Wanting to show the importance of Latinos in literature and express the importance of literacy to Latino youth, former East Los Angeles middle-school English teacher Aurora Anaya-Cerda decided the best way to do so was by opening up a bookshop named, La Casa Azul in the highly-populated Latino community known as El Barrio.
Before becoming the shop it has become today, La Casa Azul started as an online resource tool compiling and promoting literature and educational programing produced by Latino writers. Then, after a successful fundraising project, La Casa Azul opened its doors in East Harlem.
Since its opening the bookshop has become so much more than merely a place to purchase or read books. La Casa Azul has become a fixture in the neighborhood bringing together Latinos and Non-Latinos through the shared joy of literature through events aimed at promoting a unified community. The bookshop also offers classes, workshops, and performances put together by members of the neighborhood.
And now La Casa Azul is about to embark on its next venture in promoting literacy and community with its “One Book, One Barrio” campaign.
The “One Book, One Barrio” campaign will be a yearlong event that will hold events in-addition to educational programs. This campaign will focus on one novel by a Latino writer and for the next year events will be inspired by the novel.
The novel to start of the first “One Book, One Barrio” campaign is The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Puerto Rican actress Sonia Manzano, who has starred on Sesame Street as Maria since 1971.
Manzano’s book centers on Evelyn Serrano, a young Puerto Rican girl who lives in 1969 East Harlem and is on a quest to understand and learn about her Puerto Rican heritage from the world right on the streets of El Barrio.
Consider it a book club that involves the neighborhood, One Book, One Barrio celebrates not just the culture and world of El Barrio within the book but also El Barrio of the real world. Events kick off in June and commence come November 2014.
The One Book, One Barrio campaign begins on On June 7th, 2014 from 1:00pm – 2:30pm. The yearlong campaign starts when La Casa Azul welcomes Manzano to the shop in order to read and sing from her book.
For more information on the One Book, One Barrio campaign just click: here!
And do something fun and educational with your summer!