October 3, 2003

Donation of Books in Spanish Through Mexican Consulates in the US

In the highlands of Jalisco they say the words shell like corn cobs and spread all over the furrows in the corn fields, taking rumors and sayings all around town.

They also tell of little kids with their own corn voices, playing and having fun while dreaming about songs that take them all over the world to awaken again in the place where they where born…
Stories told and played in the highlands of Jalisco, Corner books collection by SEP, 1994.

By Mariana Martinez

As a way to strengthen national identity and help support bilingual education among Mexican emigrants and their families, México’s General Consulates launched their 2003 book donation program Tuesday, September 30 after an inaugural celebration that same day.

The Consular offices in San Diego coordinated the border crossing and distribution of eight thousand book collections troughout the consular offices across the United States; 3,250 of those collections are going to stay in southern California and be distributed by consular offices in San Diego, Oxnard, Santa Ana, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Spanish language book distribution is aimed at kids and teenagers since the program began in 1997, as an effective way for kids to learn about their culture and do better in school, as well as promoting the use of Spanish among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans currently living in the United States.

The book collections are from the Public Education Secretary (SEP), which produces free textbooks and other book collections especially for kids 5 to 15. The book donation includes text books for kids from kindergarten through sixth grade and teachers books so they can do experiments, plays and other group activities; it also includes a collection of children’s literature called Corner Books, a series of stories, poems, plays, riddles and games designed for kids 5 to 12 and a series of adult books about parenting and helping kids get a better education.

Those collections will be given to schools, school districts, churches and public libraries with a high number of Mexican-American children or Hispanic population in general. To get such a donation, an institution will have to provide a written request explaining how the collections would be used and the number of beneficiaries from the program, the institution will then have to pay for transportation fees or pick them up at the Consulate.

The program seeks to get teachers involved so they can teach parents and other members of their communities to use the textbooks as aids in their kids’ education and contribute to the learning of Spanish as a second language in the United States.

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