Google+

May 22, 2015

Subscribe to SLJ

East Harlem Bookstore Launches Book Drive to Aid Unaccompanied Child Immigrants

Donations to La Casa Azul's book drive for unaccompanied child immigrants. Photos courtesy of La Casa Azul Bookstore.

Donations to La Casa Azul’s book drive for unaccompanied child immigrants. Photos courtesy of La Casa Azul Bookstore.

As President Obama, Latin American leaders, and political pundits debate what do with the influx of 50,000 unaccompanied minors crossing into the United States from Mexico and Central America since October 1, a bookseller, a professor, and members of the El Barrio community in Manhattan’s East Harlem neighborhood have begun a project to serve the educational and emotional needs of the detained children.

East Harlem’s La Casa Azul Bookstore, in collaboration with Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project (U-LAMP) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/Safe Passage Project, has spearheaded a book drive and a series of programs to collect Spanish-language and kid-appropriate books for young immigrants in the New York City region, and to raise awareness about their current situation.

The drive, taking place at the bookstore, is the brainchild of bookstore owner and activist Aurora Anaya-Cerda and longtime friend Isabel Martinez, a Latino Studies professor at John Jay, part of the City University of New York system.

casa azul donations 3“One day we were talking about this situation over coffee, and we decided to do something about it,” Anaya-Cerda told School Library Journal. “Since there are about 100 children in the Children’s Village at Dobbs Ferry, New York, which is not that far away from us, we came up with this project to help these children in need.” Martinez has been working with undocumented minors since 2006. Her grandmother entered the United States as an unaccompanied teenage migrant, and the topic is close to her heart, and also her research area.

Since the drive kicked off on Thursday, July 10, hundreds of books have flowed in. The first donations came from celebrated Latino authors Rudolfo Anaya, Julia Alvarez, and Sandra Cisneros, followed by 200 books from Penguin. In addition to the book drive, two films exploring immigrant issues will be screened at the bookstore: Which Way Home on Thursday, July 24 and the Spanish language Sin Nombre on Sunday, August 10. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health has also joined the project by donating the funds for materials to make greeting cards for the detained children and families. The cards will accompany the donated books.

EH_140724_CasaAzulAnaya-Cerda explained that the book drive is only the beginning of her efforts. “After the drive is over, we’ll be calling for volunteers to sort the donations. Then, the bookstore staff will be delivering books and spending time at the facility with the kids and families at least one day a month for the remainder of the year.” They are only accepting donations of age-appropriate, culturally relevant, Spanish-language books for preschool to middle school grade levels. The drive ends on August 10.

More on how to support the book drive from La Casa Azul Website:

1. Purchase books at La Casa Azul Bookstore, in NYC.
Mention the Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project (U-LAMP) and receive 10 percent off your book purchase.

2. Ship new/like new books to:
La Casa Azul Bookstore
143 E. 103rd St
New York, NY 10029
Attn: Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project (U-LAMP)

3. Email La Casa Azul Bookstore with questions at info.lacasaazul@gmail.com.

Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz (sdiaz@mediasourceinc.com) is Senior Editor of School Library Journal's Reviews. She recently received her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

Share
CREATE A MAKER CULTURE AT YOUR LIBRARY
Maker Workshop Build and field-test an educational maker program for your library with guidance from leaders in the maker movement in our 4-week online course: Maker Workshop: Create a Maker Culture at Your Library. Whether you're just getting started or already have a maker program up and running, you'll gain insights to help push your program to the next level, no matter your budget (from $0 to the sky's the limit).

The 4-week course starts on June 3rd; don't wait, learn more and register today!

Comments

  1. Humana People to People and their Developments Within China

    Humana People to People makes their goal to increase under-developed areas
    by way of presenting instruction to primary school tutors and tradesmen, helping recommend good health
    and deliver information about Aids and also to help in more developing the areas farming.

    Humana People to People handles many different jobs and tasks throughout poor spots of nations worldwide.
    By working together with the neighborhood persons and their government, there’re able to support people who are in need of funds with their non-profit
    help corporations. China is among many countries this non-profit organization goes to confront the important troubles that they
    struggle with today.
    The Humana People to People Activity works together with The Federation for
    Organizations within the Yunnan province in China.
    The job began during 2005 and continues throughout currently.

    The Humana People to People Association Project Department of the Yunnan Area
    performs to raise finances to help run diverse plans throughout
    the region within poverty-stricken areas. A number of
    tasks which Humana People to People aims to bring to the current region of China involve business training
    centers in which there’re able to further their instruction, organizing
    them for job opportunities, presenting information about infected diseases and even more.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*