Miami Florida, June 13, 2022. Florida International University’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center will host “Creating the Children’s Book Series Art of the Americas and How You Can Create Yours” by Rebecca Hinson, June 22-23 in Room 220 of the MMC Green Library. At the K-12 teacher training workshop, Hinson will share about art of the Americas and the journey of book creation. Hinson’s Art of the Americas series includes 48 children’s books which interpret the cultures of Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States through authentic art.
For four years, LACC has funded the development of Hinson’s twelve South American children’s art books for grades 3-8 under their U.S. Department of Education Title VI NRC grant. As a part of the grant, Hinson partners with F.I.U. and Miami-Dade County Public Schools to provide professional development for teachers.
“As a teacher, I understand that a child’s connection with their culture is a powerful tool,” stated Rebecca Hinson. “If a child sees their culture honored in my classroom, it makes school a place where they belong. If a child sees affirming representations of their culture in my classroom, it is a mirror which says, ‘I can succeed here.’ My books mirror and validate the identities of students from South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and North America, and provide a window for students to explore other cultures.”
Why multicultural art books? The best indicator of future high school graduation is this. Does a child read on grade level by the end of third grade? Of all the large urban school districts in Florida, MDCPS has the highest third grade reading scores, in-spite of the fact that 50% of their students were born outside the U.S.A. “As educators, we understand that culture is a great motivator, especially in a county as diverse as ours,” stated Alina B. Rodriguez of MDCPS. “Exploring their heritages through authentic art excites and entices our students.”
“Símon Bolívar, Gold of Ancient America, Arpilleras, Machu Picchu, Tribal Art, Gauchos, La orfebrería prehispánica, Las arpilleras, Machu Picchu, El arte de las tribus indigena, and Los Gauchos were written for practical application in the K-12 art, history, reading, social studies, ESOL, and foreign language classrooms, with text-dependent questions for each title. Spanish editions were written by Claudia Battistel Tomada, Ph.D. and Gabriela Escobar Rodríguez, Ph.D.
Liesl B. Picard, Associate Director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center of the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs of Florida International University stated, “I appreciate Rebecca’s continued partnership. I am excited to support her efforts and look forward to our continued work to promote Latin America and the Caribbean.”
“Many thanks to Liesl Picard and F.I.U. for their continued support,” stated Hinson. “I love working with MDCPS teachers. They are very scholarly. They show up ready to work!”
The U.S. Department of Education awarded LACC's 2018 proposal, designating it a National Resource Center (NRC) and granting it a Foreign Language and Areas Studies Fellowship (FLAS) for four years. Both grants allow LACC to continue its support of research, training, and access to scholarship funds for languages and understanding of Latin America and the Caribbean. This is the thirty-ninth year LACC has been named an NRC since its founding 43 years ago.
Click here to see and hear Hinson’s books.