Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 07-10-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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PAWTUCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JULY 10-16, 2019 PAWTUCKET 5 PAWTUCKET – For her work pro- moting Latino literature to children in Pawtucket and across the state of Rhode Island, Maria Cotto was recognized at the American Library Association's annual conference last month. Cotto, the bilingual children's librarian at the Pawtucket Public Library, was named the Arnulfo D. Trejo Librarian of the Year by REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, an affiliate of the American Library Association. "It was an honor," Cotto, who lives in Cranston and has worked at the library for seven years, told The Breeze. "I feel like a celebrity … I was selected among many wonderful librarians." Named for Dr. Arnulfo Duenes Trejo, an internationally known librarian and founding president of REFORMA, the award is presented annually to a librarian who has dis- tinguished himself or herself in the field of librarianship, promoted and advocated services to the Spanish- speaking and Latino communities, and made outstanding contributions to REFORMA, according to the organization's website. "Maria is tireless in her efforts to bring library services to members in our community," said Susan Reed, director of the library. "She's always stepping up and working to provide more Spanish materials." Cotto received the award, which consists of a $500 stipend funded by TOMO Books and a commemora- tive plaque, on June 22 at the 2019 American Library Association annual conference in Washington, D.C. Another librarian, Edwin Rodarte, of Los Angeles, also received the award. Cotto has worked as the coordina- tor for Rhode Island Latino Books Month, run through Rhode Island Latino Arts. She organizes the group's book award program, which is in its sixth year and promotes literacy among Latinos by celebrating Latino authors, illustrators, and books that highlight Latino culture and Latin American identity, by choosing and promoting books to schools and other libraries across the state, she said. "I'm doing what I would want anyone else to do for my family … provide services that are targeted to me," said Cotto, who was born in Puerto Rico and moved to the U.S. with her family when she was 7 years old. Most kids can't name a Latino author if you ask them, she said. As part of the program, children read three books according to their grade level and vote for the book they liked the most. Approximately 1,800 students participated this year from all across the state. "We're hoping to increase (the number of participants) next year," she said. The program has also partnered with the Rhode Island Center of the Book and received a three-year grant called Raising Readers, which helped provide more than 200 free copies of books to schools and public libraries this year, Cotto said. She's also brought Latino authors to Rhode Island, including Mexican author Yuyi Morales, who wrote the book "Dreamers," and hopes to host more this fall. At the library, which serves a diverse population of families, Cotto also coordinates bilingual story times and purchases Spanish and bilingual books for children, teens, and adults, including e-books. "Anything Latino, that's me," Cotto Cotto receives national recognition for her work with Latino community By MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writer melanie@valleybreeze.com MARIA COTTO, the bilingual children's librarian at the Pawtucket Public Library, in the Spanish bilingual section of the library. In June, Cotto was named the Arnulfo D. Trejo Librarian of the Year by REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, an affiliate of the American Library Association. See COTTO, Page 7 BREEZE PHOTO BY MELANIE THIBEAULT Witness again the last time we were one Never-before-seen footage and audio recordings take you straight into the heart of NASA's most celebrated mission as astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins embark on a historic trip to the moon. The 50th Anniversary Join Us For The Valley Breeze FREE Movie Night Friday, July 19, 7:30 p.m. • FREE Admission at The Stadium Theatre, Woonsocket, RI To see the trailer, search "Stadium Theatre Apollo 11" NEXT FRIDAY! JULY 19!

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