El Niño y El Cuento: Local Nonprofit Celebrates 5 Years of Bilingual Stories
Erika Martinez founded the story-writing contest, El Niño y El Cuento, five years ago as a way to motivate Spanish speaking children, like her daughters, to maintain their bi-literacy skills. Into its fifth year, this project of love continues to grow as it expands into local libraries and schools across the greater Austin area, including private, public and charter schools. Over the year and half that I’ve known Erika, I discovered not only is she passionate about encouraging kids to maintain their bilingual skills, she is also unabating in her resolve to give thousands of children an opportunity to share their bilingual stories, in Spanish or in both Spanish and English.
This year’s writing contest spans between July 23 and September 14, 2018 and incorporate animal/s into the theme of the stories.
Below is an excerpt in both Spanish and English from a recent interview I had with Erika Martinez where we discussed the writing contest, El Niño y El Cuento, and the benefits of writing stories in more than one language.
Cuéntame cerca del concurso de El Niño y El Cuento.
Tell me about the story-writing contest, El Niño y El Cuento.
¿Para quién es y qué es la estructura del concurso?
How is the competition structured and who can participate?
¿Por qué es importante escribir en español?
Why is it important to write in a second language such as Spanish?
¿Qué beneficio hay por escribir cuentos propios?
What is the benefit in writing your own story?
¿En los 5 años que han tenido el concurso, que es el beneficio más grande que has visto que los niños reciben por participar en este tipo de concurso?
In the 5 years who have run the contest, what is the greatest benefit you’ve seen that children receive from participating in this kind of contest?
Empezaste el concurso para motivar a tus hijas escribir español. ¿Qué piensan ellas cerca de este concurso?
You began this competitive writing program as a way to motivate your daughters to write in Spanish. What do they think now about this program?
¿Cómo pueden participar los niños en la comunidad? ¿Cómo pueden participar las escuelas y bibliotecas?
How can children in the local community participate? How can local schools and libraries also participate?