Spring allows Picnic de Palabras in NY

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The weather allows Picnic de Palabras NY to share readings and love with their readers. By: Emily Pellerin

The launch of Picnic de Palabras Brooklyn took place last weekend in Maria Hernandez Park. Though the lay of the park was the same as we left it last fall (having gone on hiatus for the cold season), the energy within it was more boisterous and kinetic than I felt like we’d ever experienced.

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After laying down the books across our few checkered blankets and welcoming our first guests of the day (and of the season!), the same contagiousness of curiosity that we remember from last season was quickly at play. The small parcel of blankets was buzzing with tons of new kids; as usual, we found that lots of readers came with their cousins, siblings, or the like. There were even a couple familiar faces from last year’s Picnics!

Wonderfully, this time around we noticed an increased interest from the parents of the children participating. A handful of them were very interested in staying in-the-know about next month’s Picnic, as well, granting us the opportunity to connect on an additional level going forward (via email or phone).

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With the children as well as with the parents, as is consistent from last year, the majority of our readers were bilingual. One girl, Jenny, elementary aged, came by with her younger sister. They began wanting to be read to, but by the end of their time on the Picnic blankets with books in hand, they began reading to us!

We ended up extending our group beyond the perimeter of the blankets, and even had a group choreographing and cartwheeling by the end of the program. It was a playful, laughter-filled, and reading-loving group.

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The weather last weekend couldn’t have greeted our season launch more generously – and neither could have the community of Bushwick, Brooklyn. We can’t wait till next month to further connect with the children of the area over literature, and to offer them the space to recognize how fun, interactive, and bonding the act of reading can be. Of course, we could “offer” for eternity, but it’s their participation, eagerness and powerful childlike energy that grant Picnic de Palabras its purpose.

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