TOPPENISH, Wash. — Annette Bay Pimentel, award-winning children’s book author, read her book to nearly 1,000 students and families in the Toppenish School District.
Pimentel’s book, Pura’s Cuentos, tells the true story of the first Latino librarian to come to New York. Many students made paper puppets of the characters to read with them.
“I hope for at least some of the kids that having this book in their hands will make them more interested in reading,” Pimentel said.
The students took home copies of his book with signed autographs. For some, it was their first book.
“I think access and opportunity are things that we don’t think about when it comes to books,” said Educational Services District 105 Literacy Coordinator Jessica Lara.
Thanks to a Ministry of Education grant for literacy innovations, Lara said providing books to families was a game-changer. Each year, the school district receives approximately $150,000 for the next five. Lara said the grant helps fund events like this.
Lara said she thanks Heritage University for helping to make this event happen. District leaders said they hoped the event would become a tradition.
The students at Garfield Elementary School throw a popsicle party to get the most students to attend the event.