Pelham Public Library hosts multilingual story time

Published 3:33 pm Monday, March 17, 2014

The Pelham Public Library and iSpeak, LLC have partnered to offer instructional bilingual story times. (Contributed)

The Pelham Public Library and iSpeak, LLC have partnered to offer instructional bilingual story times. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham Public Library and foreign language group iSpeak, LLC have partnered to offer Cuentos para Niños, a free bilingual story time for preschool children.

Founder and Executive Director of iSpeak Kelly da Paz proposed the idea of a story time engaging both Pelham’s Spanish-speaking and English-speaking communities to the Pelham Public Library, and the first session was held Jan. 21.

“I wanted to offer something for English-speaking families to introduce their children to a foreign language, but also for foreign families to have something in their native language,” said Executive Director and founder of iSpeak Kelley da Paz.

Each session is designed by iSpeak, which specializes in teaching both English and Spanish, and employs native Spanish-speakers and certified ESL teachers. The story time engages children in language through interactive reading and song led by an iSpeak instructor. Children are read aloud a story in Spanish and are asked questions about characters, plot and vocabulary.

“It’s teaching as well as reading,” said Pelham Public Library Children’s Librarian Mary Campbell. “We do stories geared to young pre-school children. We have focused on animal names and colors.”

The past two sessions have explored “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?” and “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do You Hear?” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle.

“I choose popular children’s books,” said da Paz of the book choices. “I try to use books with simple language and illustrations that are big and bold.”

The free monthly story times are held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays at the Pelham Public Library. The next three scheduled sessions are March 18, April 22 and May 20. Young children of all language backgrounds are invited to attend.

“There is no registration and no fee, so just come,” said Campbell.

For more information visit the Pelham Public Library website,