December 2009

This month's Boletín focuses on sharing the gift of reading, as well as new ways to encourage learning at home.

Type of Newsletter: Boletin
Date: December, 2009

This is the English version of our Spanish-language newsletter, the Boletín informativo Colorín Colorado, which is written with Spanish-speaking parents and families in mind. Many of the articles included in the original Spanish version of the Boletín informativo are also available in English! For those that aren't we'll provide you with a summary and a link to the article in Spanish.

This month's Boletín focuses on sharing the gift of reading, as well as new ways to encourage learning at home.

Many articles in this newsletter will make great handouts for parents! We hope that you will be able to share the information in this newsletter with Hispanic parents and families who are trying to help their children become successful readers. You are welcome to print and distribute (crediting, or you can use our "Tell-a-friend" feature.

Don't forget to check Colorín Colorado for updates, tips, and much more!

Reading and school success

School Attendance: A Key to Success

Did you know that school attendance is one of the most important factors in a student's academic success? Being at school every day ensures that students won't miss important lessons, assignments, activities, exams, and school events. This article suggests some things you can do to help your child get the most of each school day.

See article in English >>
See article in Spanish >>

Building Your Child's Vocabulary

One way to help your child become a stronger reader is to help him build his vocabulary. The more words a reader knows, the more he is able to comprehend what he is reading or listening to. This article offers ideas for ways to help build your child's vocabulary at home.

See article in English >>
See article in Spanish >>

Parent Tips: Encouraging Teens to Read

Strong reading skills are important for teenagers, but sometimes it can be a challenge to get them to pick up a book! Here are some ways to encourage your teen to read.

See tips in English >>
See tips in Spanish >>

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Let's Read!

Book of the Month

A Piñata in a Pine Tree
By Pat Mora
Illustrated by Magaly Morales

In this festive holiday book, Pat Mora blends tradition by setting her own Spanish lyrics to the popular Christmas carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Each verse describes a Latino custom, often related to the celebration of Three Kings Day: "On the second day of Christmas my amiga gave to me / dos pastelitos / and a piñata in a pine tree." Vibrant acrylic illustrations of guitarritas, luminarias, and piñatas dance with joy on the colorful pages.

See book in Spanish >>

Colorín Colorado Holiday Booklist

Colorín Colorado presents some holiday books to share with your family! This list includes classic children's stories and depictions of Hispanic families' celebrations of Christmas and Las Posadas.

See booklist in English >>
See booklist in Spanish >>

Reading: The Perfect Gift

Reading is a wonderful gift! Look for books or magazines related to your child's interests. For older children, a gift certificate to a bookstore allows them to choose something they want to read. This is also a great time to create a home library or take a fresh look at your family's home library.

For more ideas, take a look at our reading gift guide, in English and Spanish!

Holiday Learning Fun

During the holidays and winter vacations, many parents have trouble finding meaningful educational activities that they can share with their children. For some quick tips and suggestions of good learning activities that your children will enjoy, read these articles!

See article in English >>
See article in Spanish >>

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Research, Guides, and More

Question of the Month

Recently, Colorín Colorado presented Frequently Asked Questions for Parents. We will continue to add new questions each month to this section. If you don't see a question you would like answered, be sure to send us an e-mail!

Featured Question:

* This month's question is an excerpt from Learning Two Languages: Questions Parents Ask and is reprinted with permission from PBS Parents. To see more of their resources in English and Spanish, be sure to visit their website!

Lulu Delacre: Illustrating The Storyteller's Candle

Lulu Delacre describes the process of researching and bringing to life librarian Pura Belpré, the Great Depression, Puerto Rican immigrants, and New York City in The Storyteller's Candle.

See the full interview with Lulu Delacre on Colorín Colorado in English and Spanish!

Bilingual Family Literacy Pack: Where The Wild Things Are

Go on a "Wild Thing" reading adventure! This family activity pack from Reading Rockets is designed to support reading activities at home using Maurice Sendak's classic book, Where the Wild Things Are.

See packet in English >>
See packet in Spanish >>

Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times

This initiative from Sesame Street offers ideas and support for families navigating through these difficult financial times. Join Elmo and others as they talk about meals on a budget, the pressures of parenting, and moving to a new home. Video clips are available in English, and accompanying parent resources are available in both English and Spanish.

Holiday Book Giveaway for the Book of the Month

We are giving away 5 copies of December's Book of the Month, A Piñata in a Pine Tree! Participants must live in the United States and be 18 years old to participate. To enter, please send Colorín Colorado an e-mail with the subject "Book Giveaway" by December 21, 2009, and tell us about your favorite holiday tradition! Happy holidays from Colorín Colorado!

Note: Please see official contest rules on our website.

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About the Boletín informativo ¡Colorín Colorado!

Colorín Colorado's Boletín informativo is a Spanish-language e-newsletter about reading and other educational issues, aimed at parents of Latino English language learners. This service is sponsored by the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

Major funding for comes from the American Federation of Teachers, with additional support from the National Institute for Literacy and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. The site was created by WETA/Reading Rockets, who takes full responsibility for its content. The points of view expressed in the articles included do not necessarily reflect the points of view of WETA, Reading Rockets, or any organizations who support us.

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

Our mailing address is:
WETA/Colorín Colorado
2775 S. Quincy St
Arlington, VA 22206

We look forward to hearing from you!

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