Colorin Colorado: Helping children read... and succeed!

Teachers who work with English as a Second Language learners will find ESL/ESOL/ELL/EFL reading/writing skill-building children's books, stories, activities, ideas, strategies to help PreK-3, 4-8, and 9-12 students learn to read.

A bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners
  • small text
  • medium text
  • large text
  • print

About ¡Colorín Colorado!

Colorín Colorado is a free web-based service that provides information, activities and advice for educators and Spanish-speaking families of English language learners (ELLs).

Colorín Colorado is an educational initiative of WETA, the flagship public television and radio station in the nation's capital. Major funding comes from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the AFT Innovation Fund.

Previous funders include the National Institute for Literacy, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Colorín Colorado actively seeks private, corporate and government support to expand the Colorín Colorado effort. Please contact us to learn more.

If you like what you see on this website, please link to us.

Colorín Colorado has received many recognitions for excellence, including being an Official Honoree in the 2006 Webby Awards. This would not have been possible without the support of our advisors, partners and staff.

In addition to Colorín Colorado, WETA (Learning Media) also produces LD OnLine, Reading Rockets, and AdLit.org.

Colorín Colorado is a service of the Reading Rockets Project, which includes PBS television programs, available on videotape and DVD; online services; and professional development opportunities. The Reading Rockets project is described in a five-minute audio segment§ on the National Public Radio series, The Parent's Journal with Bobbi Conner. The interview is with Noel Gunther, executive director of Reading Rockets and Colorín Colorado.

Our mission

The National Institutes of Health estimates that one in five children has serious difficulties learning to read. These children are potentially among the most troubled kids in society. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 17 percent (or approximately 9 million children and youth) of the nation's K-12 public school population is Latino.

By 2025, the nationwide school-age population will be 25 percent Latino, and states such as California, Texas, Florida, and New York will have public school districts that are more than 50 percent Latino. These children are all not only learning to read, but they are struggling to do it in their non-native language. With early identification and a lot of help, however, these children can flourish; without it they are at high risk for school failure.

Colorín Colorado's mission is to find research-based and best-practice information about teaching reading to English language learners (ELLs) and use the power and reach of the Internet to make it widely available to parents, educators, and policymakers.

About our name

The name "Colorín Colorado" comes from a playful phrase that is often said at the end of stories in Spanish-speaking countries. There's no literal translation, but the phrase is similar to "…and that's the end of the story!" or "…and they lived happily ever after."

The saying brings back happy childhood memories for generations of people from many different countries. Making people smile about reading seemed like a perfect way to begin our project.

Notes about our use of Spanish

Because Spanish is the native language of 80 percent of ELLs, we are currently focusing our bilingual efforts there. However we do have some materials available in additional languages and are constantly looking to expand our language base. Please contact us if you are interested in offering us language services.

Please note the following points regarding the use of Spanish in ColorinColorado.org:

  • The reader will find the masculine terms niños and padres as well as the feminine term maestras. This was a choice made to facilitate reading because the alternative of using niño/niña, maestro/maestra, padre/madre makes reading more cumbersome.
  • Since some of the suggested resources exist only in English, a non-official Spanish title was provided in parentheses so that readers have an idea of what each is about.
  • Due to the great range of variation within 20 Spanish-speaking nations, simple and inclusive language was used to facilitate understanding for the great majority of Spanish speakers.

Research note

The information on Colorín Colorado is based on a combination of direct research, expert opinion, and best practices. The field of teaching English language learners is highly complex and quickly evolving. While research is underway, the need for accessible information and practical classroom strategies continues to grow. As research becomes more definitive, the content on this site will be updated accordingly.

Reprint Policy

Material from our website may not be sold or used commercially. Permission to publish materials must be granted by the copyright holder.

You are welcome to print copies for personal use, or a limited number for educational purposes, as long as credit is given to Colorín Colorado and the author(s).

Because we get our articles from a variety of sources, please check the bottom of the article for special reprint permissions or restrictions from the publisher.

If you have questions, please contact us at info@colorincolorado.org.

§ To play this clip, you'll need a copy of the free RealOne Player. Most computers already have it installed, or you can download it now.