Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz reading to students in CIANA's Elementary After School Tutoring Program, April 16, 2019. Photo: Maria Eliades
On October 8, 2019, CIANA will launch the latest season of its popular Read-In Series. The series will feature local elected officials, beginning with Council Member Daniel Dromm and continuing with Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, staff from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), and many more.
First launched in spring 2019, CIANA’s Read-In Series featured appearances by Assemblywoman Cruz, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, and staff from State Senator Jessica Ramos’s office.
The series began when then-outreach intern Jeffrey Vides-Urrutia noticed a lack of diversity and representation in children’s literature.
“Unfortunately, children’s literature has pushed away narratives celebrating diversity written by authors from marginalized communities,” he says. “Children need to see themselves and people of different backgrounds as protagonists who work hard, save the day, and overcome obstacles.”
CIANA’s philosophy is that childhood education is a key factor in immigrant integration, which is why representation is so important. According to CIANA’s Director of Development and Communications, Maria Eliades, the goal of the Read-In Series is to show the elementary aged students that there are leaders who care about them and to expose CIANA's students to books that reflect their diverse backgrounds.
“We’re really hoping with this series that the kids can both see themselves in the books that are being read, and also that in meeting these elected officials and other community leaders, they can see that they can also eventually be leaders in the community,” Eliades says.
The Read-In Series will take place starting on Tuesday, October 8 at 5 pm and will end in December. Each reader will have the choice to pick a book from CIANA’s library or to bring one of their own for the half hour reading.