Van Buren Public Library is hosting a cultural storytime each Saturday in February in partnership with the Van Buren School District’s world languages department as part of Discover Languages Month.
Each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the library, language student volunteers will read stories that incorporate another language, said organizer Ariana Caballero, Spanish teacher at VBHS Freshman Academy.
“We’re just trying to help the community be aware of the different languages and different cultures,” Caballero said. “Our community is changing.”
Learning another language and being introduced to new cultures can help children in the future, when trying to further their education or job searching, Caballero said.
Cultural story time began Feb. 1 with French, and will continue today with Japanese, Spanish on Feb. 15 and Feb. 22 with German.
Organizers also are trying to incorporate crafts, music and snacks as part of the story time events, Caballero said. Most of the activities are being left up to the students’ discretion, she said.
“The kids are pretty much the ones who are going to be doing the story time, we are just trying to put everything together for them,” Caballero said.
Students who are participating in the story times come from the Van Buren High School Culture in Action Club and the Multicultural Club at VBHS Freshman Academy, she said.
One student who has volunteered for the Spanish story time has planned to read a Skippyjon Jones book, about a cat that thinks it is a dog, and demonstrate how to crochet some of the story’s characters, Caballero said.
Coming up with such an idea and implementing it shows leadership, Caballero said.
“That’s really what I was looking for in these kids, being able to help in the community,” she said.
Story times are open to the public. For more information contact the VBPL at (479) 474-6045.