February is the first month of a ten-part series Talking Stories/Cuentos que hablan produced by Children’s Reading Alliance (CRA) in conjunction with New Mexico Council for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The program is free and open to the public. Subject matter is appropriate for families.

Local actors, writers and professors have come together to create literature rich experiences for families. Each month a different local performing artist presents a dramatic reading of a classic children’s story and then guides group discussion to explore themes beneath the entertainment. After the storytelling, the audience is invited to participate in discussion with open-ended questions that encourage critical thinking. On February 19 Self-Reliance and Facing Our Fears are the themes for discussion after the performance of There’s a Nightmare in my Closet. Monika says, “I still have my copy from when I was six. That’s how powerful it’s message is for me.”

Books in the Talking Stories/Cuentos que hablan series present carefully selected themes to address ethical decision making, interpersonal dynamics, fairness, as well as character traits of empathy, truth, resilience, accepting personal responsibility, overcoming obstacles, and celebrating our diverse heritage. Each book has been chosen for its literary excellence and provocative illustrations.

Children’s Reading Alliance Director Jennifer Alvarado explains, “We are pleased to announce that books will be available to participating families thanks to a grant from New Mexico Humanities Council.”

According to Artistic Director, Rorie Measure, “Children’s literature, especially picture books, make complex issues accessible to audiences of all ages, cultures and levels of education. Carefully guided shared inquiry strengthens comprehension and decision-making skills and provides experience discussing hot button topics with empathy and civility.”

For more information regarding current & upcoming readings: Click Here