My younger sister Isabel is the most compassionate person I know. While a student in college, she spent her spare time volunteer tutoring the children of Latino immigrants.
She noticed that as teenagers, many of the students she worked with wished they had learn Spanish when they were little. As children, however, students from this same demographic shun Spanish in favor of the English spoken at school and by their friends. How could we encourage children to value and pursue bilingualism?
We created and published How do you dream? an interactive, bilingual storybook that encourages children to dream in as many languages as possible.
To hone the book, I came up with multiple storylines, and my sister worked with teachers at low-income schools to test and refine the storyline. She drafted the original illustrations, and together we played with different layouts that would ensure maximum readability with text in two languages on each page. We also added an interactive element to the work, with a laminated page in the book that children can erase and draw on multiple times.