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Conversations with Todos Leyendo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Todos Leyendo. Them and their team share their story with us below:

We are moms, educators, and book curators! Itnuit is from Mexico, Claudia is from Cuba, and we met in Raleigh in 2016. We share a special love of reading, the desire to pass on our Latino cultural heritage to our children, and we had a special interest in finding quality Spanish language books and educational programs for them. In our search process, we met individuals and groups looking for those same things, which led to the creation of Todos Leyendo: a Spanish educational project and bookstore. Our mission is to encourage literacy as a pillar of personal and social growth for all ages and celebrate the Hispanic culture’s richness. During these five years, we have had the extraordinary opportunity of meeting and watching grow amazing Spanish speaking children, who have been the inspiration for our Book clubs, Spanish clubs, and Monthly book subscription. We have also collaborated with several educational organizations in the State curating book collections; offering storytelling sessions; offering literacy-centered workshops and talks for families, teachers, and community agents; and hosting book fairs.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
We are very grateful for the warm welcome we have received and the expressions of appreciation from parents, grandparents, teachers, organizations, and the community at large. They have helped us navigate many of the challenges we have faced: finding locations, spreading the word, creating networks. There is yet much to do to widen this experience and offer it as an option to those families, schools, organizations and communities wishing to embrace multiculturalism and multilingualism.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Itnuit Janovitz has a PhD in Mathematics, and after spending several years doing research and teaching, switched her personal and professional focus to start developing educational and literacy programs in Spanish for Spanish speaking children in the United States. At the same time, she has worked with several organizations in North Carolina to advocate for the rights and inclusion of children with different abilities, particularly neurodiverse children.

Claudia Garcia is a psychologist and educator. For more than 15 years has worked with children and adolescents, families and teachers, as an educational adviser, teacher, researcher and therapist. In recent years she has dedicated herself to Todos Leyendo, where some of her great passions materialize: working with children, developing educational and literacy programs in Spanish, reading, and keeping Latin American people’s traditions alive.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Knocking on everyone’s door, being present in big events

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