On Tuesday, the Children’s Corner at the Houston Cole Library offered “Había una vez – Stories in Spanish,” which featured special videos and books read in both Spanish and English.
“This is a place where the kids can celebrate knowing two languages and can read books in Spanish,” said librarian Laurie Heathcock, who organized the event. “This is our first time doing the story time program, but we are going to try and do [the bilingual night] every month”
The Children’s Corner, which was established last year, hopes to promote and encourage cultural education and literacy within the youth community of Jacksonville and surrounding areas.
Spanish major and Child Development minor Kristen Gentry read two books to the children in attendance, including “Mis Colores, Mi Mundo” and “¿Qué puedes hacer con una paleta?” (“My Colors, My World” and “What Can You Do with a Paleta?”)
Gentry studied Spanish at The University of Salamanca in Spain and wants to use her proficiency in the Spanish language to help others.
“Parents at home who don’t know English very well can’t help their children like they want to, and it can be hard on daycare workers, but having someone who is bilingual or having a bilingual daycare can help prevent the children from starting school and being behind in class,” Gentry said.
Multiple studies show that there are significant benefits for children who grow up bilingual or are exposed to a second language.
Research published in Psychological Science shows children in multilingual households and children exposed to a second language communicate more efficiently from discerning between different social and speech patterns.
Bilingual children also excel in problem-solving skills and are better able to filter out distractions, according to a study by Strathclyde University.
Feliza Camarillo, a Spanish major, agrees. “I think it is very important, having a bilingual mind. Your mind works a lot faster than a monolingual person, you can deal with things a lot faster, and it is easier to communicate with people.”
The Children’s Corner will next host JSU music professor Dr. James Woodward on March 27. Woodward, musician and author, will be reading his book “When Rebecca Woogie Came to Town.” Children will have the opportunity to play instruments alongside the reading.
*Hollie Ivey is a senior majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Spanish. She will be graduating in May 2018. Dr. Eduardo Pacheco, an associate professor of Spanish at JSU, kindly proofed the Spanish translation of this article before it was printed.*
El martes, el Children’s Corner en la Biblioteca Houston Cole ofreció “Había una vez – Historias en español”, que presentaba videos especiales y libros leídos tanto en español como en inglés.
“Este es un lugar donde los niños pueden celebrar sabiendo dos idiomas y pueden leer libros en español”, dijo la bibliotecaria Laurie Heathcock, que organizó el evento. “Esta es la primera vez que hacemos el programa, pero vamos a intentar hacer [la noche bilingüe] cada mes”
The Children’s Corner, que se estableció el año pasado, espera promover y fomentar la educación cultural y la alfabetización dentro de la comunidad juvenil de Jacksonville y sus alrededores.
Kristen Gentry, quien se especializa en español y tiene como segunda especialidad el desarrollo infantile, leyó dos libros a los niños que asistieron, entre ellos “Mis Colores, Mi Mundo” y “¿Qué puedes hacer con una paleta?”
Gentry estudió el español en la Universidad de Salamanca en España y quiere usar su dominio del español para ayudar a los demás.
“Los padres en casa que no saben muy bien inglés no pueden ayudar a sus hijos como quieren, y puede ser difícil para los trabajadores de guardería, pero tener a alguien que sea bilingüe o tener una guardería bilingüe puede ayudar a evitar que los niños comiencen la escuela y estar atrasados en la clase “, dijo Gentry.
Múltiples estudios muestran que existen beneficios significativos para los niños que crecen bilingües o que están expuestos a un segundo idioma.
La investigación publicada en Psychological Science muestra que los niños en hogares plurilingüe y los niños expuestos a un segundo idioma se comunican de manera más eficiente a partir del discernimiento entre los diferentes patrones sociales y del habla.
Los niños bilingües también se destacan en las habilidades de resolución de problemas y son más capaces de filtrar las distracciones, según un estudio de la Universidad de Strathclyde.
Feliza Camarillo, una estudiante de español, está de acuerdo. “Creo que es muy importante tener una mente bilingüe. Tu mente funciona mucho más rápido que una persona monolingüe, puedes manejar las cosas mucho más rápido y es más fácil comunicarse con la gente “.
El próximo evento de Children’s Corner ofrecerá el profesor de música JSU Dr. James Woodward el 27 de marzo. Woodward, músico y autor, leerá su libro “Cuando Rebecca Woogie llegó a la ciudad”. Los niños tendrán la oportunidad de tocar instrumentos junto con la lectura.
*Hollie Ivey tiene una especialización en relaciones públicas con un menor en español. Ella se graduará en mayo de 2018. Profesor Edu-ardo Pacheco, profesor asociado de español en JSU, amablemente a prueba la traducción al español de este artículo antes de que se imprimiera.*
Five books sat posed on the stage that sits in the Children’s Corner of Houston Cole Library.
Every Tuesday is storytime in the Corner and librarian Laurie Heathcock says that although it’s a new thing, she hopes it will take off soon.
“We just finished the Children’s Corner not too long ago,” Heathcock said. “It’s a great chance for both the JSU students to read and the children who are read to.”
JSU students can volunteer or be invited to read to the children each week. Heathcock says Cocky has made a visit with the cheerleaders and that the JSU soccer and softball teams are scheduled to make an appearance.
Sophomore Amari Pearson made her second visit to the Children’s Corner for the special Black History Month reading.
“I got involved because I like kids,” Pearson said. “Kids like to find people that they can look up to, and when people read to them they can learn.”
Both Heathcock and Pearson took turns reading the four loose biographies and West African legend that made the book list for the week.
Heathcock says she has other special events scheduled for the children’s corner including a bilingual storytime in March. She says there will be movies in Spanish and English as well as readings.
“Children have so much distraction with technology now,” Heathcock said. “It’s important for children to not just read but to be read to. It helps with vocabulary and social skills and imagination. Plus I learn a lot from the books too.”
For Pearson it’s about helping to expose children to different cultures and ideas.
“It’s all part of history,” She said. “What got us here, different cultures and people. It keeps up realizing where we came from and why we’re all here.”
Find all the stories at the Black History Month storytime below:
Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves Deputy, US Marshal by Vaunda Nelson
This biography tells the true story of Bass Reeves a former slave who became a deputy US Marshal and remained one for 32 years.
Ananse and the Lizard by Pat Cummings
A West African legend about a spider named Ananse who seeks to become chief by learning the name of the chief’s daughter in order to marry her. When he accidentally discovers the name, he shares it with a lizard only to be betrayed.
Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
A biography of Martin Luther King Jr. and the words that he used from when he was young to when he became a minister and changed the world for the people that followed him.
Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow by Gary Golio
A loose biography of musician Jimi Hendrix as he grew up in the boarding house drawing and learning how to play music.
Barack Obama: Son of Promise Child of Hope by Nikki Grimes
Young David sees a video of Barack Obama and asks his mother who he is. His mother spins a tale of the life of Barack Obama from his beginnings in Hawaii as Barry to his presidency in the present.
Charlcie Pettway Vann works on the 2nd floor of the Houston Cole Library. The 2nd floor houses subjects on Psychology and Philosophy, General Studies, Library Science and Religion. Vann has been a Houston Cole Librarian for 12 years.
BR: What were you before you became a librarian?
VANN: “I am originally from New Jersey, but I had family here in Alabama. I have an Associate degree in Public Policy and a Bachelor’s in Urban Studies. I came here to Jacksonville State University when I learned that they had a job opening for a librarian. At the time, I was living in Florida with my husband and daughter, looking for a job in Atlanta. I have family there. However, I almost did not take the job because my husband had his own job offer elsewhere. When things did not work out, I had to have a slice of humble pie and ask if the position was still available. But I am glad I came here. Everyone has been so kind to me, almost like family.”
After completing her Bachelor’s degree, she received her Master’s of Library Science from North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C.
BR: What is the best part about being a librarian?
VANN: “Helping people, finding information for students. There is this stigma of fear when it comes to being in the library, so I see my job as making students feel comfortable when researching.”
BR: When you are not here at the library, what do you enjoy doing?
VANN: “I’m honestly on duty all the time. If I’m not at work, I have family or friends calling me up and asking if they can help them find something. When I do get a break, I love watching movies, walking, cycling. I love to shop, too.”
BR: Coffee or Tea? Poetry or Prose?
VANN: “Poetry. As for my drink, I say both. I have to be in the mood for coffee, and tea I’ll drink when I’m feeling under the weather.”
BR: Favorite book?
VANN: “The Miseducation of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson. It’s a very good book, very powerful.”
BR: Do you think librarians are still relevant? Why?
VANN: “Of course. Librarians have this art of being able to search for information that is needed at the time. These days, with access to computers, that does not mean that people are more knowledgeable. Just because you have a device like a computer or a tablet doe not mean that all the knowledge is there. I feel like being able to process information in small parts and using critical thinking skills is very important. That is part of my job as a librarian is to teach these skills to students.”
BR: If you were not a librarian, what would you be?
VANN: “I would volunteer for a nonprofit that helps women dress and prepare for job interviews. As I said earlier I love to shop, so being able to help women look their best would be something I would enjoy doing.”
BR: It has been great getting to know you. My final question for you is do you have any advice to give to students?
VANN: “Have a plan. I would tell anyone to have some kind of plan for where they are going. Maybe go continue your education, maybe go straight into the workforce. Just have a plan and be flexible. See every goal you have to the very end.”