Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What does Colorín Colorado mean?

I want to tell you about a popular expression we have in Mexico "Colorín Colorado". It's something we say at the end of stories and there's no direct translation, but it basically means and that's the end of the story!" or "…they lived happily ever after."

Hearing this phrase brings back happy memories of our childhood and makes those of us in Spanish-speaking countries smile. The phrase is also the name for an important organization [and by the way they are not located in Colorado] that is a service of the Reading Rockets Project that provides an audio segment on National Public Radio.Their website quotes the National Institutes of Health who estimates that one in five children has serious difficulties learning to read. Many of these children are potentially among the most troubled kids in society. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 17 percent (or approximately 9 million children and youth) of the nation's K-12 public school population is Latino.
By 2025, the nationwide school-age population will be 25 percent Latino, and states such as California, Texas, Florida, and New York will have public school districts that are more than 50 percent Latino. These children are all not only learning to read, but they are struggling to do it in their non-native language. Imagine the challenges they face and the goal is to reach out and find them. If we help them early, these children can thrive and without our support they are at high risk for school failure.

I was happy to sit down recently and talk with my friends at Colorín Colorado in support of the very important work they do. I talk about drawing as a child, the influence of my Mexican heritage, my process, the inspiration behind some favorite illustrations, the importance of art education in schools and working with writers. You can skip ahead to parts that might be of interest to you. This website is rich in content and you can meet and listen to authors like Alma Flor Alda, Franisco X. Alarcón, Lulu Delacre, Pat Mora and Pam Muñoz Ryan. There is information and tips for parents and teachers with ideas to motivate struggling readers.

Thanks for listening by clicking on this link. Colorincolorado

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