Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Lucha Libros Jar

My involvement in the '40K in 40 days' campaign started the day after I met Aurora at Esmeralda Santiago's book signing at El Museo del Barrio last month.

I played the campaign video for my students and they were sold! They are so eager to have La Casa Azul Bookstore in our neighborhood that they've been bringing in their pennies, nickels and dimes to donate to the LUCHA LIBROS JAR. My students are so determined to be part of the change they want to see in East Harlem that they would rather go without a snack from the bodega after school to contribute to the lucha.

Writers like Esmeralda Santiago and Julia Alvarez opened the doors to a new world for me. Reading their books gave me a sense of identity and belonging as I was trying to navigate in this foreign world. I don't want my students to wait until they are in college to discover writers they can identify with.  

Some of my students dream of being published writers but they are afraid to dream big, they feel under represented. By supporting this campaign, my students are building their own home. It is their dream to one day have their own book reading en La Casa Azul Bookstore, en la comunidad que los vio nacer y crecer.

Students stop me in the hallway or see me on the street and ask 'How is the campaign coming along?', 'How much are WE up to?' This started off as Aurora's vision and it has become the dream of our community.

Ven y lucha con nosotros... 

Egli A. Colón, Ed.D. 
Cristo Rey New York High School
East Harlem, New York

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Please consider being a part of the Founder's Circle. The '40Kin40days' campaign ends on Sunday October 23rd and guarantees a MATCHING investment from a generous benefactor. There are perks for the different contribution levels, plus the satisfaction of knowing you took part in the opening of an independent bookstore in El Barrio.

To become a part of the Founder's Circle, visit:

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