América Calderón Selected to National Committee for the Américas Book Award

Teaching for Change bilingual parent organizer América Calderón has been selected as one of five national committee members for the Américas Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature.  The Américas Award was the first award for Latino Children’s Literature in the United States. The award was created in 1993 by the national Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) to highlight the unity of cultures throughout the Americas as well as identify key works that celebrate the diversity of the Americas.  The Américas committee consists of five members from across the country that work in diverse fields from librarians to teachers, to faculty, to educational and community coordinators like Calderón.

“I feel honored to participate as a member of the América’s Award committee,” said Calderón. “As a native Guatemalan working in schools with large immigrant populations, I have a particular interest in ensuring that the stories of the immigrant Latino communities are given visibility. I also hope to see authors and illustrators from those communities honored. The América’s Award program plays a vital role in alerting teachers and parents to quality books. At Teaching for Change we prepare bilingual teams of parents to read in their children’s schools. We see how the parents and children appreciate the stories that reflect their culture and experiences.”

America calling on student

The Américas Award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. By combining both and linking the Americas, the award reaches beyond geographic borders, as well as multicultural-international boundaries, focusing instead upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere.

Learn more about the award at