El Coraz—n de Tejas

Central Texas Chapter of REFORMA

Meeting Notes

November 14, 2009

Nuevo Leon Restaurant

Austin, Texas


Present:  Don Bos, Melinda Curry, Mary Donley, Oralia Garza de CortŽs, Kelly Linder, Hope Lochridge, Loriene Roy, Anita Rubarth-Lay



Items Discussed

Ą   National Family Literacy – Oralia reported on recent changes to National REFORMAŐs plan of library advocacy with a family literacy focus.  Lucia Gonz‡lez, president-elect of REFORMA  (previously at Broward County, Florida, and author of The StorytellerŐs Candle), and the steering committee of Julie Todaro, Patty Wong, and Mary Jo Venetis, request that all ethnic caucuses conduct a program in Spring 2010.  REFORMA's program will focus on local storytelling and family literacy.  The goal is to have a connection between school libraries and public libraries and to make a natural transition into D’a de los Ni–os/D’a de los Libros in April.

Ą   Chapter-Sponsored Events Many possibilities for a family literacy/storytelling event were discussed including Joe Hayes; native storytellers; WWII veteransŐ stories; a repeat of last yearŐs elementary school event at the Mexican-American Cultural Center (MACC) with Carmen Tafolla; the Big Read sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); hooking into a program that is already happening, such as Read Across America at Metz Elementary School; Teresa Paloma Acosta (Texas womenŐs stories); the story of Pvt. LongoriaŐs family not being able to bury him in the Three Rivers, Texas, funeral home; San Diego veterans; and a retired Texas legislator promoting literacy in the Valley.   

There was discussion of local elementary school students collecting family stories.  DonŐs school, Metz Elementary, does a lot of cultural work (even honored by the History Channel), and Sanchez Elementary would be another possibility for a storytelling project.

Loriene mentioned that Charlie Gonz‡lez and Domino PŽrez (director of Center for Mexican American Studies at UT Austin), could be sources of information.  Loriene could suggest the family literacy project to an i-School student for a capstone project.

Anita thinks that Martin Middle School, where she is the librarian, would be a great place to host a Noche de Cuentos.  There is a 7th grade writing focus in place at Martin, and the theater teacher wants to do more cultural-related programs.  There is also a new family resource center at the school, and the director, Norma Maldonado, could be helpful.  Anita and Joanna Nigrelli have wanted to collaborate, so this might be the perfect chance to do so.  Ellen Thibodeaux, the new librarian at Eastside Memorial High School, might also be interested in working on the project.



New Business

The following motion was made, seconded, discussed, and passed:  The Coraz—n de Tejas chater will participate in the Family Literacy Advocacy Initiative aligned with the ALA program by holding from one to three events.  We will set up a committee to work on this.  Don, Anita, Oralia, and Melinda were interested in serving on the committee; it is assumed that Joanna Nigrelli will be, too.  LorieneŐs capstone student may want to work with Anita.

A second motion:  We will continue the program at the MACC for elementary school children with author(s) for D’a de los Ni–os / D’a de los Libros.  The motion was seconded, discussed, and passed.  Don reiterated the success of last yearŐs event with over 500 children from Sanchez and Metz elementary schools seeing author Carmen Tafolla at the MACC last.  Money will be needed again for transportation.  We hope that the 2010 event will include each child receiving a book, something that was assumed last year but did not happen.

The third motion, also seconded, discussed, and passed, involved our chapter serving as a partner for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Grant Proposal Honored Generations.  This will involve Native American students attending the UT i-School.



D’a de los Ni–os / D’a de los Libros – Oralia let us know that the Austin Public Library will be reorganizing this April event.  REFORMA hopes to continue its participation.

Book Sharing -  Loriene shared Jimmy Santiago BacaŐs book A Glass of Water, and Mary told us about Michele JaffeŐs books with a biracial teen as the heroine and with middle class characters. 

Author Visit –  Author Javier Garza (Lucha Libre:  The Man in the Silver Mask:  A Bilingual Cuento) will visit Metz and Sanchez elementary schools on December 4.

Bob Bullock Museum - Loriene told us that there are two new people in the education department at the Bob Bullock Museum.  One thousand children visit the museum every day.

Operation Teen Book Drop -  Loriene also reported on this event scheduled for April 15 that three UT students are working on.  The goal is to distribute 8000-10,000 books to teens attending tribal schools.  At current count, 33 schools with 6500 students will be involved.


Future Chapter Meetings -  The next meeting will be: 

Saturday, December 12

11:00 a.m.

Terrazas Branch Library

1105 East CŽsar Ch‡vez Street

Austin, TX  78702