Nelly Cantú – ¿jugamos a leer?https://childslitspaces.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Nelly-Cantú-Website.jpg1145768Lavinia HirsuLavinia Hirsuhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/c6c5d539ee6d12f3f16824fb4e45fed2?s=96&d=mm&r=g
My name is Nelly Cantú. I am a certified reading mediator with a degree in children’s rights from the University of Valencia in Spain and the Autonomous University of Madrid in Xochimilco. I am also a Peace Ambassador for the UNICEF. In 2011, I won a study abroad scholarship which took me to Valencia, Spain, where I carried out workshops on Mexican traditions with migrant children from different countries, such as El Salvador, Costa Rico, Colombia and Ecuador, that were based in the city.
In 2012, the initiative ¿jugamos a leer? came into being, and I started this reading adventure, this overwhelming and marvellous activity. I am always grateful to have the opportunity to share this work through workshops such as Cuéntame tu historia [Tell Me Your Story] based on the book Éste soy yo [This is Me] by Margarita Robleda and Esta familia que ves [This family that you see] by Alfonso Ochoa; La comunidad de mis sueños [The Community of My dreams] based on Where the wild things are” by Maurice Sendak and Érase otra vez un bosque [Once upon a time in the woods] de Elisa Gèhin and A que jugamos [What games do we play?] based on the book Lanzar, subir, bajar y tirar by Nina Shor, in which she documented traditional games.
In 2016, I faced a new challenge. I was doing a reading with children of the Haitian community who had arrived in the city of Tijuana. The only obstacle was the language barrier; this did not deter me. We played a game based on the lottery, yes, the Mexican lottery, so they could get used to the language while they were with their families in the dining halls of Father Chava [who ran the refugee center] waiting for their status in the country settled.
March 2017: The workshop “Read with migrant children, young people and communities’ given by Seleste Posadas on the part of the Secretary of Culture, a year later…
March 2018, capacity building with the specialist Evelyn Arizpe. The workshop was “Children’s Literature, Reading and Safe Spaces: A support toolkit”. This allowed me to appreciate the importance of being equipped with certain tools and to build the habits and capacities to share with other mediators in my daily work.
In November 2018, I was invited to take part in the “International Meeting of Mediators and Reading Promoters Working with Migrants”. It took place in the city of Chihuahua, Chihuahua. It was a true blessing to meet with all these mediators and specialists.
One of the projects of ¿jugamos a leer? is Bitácoras Migrantes [Migrant Logs]: Notes for stories on the road with read alouds of books such as Ruga: el mundo de las palabras olvidadas [Ruga: The World of Forgotten Words] de Aureliano García Haros and La Gran fábrica de palabras [The Great Word Factory] de Agnès de Lestrade. As an activity, we created a clothesline where we hung different words, so that we do not forget them. We used the book Silly Billy by Anthony Browne to work on emotional self-expression, especially of feelings those associated with fear and uncertainty. We created “worry dolls” with the children in order to develop creativity and resilience in Cipoteca de Espacio Migrante [one of the reading spaces].
The year 2019 saw the arrival of the Bibliomochilas [Book Backpacks] of the el Centro Integrador Migrante Carmen Serdán through the initiative of and coordination with the invaluable work carried out by Rosario Obregon Mi Primer Libro Perú. ¿jugamos a leer? collaborates willingly with REFORMA Children in Crisis and thanks to the support and donations to shelters in the city, Patrick Sullivan and Itza Vilaboy,San Diego Libros.