Thursday, January 21, 2016


~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis:  Andres and C lara’s lives are about to change. Will their determination be powerful enough to help them through what lies ahead? Will they discover that their hopes are only illusions or will they find that dreams really do come true....sometimes.

Children's literature is broadening its horizons with the publication of Sometimes, a story about a family immigrating to the U.S. Written by Texas elementary school teacher Hugo Ibarra and expert ELL educator John Seidlitz, Sometimes is based on first-hand stories from their students and parents as well as Ibarra’s own experience immigrating to the U.S. at 25.

Published by Canter Press, the publisher of Seidlitz Education, the leading provider of staff development and training materials for teachers of English learners, Sometimes comes straight from those who know how to teach immigration best. English and Spanish language editions help start a timely conversation about immigration, emphasizing the importance of adult encouragement for children in a time of transition.

Written for 4-8 year olds, Sometimes follows the journey of Andrés and his sister, Clara, as they immigrate from Mexico to the United States. They see many strange sights for the first time -- the border filled with cars, a strange U.S. town -- and wonder why they had to leave their mother behind. As Andrés starts at a new school, he receives encouragement from a beloved teacher, buoying his hopes until he and his sister are finally reunited with their mother.
Teaching a valuable lesson about holding on to hope, the book shows the impact of the courage, strength and hope parents and teachers provide to help children through a time of uncertainty. A story of a family’s close bond above all, Sometimes is relatable for any child. 

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I have to be honest...I didn't like the kids having to leave their mom.  I have no doubt this is reality when it comes to immigration, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.  I did like the close bond the children had with other family members and in the end they are reunited with their mother.  

I would like to think that immigrations issues are related to states bordering other countries, however, if you look past your front door, going inside a public school, go to a local church, you will see that is just a myth.  Here are few training tips the author put together:
  • The important leadership role teachers play for children in transition (stable role model, offer encouragement, see an aspect of child’s behavior that parents may not)
  • Why all parents should discuss immigration with their kids (helps children understand America’s history, prevents bullying by making the unfamiliar familiar)
  • The respectful way to talk to your neighbors who immigrated (don’t ask for their passports, don’t assume what their native language is, offer help to navigate US culture)
  • How teachers can learn more and train to help children in transition.

John Seidlitz is founder and CEO of Seidlitz Education, a company that provides training and support to educators and leaders of English Language Learner programs across the state of Texas and beyond. John began his work with ELLs as a social studies teacher, after which he served as a program coordinator, and a regional education specialist. He has authored several books, including: 7 Steps to Developing a Language-Rich Interactive ClassroomTM and Sheltered Instruction Plus: A Guide for Texas Teachers of English Learners. Sometimes is his first children's book.

Hugo Ibarra immigrated to the United States when he was 25. After studying immigrant children for his thesis, he received a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from The University of Texas at Tyler and began his career as a Bilingual Education Teacher in Longview, Texas. Ibarra is currently the an elementary school principal in Bryan, Texas. Sometimes is his first children’s book. 

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