Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) Partners with Scholastic to Create Latino-inspired Book Collection

The “Rising Voices: Elevating Latino Stories” collection for grades K-5 features Latinos as leading characters to help Latino students see themselves within texts

The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) partnered with Scholastic to help them develop “Rising Voices: Elevating Latino Stories,” a new collection of books for grades K-5 which showcases positive images of Latino protagonists.

ALAS Executive Director Dr. Maria Armstrong, along with author Sulma Arzu-Brown and Emmy-award-winning actor and producer John Leguizamo, serve as mentors for the project, providing insight and guidance during the development of the collection.

“Representation matters, and many students of color simply don’t see themselves in most traditional classroom texts. That is a disservice for both those students, and for their classmates,” said Dr. Armstrong. “This collection helps address this issue and supports teachers in creating inclusive classrooms where stories are discussed and embraced and where students learn about each other’s culture and heritage. It is the mission of our organization to support the education and sense of belonging for all students and in particular for Latino students and students of color. Helping one of the world’s largest book publishers create inclusive learning and teaching materials is one way we can do this.”

The collection features a mix of authentic fiction and nonfiction texts celebrating the accomplishments and potential of Latinos. It also includes instructional materials and digital resources to help teachers build literacy skills and social-emotional awareness.

“Here at Hartford Public Schools, 55% of our student population, and 20% of our staff, identify as Hispanic or Latino. Therefore, it is of critical importance to us that our students see positive images of diverse Latino figures and that our teachers have the instructional materials and resources to provide insight into those experiences and stories,” said Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, whose district recently purchased the collection. “This collection will ensure equitable access to resources that will allow all of our students, staff, and families to celebrate themselves and others through the Latino stories and voices captured within these text sets and instructional materials.”

The collection provides students with high-interest culturally-relevant texts that give insight into what they’re experiencing in the world around them and helps to build a rich classroom community where students can grow as leaders and thinkers. Each grade-level library includes 25 titles (2 copies of each), teaching cards, a teacher’s guide, access to Scholastic’s digital resource website, storage bins, and labeling stickers.

For more information and to purchase the collection, visit:

For more information about ALAS, visit .

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

Current issue of Equity & Access:

Equity & Access - Issue 28

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