First Grade Authors to Share Their Stories at CSUN Fair

2012 authors with thier books.

2012 authors with thier books. Photo courtesy of Rosa RiVera Furumoto

People have been telling stories dating back to when the medium was cave paintings. It is a basic human desire to share life experiences and tell inspiring tales. California State University, Northridge’s Chicana/o studies students are making sure that every voice has a chance to be heard, especially the little ones.

On Saturday, May 4, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Department of Chicana/o Studies will host “Family Authors Fair.” The event which will feature children’s book author René Colato Laínez and books authored by 40 first grade students and their parents.

As part of their class work this year, CSUN students in the Chicano/Latino Children’s Literature in Communities (CHS 480) courses developed and implemented four lessons that engaged children and families from San Fernando, O’Melveny, Dyer Street and Telfair Avenue elementary schools in writing their own books.

“The heart behind the event is watching little first graders grow from shy students too frightened to raise their hands in class to confident students eager to engage in dialogue about the ideas in books and how these ideas connect to their lived experiences,” said Chicano/a Studies professor Rosa RiVera Furumoto. “I’ve watched this transformation and it is magical.

“In all, it is about awakening in the first graders and their families a love of books and reading and the idea that they too can be authors with important and creative ideas to share with others,” RiVera Furmoto continued. “By bringing the children and their families to campus and taking them on a campus tour, we hope to convey the message that CSUN is a place for them and their children to further their dreams. We want them to become more aware of campus life and to picture their children in college.”

The fair will include a workshop with Laínez, books authored by the children and their parents, lunch and a tour of the campus. Each author will stand near his or her book and discuss their book with others.

“In this way, the children begin to see themselves as authors and the families can take pride in their children’s efforts,” said RiVera Furmoto.

The fair will be held at Cal State Northridge’s Chicana/o House located on Plummer Street east of Etiwanda Avenue.

For more information contact the Chicana/o Studies department at (818) 677-2734 or visit their website at

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