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Book Truck to tour U.S. to promote reading in Spanish

September 07, 2015

 Book Truck to tour U.S. to promote reading in Spanish

Book Truck, a bookstore on wheels, will visit dozens of elementary schools throughout the United States carrying books in Spanish to promote reading in that language among the country's schoolchildren.

The first stop on the mobile bookstore's nationwide tour is San Diego and later it will travel to other cities with a heavy Hispanic presence including Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, New York and Laredo, Texas.

By offering books in Spanish, the traveling bookstore, an initiative of Mexican publisher FCE, also seeks to help children with Hispanic roots preserve their culture through literature in that language.

"Within the same families, when generational changes occur, communication is lost between grandparents and grandchildren," Alan Miranda, the representative of FCE in the United States, told EFE.

The project was launched after - in meeting with parents and educators - representatives of the publisher became aware of a lack of titles in Spanish in libraries and bookstores in the United States.

"So that it won't be an obstacle that people are not finding books, now we're going to go to them," said Miranda.

The initiative also seeks to push bilingualism.

The first institution in San Diego County to extend an invitation to the traveling bookstore was Veterans Elementary School, where 68 percent of the student body is of Hispanic origin.

Principal Froylan Villanueva told EFE that, despite the nearness of the border with Mexico, it's still difficult to find books in Spanish that can be taken advantage of by students in dual English-Spanish immersion programs.

"It's even more difficult to find books that are by Latin American authors because many are ... translated from Spanish into English, something that is always good but something is lost," the principal said.

Villanueva said that in recent years demand has grown for students to enter these bilingual programs, mainly among Anglo parents who want their children to master more than one language, to the extent that currently there is a waiting list.

In addition, parents from Hispanic families enroll their children in these classes "so they won't lose the language" once they enter public school, where mostly English is spoken.

Angela Gomez, the mother of two, said that it's important for her kids to read in both languages, and she says it's due to this type of bookstore offering a variety of titles.

"I hope that this truck goes to more schools. It's always good to give the chance to parents to buy books in Spanish that cannot be found in other bookstores at a reasonable price," she told EFE.

Source Fox News Latino