This past Monday, students from Caldwell University Professor Rosa Sanchez’s Children’s Literature course read stories and sang songs in both Spanish and English to toddlers at the Verona Public Library’s “Cuentos y Cantos Bilingual Stories and Songs” program. If you missed it, the students will be back on Monday, April 3 at 10:30 a.m.
In the first session, the children and their parents clapped hands, sang, and danced with the Caldwell students, who had picked out books to read like “Oso en La Ciudad” (Bear About Town) and “Como estas?” (How Are You?)
“It was exciting when the kids got energetic,” said Ava Oberlin, a Spanish major at Caldwell. Pamely Garcia, an applied language and psychology major at the university, said she was very happy to read after having prepared for the project. For Katherine Garcia, a nursing major with a Spanish minor, participating in the project was rewarding and she enjoyed seeing the reactions of the toddlers and their parents.
Johanna Valladares, who attended with her toddler, said she appreciated the song selection, while her husband Julio Valladares said that it was “easy to follow the songs”.
Rachael Trotter, the Verona Public Library’s children’s librarian, praised the Caldwell University students for doing a wonderful job. She was happy to see “familiar and unfamiliar” faces among the children and their parents. Trotter is encouraging members of the community to bring their kids to the next session on Monday, April 3. The “Cuentos y Cantos Bilingual Stories and Songs” event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
Professor Sanchez said she was very pleased with how well her students conducted the program. One of her aims, she said, is to have students in her classes fill in gaps where things are needed in the community. “My hope is that this is just the beginning,” she added, “that we can continue to motivate our students to use their language skills to serve in the community as volunteers.”