The Importance of Bilingual Books | BookSpring

The Importance of Bilingual Books

by Cynthia Ivey

La translación en español puede ser encontrada aquí.

We all know that reading is an essential building block for literacy, but what if English is not your first language or not a language you speak at all?  The need for Spanish and bilingual (English/Spanish) books for children in and around Travis County has long existed.  However, the supply of these kinds of books at BookSpring does not meet the current demand.  This means that Hispanic / Latino children in the Austin area do not see themselves in books.  The effect of this absence can and does have a negative impact on the development of critical early reading skills needed for kindergarten, and to be successful throughout their education and lives.  Difficulties with literacy impact almost every aspect of a child’s life and often leads to academic failure which can increase the risks of absenteeism, the dropout rate, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, and of living in poverty.

The new and gently used Spanish and bilingual books you donate will benefit our ReBook program which distributes these books to health centers, pediatric clinics, schools, children’s shelters, libraries in economically disadvantaged areas, and other organizations that serve children and families who are in need.  As the Clinics and Health Partner Manager for BookSpring, I want to do my best to ensure that we meet the needs of our health partners in the Austin area.  The demographics of the clinics I partner with show that 70% of the children these clinics serve are Hispanic / Latino.  Your donation of Spanish and bilingual books will help foster a sense of inclusion and self-esteem in Hispanic / Latino children, and help to produce literate youth who are more likely to go on to college.  And bilingual books are great for all children!

Please bring new or gently used Spanish and bilingual (English/Spanish) books to our offices between 10-4 pm M-F, or call to make an appointment for another time.  You may leave smaller donations in our Book Drop outside of our BookSpring offices. All donations are eligible as a charitable contribution and will go to a deserving new home. Thank you!

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