Martha Samaniego Calderón, CVAD Art Education graduate student, and Daniel Heiman, assistant professor of bilingual education in the UNT College of Education, collaborated to publish Behind My Mask, Detras de me cubrebocas, a 36-page color resource book for children, teachers and parents. Written in English and Spanish by the wife-and-husband team, the book includes reflective activities about emotions and promotes the use of masks.
Seeing people with masks has been a little scary for Calderón's 7-year-old daughter, Calderón said. She and Heiman figured they aren't the only parents facing this difficult topic and were inspired to develop a bilingual education book that helps answer children's questions, promotes the use of masks, and invites discussion about identity and emotions amid the health crisis.
"We believe this has the potential to foment critical dialogue about a current reality that is presenting (especially Latinx) bilingual students, families, and communities with situations that impact their wellbeing, emotions, and identities," Calderón said. This is a pedagogical tool to engage bilingual youth in conversations around identity and emotions amidst the global pandemic in hopes that the book "will help readers know that their emotions are being acknowledged even if they are hidden behind a mask."
Image: Book cover provided by Calderón.