Discussions
Discussions

Unidos—Charlas de libros para niños y padres

Application Deadline for Spring/Summer Series: December 1

The New York Council for the Humanities’ Unidos—Charlas de libros para niños y padres (formerly Dual Language Together) program offers a unique forum for bilingual (Spanish and English) parents and their 9- to 11-year-old children to come together to talk about books and ideas at their local library. Building on the success of Together—Book Talk for Kids and Parents, Unidos reaches out to New York State’s linguistically and culturally diverse families who may not otherwise be able to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the program.

Many families who speak English as a second language are unable to use their native languages to support their children’s reading. Unidos gives libraries the tools to introduce and reinforce the pleasure of engaged reading through bilingual reading and discussion.

Each of the six 90-minute Unidos sessions is co-facilitated in English and Spanish by a librarian and a humanities scholar from the local community. The sessions focus on picture books and novels that deal with key themes in American life such as courage and freedom. All of the books are provided in both languages, and participants are invited to speak in either English or Spanish, according to their preference. Because everyone in the group speaks English and Spanish, and because both facilitators are fluent in both languages, all voices are valued and language and culture become the context for reading and talking about critical issues related to everyday life.

Any library in New York State that has a bilingual librarian or qualified staff person (see Common Questions) is eligible to host an Unidos series. To apply, find a bilingual humanities scholar who is willing to serve as co-facilitator and submit your application to the Council. If your application is successful, the Council will supply all the books and provide your library with a $1000 stipend to cover necessary expenses such as childcare and materials.


How to apply to host an Unidos series at your library:

Choose a bilingual librarian to serve as co-facilitator.
Libraries are also responsible for identifying a bilingual librarian (or other qualified staff member) who is willing to co-facilitate the six 90-minute discussions with the scholar co-facilitator. For more information, see The Host Site and the Librarian Co-Facilitator in our Common Questions.

Find a bilingual humanities scholar from your community to serve as the series co-facilitator.
Libraries are responsible for identifying a bilingual humanities scholar (or graduate student) who agrees to co-facilitate the six 90-minute discussions with a librarian. For more information, see The Scholar Co-facilitator in our Common Questions.

Designate spaces in your library.
Find a space in your library where group discussions can be held uninterrupted.  Also, make sure that there is a designated space for your childcare provider to watch younger siblings.

Apply to the Council.
Complete and submit the Unidos application. Include the resume of the scholar you have identified with your application. Application and notification deadlines are listed at the top of this page.

Participate in a training session.
If your application is accepted, the scholar co-facilitator and the librarian co-facilitator will both be required to attend the Unidos training session on January 26, 2013 in New York City. The Council will cover all transportation costs.

6. Schedule, promote and host an Unidos series.
The Council provides templates on our Host Site Coordinator Administration page for flyers and other promotional materials. Make every effort to gather 8 to 15 families for your Unidos series.  For more information, see Implementing an Unidos Series in our Common Questions.

7. Follow-up.
Within three weeks of the end of your series, return the Host Site and Participant evaluation forms as well as Council-supplied books.


Unidos is presented in partnership with the New York Library Association and the Empire State Center for the Book.


This project is supported by the We the People initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities.