Organization Highlight: Casa Azul of Greensboro and Greensboro Bound

In a world where change is constant, collaboration is a vital tool for building stronger communities. The recent partnership between Casa Azul of Greensboro, Greensboro Bound, and Guilford County Schools highlights the power of combined efforts.

Last summer and fall, Casa Azul recommended a selection of Latino authors, which Greensboro Bound and Guilford County Schools’ Library Media Services considered for their Authors Engaging Students program. Two notable authors, Meg Medina, the 2023-2024 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and Duncan Tonatiuh, an award-winning author and illustrator, were approached and agreed to be part of the initiative. Each author was interviewed and recorded over Zoom by a teacher or librarian from Guilford County Schools. These recordings were then integrated into lessons for elementary school students across the district. Meg Medina’s presentation took place in the fall of 2023, with Duncan Tonatiuh scheduled for the spring of 2024. Additionally, the program will feature Latino authors at the upcoming Greensboro Bound festival later this year.

At its core, this program aims to provide representation for Latino students by showcasing authors who reflect their backgrounds. Martin Acevedo, a board member at Casa Azul and Greensboro Bound, emphasizes the transformative impact of seeing oneself represented: “When you connect with an established author that looks like you, it is transformational,” he says. “Students begin to dream and see a path for themselves becoming writers, creatives, and makers.”

Duncan Tonatiuh
Meg Medina

Acevedo, also the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, draws from his experience in initiating a book festival in San Antonio, TX, to underscore the importance of amplifying diverse voices. With Casa Azul receiving a Multicultural Grassroots Grant from The Arts Council of Greater Greensboro to help support the program, he emphasizes the significance of access to necessary resources.

"One and one makes three,” Acevedo explains, highlighting the multiplier effect of partnerships.

As one of seven siblings, Acevedo reflects on the magic of storytelling and its ability to create relations. “There is the draw of a great story that makes you feel connected to something you didn’t know existed,” he shares. Casa Azul and Greensboro Bound aspire for this collaborative program not only to enhance students’ literacy readiness but also to empower them to pursue their dreams.