for some years, giving us the joy of recognizing their extraordinary efforts, there will also be new teachers every year that will need the same messages. Thus we must not feel we are repeating ourselves by stating one more time facts that are obvious: Two languages provide many more opportunities than one; knowing two or more languages well is a powerful asset, a professional tool in its own right, and an enhancement of any profession. Maintaining the home language is not only the human right of every child but the only way to ascertain strong, continuous meaningful communication at home. When a role reversal occurs, with the child being more capable than the parents in the use of the new language and culture, unless the children keep looking to their parents as educators and role-models in the use of the primary language and transmitters of culture and life-wisdom, there is a major danger that children will grow up to be ashamed of their parents or ready to disregard their advice. Children and youth who lose respect for their parents are in greater peril, the peril  of succumbing to the risks of dropping out, engaging in juvenile delinquency, using drugs and other risky behaviors. Knowing the richness of their own culture strengthens the self-esteem of children and young people. All children and youth need to know the richness of the many cultures that create the fabric of this country and to learn to respect and appreciate the people of those cultures. A strong home/school connection needs to begin in the classroom with daily activities that bring the knowledge and wisdom of the parents to the school, that validate and honor their words and thoughts that record and write their words and incorporate them in classroom activities and curriculum. We are all authors of our life story. We all—teachers, students and parents—deserve to have the tools for sharing and preserving our stories. Literacy must cease to be a privilege that separates us and become, rather, a right that unites us all. These magnificent truths are like the air we breathe, always needed. They are like love and caring, like justice and peace, values that do not diminish as we experience them but grow as we nurture them. Finally, we must celebrate what we have achieved. Because what has been achieved in these three decades has been very a great deal, because what we have achieved is valuable, but also because it has been achieved with determination and generosity, authentically and collaboratively, in solidarity. You have chosen to honor me, and I stand in front of you in great gratitude for this gesture. But I can only receive this honor in the name of every individual: community organizers, students’ parents and family members, para-educators, teachers, administrators, leaders, researchers, lawyers and legislators, thinkers, editors and publishers, musicians, artists and authors, everyone who in his or her own capacity has contributed to sharing the idea that children and youth deserve to honor their roots—their historical roots in their culture and language, and their living roots in their parents and family. I would like to thank every one of the students who have given the privilege of learning alongside them. And I would like to thank my own family who has constantly supported me. Two of my sons are present here tonight. My son Miguel has flown in from Ohio with his wife Denise, wonderful mother of four of my grandchildren, and a wonderful person in her own right. My son Gabriel, has flown in from Santa Clara. Miguel and Gabriel, as well as their brother Alfonso and their sister Rosalma, grew up supporting these principles: standing with signs supporting the Farm Workers struggles in front of supermarket doors on cold Detroit winters, helping me create, distribute and mail flyers and handouts, accompanying me to all sorts of workshops and presentations. But above all, they have given me unconditional support and unlimited love, and their love and support has allowed me to do much more than I could have ever dreamed. I want to recognize my nephew Ray Vance for his enthusiastic support of my books and his beautiful daughter Vienna Rose, a devoted reader, both here tonight. And I want to thank Isabel Campoy, whose creativity, reflection, and commitment and her generous approach to live are a constant inspiration, a daily source of hope. Finally I would like to honor everyone who has contributed to ensuring that children and youth receive an education that not only provides them with the power of two languages, but that is transformative, and empowers them to face their lives as active protagonists in a commitment to fulfill their personal dreams and help them to achieve  the highest dream: the dream that, yes, we can conquer poverty; yes, we can conquer violence; yes, we can explore the bottom of the ocean and the innards of the Earth; and yes, we will walk on Mars as we did on the Moon.  But we must also walk on a land and a planet of equality, of respect, of love, and of the only possible true peace, a peace sustained by social justice and human solidarity.


Rey Del Sol, Del Sol Books, Del Sol UniversityTo Order or to Ask a Del Sol Question, read the Del Sol Order Info and then Email Rey Del Sol :
Rey Del Sol, Del Sol Books, Del Sol University
Rey Del Sol, Del Sol Books, Del Sol University