With research showing that minority children who are not reading proficiently by third grade are more than twice as likely not to graduate from high school, the award-winning bilingual children's literacy campaign, Read Conmigo, kicked off festivities for the first Bilingual Literacy Month in the U.S. with a literary event in the heart of East Los Angeles. As the first celebration of its kind, the campaign launched at Ford Blvd. Elementary School today, aims to raise awareness about the direct correlation between reading and academic success.
Through the use of bilingual storybooks and a plethora of online resources, Read Conmigo, sponsored by Infinity Auto Insurance, bridges the resource gap for Hispanic parents in nation's largest Hispanic market that hesitate to read to their children in English or Spanish due to language barriers.
"Read Conmigo storybooks are an effective tool for promoting the development of English and Spanish language skills in young children," said Dr. Santiago Wood, Ed.D., Executive Director of the National Association for Bilingual Education. "I encourage families to celebrate Bilingual Literacy Month by incorporating reading time into their daily lives, especially with children who are in the crucial stages of early childhood development."
To encourage and nurture this crucial one-on-one activity at home, Bilingual Literacy Month and the Read Conmigo campaign shared a sampling of its bilingual book collection with several Ford Elementary first graders, parents and educators with the help of guest children's book author and storyteller, Antonio Sacre. (pictured] Bilingual Literary Month also garnered the support of local educators at the event, including LAUSD Board Member Bennett Kayser, who presented a proclamation on behalf of the entire school board.
"We are proud to celebrate Read Conmigo's inaugural Bilingual Literacy Month," said James Gober, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Infinity Property and Casualty Corporation, the parent company of Infinity Auto Insurance. "As the first organization to launch this important awareness month, we aim to give back to the Hispanic communities we serve by providing them with the essential tools and resources that will ensure children's future success in an expanding bilingual workforce."
Bilingual Literacy Month also features an array of online activities for families including:
ÔÇó Opportunities to share photos and stories on social media via the hashtag, "#BilingualLiteracyMonth"
ÔÇó A chance to win a Kindle Fire HD when registering for a Read Conmigo subscription online during Bilingual Literacy Month