What we are hearing about this week is Hispanic Heritage Month, which is from September 15 to October 15. All classes are hearing books that celebrate Spanish-speaking places and people. Of particular note is Separate Is Not Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation, by Duncan Tonatiuh, which I will read to 5th grade. In 1954, seven years before Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Mendez family prevailed in their suit brought right here in California challenging a rule that Mexican children could not attend their local school but rather had to attend a "Mexican school," which was further away and nowhere near as nice as the neighborhood school. Mendez v. Westminster resulted in the desegregation of public schools in California and paved the way for school desegregation nationally. I've lived in California almost my whole life, and until the publication of this nonfiction picture book I was completely unaware of this historic event. Sylvia Mendez and her sister Sandra Mendez Duran briefly talked about their experiences on an episode of Storycorps, which I will play for the students.
This is the final week to enter the County of Los Angeles Public Library's annual bookmark contest for children. You can download the entry form from the public library's website or from the PDF link in last week's blog post. The theme this year is "What's Your Story?" Entries that are mailed had to be postmarked no later than October 7, 2017, so don't mail any entries now. Instead, entries can be turned in at the PK library up 'til Friday, October 13, 2017, or hand-delivered to any County of Los Angeles public library branch (such as our Manhattan Beach public library) no later than Saturday, October 14, 2017.