Mexican center gives schools, libraries 1,800 books to improve bilingual studies

The Mexican Cultural Center donated more than 1,800 Spanish-language books to 11 Denver and Boulder schools and libraries Tuesday.

Each will receive about 163 books to help improve bilingual programs and encourage families to participate in their children’s education.

The donation by the center in Denver also is part of the Mexican government’s drive to launch its 1995 International Reading Campaign. Padres Unidos, a Denver activist group, had worked with the Mexican Cultural Center since April to have the books donated.

All the materials are in Spanish, and the authors are from several nations. Subjects include literature, science, history and geography.

”There’s no better long-term investment that any country can do than through education,” said Mexico’s consul general Leonardo Ffrench during a news conference at the Governor’s Mansion with first lady Bea Romer. She said she planned to take Spanish courses because, during her statewide reading campaign, she encounters Spanish-speaking students who can’t understand her.

David Sanger, librarian at Baker Middle School, called the book donation an early Christmas gift.

”For me this is a wonderful gift,” Sanger said. ”I couldn’t afford to buy 168 books, and it’s a miracle for us.”

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