MONTEBELLO – The significance of a bilingual education was at the forefront of everyone’s minds as nearly 100 parents and students viewed the premier screening of “Read Conmigo: A Journey to Bilingual America” at La Merced Elementary School on Oct. 25.

Read Conmigo, a national award-winning literacy program that promotes English and Spanish reading through its free bilingual book program for kindergarten through fifth-grade students, created the film to emphasize the pivotal role parents play in their children’s education and the benefits of being bilingual.

“It’s one thing to translate English into Spanish, but it’s more intimate to actually learn the languages my daughter is learning,” said Moises Fragoso, whose second-grader attends La Merced Elementary. “Knowing two languages helps my daughter solve problems quicker and it instills more confidence within her.”

The film focused largely on the benefits students and parents have as they simultaneously become bilingual, dissolving many language barriers that prevent parents from helping with homework or studying.

“We are very fortunate to partner with Read Conmigo to help us illustrate the importance of a bilingual education,” Montebello Board President Benjamin Cardenas said. “Being able to communicate in two languages makes our students that much more marketable for careers.”

Read Conmigo representatives were joined by Lil’ Libros co-founders Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein, who created their bilingual program to help parents emphasize bilingual reading for newborns to 5-year-olds.

“If parents don’t get involved in their child’s academics early on, it’s not going to work,” Rodriguez said, emphasizing the need for families to continue the bilingual education at home.


102516_MUSD_READ: Read Conmigo helps Montebello Unified parents sign-up their students up for free bilingual book deliveries before the first screening of the company’s new documentary “Read Conmigo: A Journey to Bilingual America” at La Merced Elementary School on Oct. 25.