Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) Partners with Scholastic to Create Latino-inspired Book Collection
The “Rising Voices: Elevating Latino Stories” collection for grades K-5 features Latinos as leading characters to help Latino students see themselves within texts
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 13, 2023) – The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) partnered with Scholastic to help them develop “Rising Voices: Elevating Latino Stories,” a new collection of books for grades K-5 which showcases positive images of Latino protagonists.
ALAS Executive Director Dr. Maria Armstrong, along with author Sulma Arzu-Brown and Emmy-award-winning actor and producer John Leguizamo, serve as mentors for the project, providing insight and guidance during the development of the collection.
“Representation matters, and many students of color simply don’t see themselves in most traditional classroom texts. That is a disservice for both those students, and for their classmates,” said Dr. Armstrong. “This collection helps address this issue and supports teachers in creating inclusive classrooms where stories are discussed and embraced and where students learn about each other’s culture and heritage. It is the mission of our organization to support the education and sense of belonging for all students and in particular for Latino students and students of color. Helping one of the world’s largest book publishers create inclusive learning and teaching materials is one way we can do this.”
The collection features a mix of authentic fiction and nonfiction texts celebrating the accomplishments and potential of Latinos. It also includes instructional materials and digital resources to help teachers build literacy skills and social-emotional awareness.
“Here at Hartford Public Schools, 55% of our student population, and 20% of our staff, identify as Hispanic or Latino. Therefore, it is of critical importance to us that our students see positive images of diverse Latino figures and that our teachers have the instructional materials and resources to provide insight into those experiences and stories,” said Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, whose district recently purchased the collection. “This collection will ensure equitable access to resources that will allow all of our students, staff, and families to celebrate themselves and others through the Latino stories and voices captured within these text sets and instructional materials.”
The collection provides students with high-interest culturally-relevant texts that give insight into what they’re experiencing in the world around them and helps to build a rich classroom community where students can grow as leaders and thinkers. Each grade-level library includes 25 titles (2 copies of each), teaching cards, a teacher’s guide, access to Scholastic’s digital resource website, storage bins, and labeling stickers.
For more information and to purchase the collection, visit: https://shop.scholastic.com/content/educators/en/learn/rising-voices-elevating-latino-stories.html
For more information about ALAS, visit https://www.alasedu.org .
About the Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS)
The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents [ALAS] is committed to providing a perspective to all aspiring school and district administrators including superintendents through programs, services, advocacy and networks rooted in Latino experiences and culture. ALAS has nearly 8,000 members across 23 state affiliates with several more states soon to be a part of the ALAS Familia. Our Vision, Mission and Goals are to provide leadership at the national level that assures every school in America effectively serves the educational needs of all students with an emphasis on Latino and other historically marginalized youth through continuous professional learning, policy advocacy, and networking to share practices of promise for our students and the communities where we serve.
By the year 2026, Latino children will make up 30 percent of the school-age population. In the nation’s largest states – California, Texas, Florida, and New York- all of whom are ALAS State Affiliates– Latinos already have reached that level. It is of vital interest to invest in the education of every child, and the professional learning of all educators who serve Latino youth.