Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month Year-Round

Integrating Hispanic Heritage

I’d been conducting storytime and other children’s programming for 18 years.  I felt like a veteran, or some kind of master.  In just one hour, my wife Marianne – who was born and raised in Puerto Rico – made me feel like I was only just beginning. For years I would start with a theme, pick out the books, make the puppet shows.

Marianne Rodriguez
Nurturing Empathy through Multicultural Youth Programming

And yet, how often did I reach for my Hispanic picture books?  Twice a year?  El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day, commonly known as Día) and Hispanic Heritage Month?  My wife showed me how to take a picture book or a story and build a theme from it – to reverse the storytime building process, and thereby integrate diverse materials into storytime – Every. Single Week.

Hispanic/Latino Contributions

So, I made a video.  It was all about the contributions to space exploration by Hispanic/Latino astronauts.  I was showing it off to my co-workers when one of our regular patrons came in.  I told her, “look I made a video all about Hispanic astronauts!” to which she responded, “Have there been any?”  Click the video, my friend!

Hispanic astronauts have contributed to space programs around the world – not just through NASA – and ever since the 1950s!

Links for you to explore!

NASA’s Hispanic Astronauts

Latinos in Space!


Lin-Manuel Miranda

One of my newest heroes: Lin-Manuel Miranda.  This Puerto-Rican American composer, lyricist, playwright and actor – you know him best from Hamilton – has captured America’s hearts, imagination and has broken storytelling, coupling hip hop, rap and the way we explain American history.  Here is a tribute video I created to celebrate this amazing artist, writer and storyteller:

Even now, Lin-Manuel is using his abilities to help heal Puerto Rico.  His star-filled benefit single for Puerto Rico, ‘Almost Like Praying,’ tops Billboard Charts.  Proceeds from the song, which features Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, Rita Moreno, Anthony Ramos, and more, go to the Hispanic Federation.


Hamilton for Kids?!

Yes!  Hamilton can be adapted for kids!  And I hope you do!

Read this amazing CBS article all about a Hamilton-themed summer camp just for kids!


Duncan Tonatiuh

Another of my heroes, Duncan Tonatiuh has created a new book just in time to plan your 2018 SRP – Danza!  – as well as the 100th anniversary of Amalia Hernández’s birth, this story celebrates the dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklórico de México.

Danza! Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México

Here’s an audio sample


I truly hope you explore the possibilities – include diversity every day.  And if you need any help, let’s collaborate!  iCelebramos!

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  1. Pingback: Teaching Children Banned Words - ALSC Blog

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