Posted on Monday, September 10, 2018
NEW WILMINGTON, PA – Two Westminster College School of Education professors entered the blogosphere this summer with a series of posts about Puerto Rican children’s literature.
During July, Dr. René Pico, associate professor of science education and ELL, and Dr. Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, professor of literacy education, co-authored five weekly blogs for an international children’s literature website.
The website Worlds of Words, located within the University of Arizona’s College of Education, offers K-12th grade teachers around the world an opportunity to explore global children’s and young adult books for use in their classrooms.
Klassen Endrizzi and Pico chose to focus their My Take/Your Take book dialogues on Puerto Rican books, which they plan to share at upcoming family STEAM and literacy nights at regional schools.
Through books, Pico said, they considered the cultural complexities of the Puerto Rican experience by revealing how Puerto Rico continues to evolve as “a human archipelago…self-assertive, puzzling and contradictory.”
Historical fiction texts featuring Puerto Ricans like Arturo Schomberg or Sonia Sotomayor offer powerful role models while nonfiction texts like “Parrots Over Puerto Rico” enable readers to study the rich eco-diversity in the Caribbean island.
Pico’s and Klassen Endrizzi’s goal is to use these books with preservice teachers and elementary children as an avenue for building bridges of understanding across cultures.
Klassen Endrizzi, who joined the Westminster faculty in 1993, earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from Fresno Pacific College and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.
Pico joined the faculty in 2017 and earned his undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.