Library Program Encourages Parents to Write Their Own Stories
By Arlington Public Library
Posted on June 23, 2016, June 23, 2016

Library Program Encourages

Every family has stories to pass down to future generations, and for parents who" ve had struggles, such as finding their way in a new country, those stories can provide a window from the past to the future.

Stories to Our Children gives voice to parents, allowing them to express their passion and love for their children through personalized stories. A reception was held for the 2016 participants of the Arlington Public Library" s Stories to our Children program on Saturday, June 18, at the Maverick Activity Center located on The University of Texas at Arlington campus.

Illustrator Rafael Lopez gave a stirring talk to parents and children at the reception. Like many of the participants, Lopez is a first generation immigrant to this country. He spoke about his hopes and fears for his own family, and how he instills his love of family and country into his art. Lopez encouraged the participants to continue to write, draw, and create their own stories, and to draw inspiration from everything around them from beautifully painted houses to their own children" s drawings. After the talk, participants were treated to tacos al pastor by Taqueria Taxco, while Lopez signed copies of Book Fiesta!.

Participants of Stories to Our Children attended a series of writing workshops where they wrote, illustrated, and refined their stories. At the reception, each participant received a hardcover book of the story they created.

This was the second time Sri Lakshmi Puliga participated in Stories to Our Children. Puliga wrote about her life, knowing that her son will treasure the stories for years to come. "He loves his stories, " Puliga said. "He wrote his own story about his birthday, where he could show all of his hopes and fears in a written format. " Khushal, her son, shyly agrees. "I like writing stories. "

Library program specialist Virginia Wilkinson organized this year" s Stories to Our Children program. "Through Stories to our Children, parents are given the opportunity to show their child the importance of writing and reading, " Wilkinson said. "It allows the family to gather together and create a routine at home where literacy becomes a fun part of their daily activities, resulting in the children emulating this behavior throughout their lives. "

The Stories to Our Children program has been offered through the library to parents of young children in AISD Elementary and special sessions in AISD high schools for teens who are expecting or already parents of small children since 2013. The library has developed a partnership with faculty and students from UTA" s Department of Modern Language who help implement the program each semester. Each year the stories written by these parents in the community are compiled, published, and placed on the library shelves as a way of preserving Arlington" s community history and encouraging a sense of library ownership for Arlington residents. Most importantly, young parents are given the opportunity to personally create something unique for their child and to share their own story.

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