GRPL celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Altars created by artist Reyna Garcia highlight the significance of the Dia de los Muertos celebration within some Hispanic cultures. Courtesy Grand Rapids Public Library

The Grand Rapids Public Library is now offering online and in-person programs as it kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month.

From panel discussions, to take-home craft kits and bilingual yoga, there is something to be enjoyed for people of all ages and backgrounds. All events are free and will be a mix of in-person and virtual, happening now until Nov. 3

GRPL’s series of educational programming includes:

Raising Bilingual Children

6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30

Virtual Event | GRPL’s Facebook Page

Participate in a live discussion about the benefits and challenges of raising bilingual children. Panelists include local parents, educators and community members. This program is presented in partnership with the Literacy Center of West Michigan.

Latinos and the Fight for Equitable Education in Grand Rapids and Michigan

6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27

Virtual Event | GRPL’s Facebook Page

Michigan State University professor Dr. Delia Fernández will explore the history of Latin Americans in Grand Rapids, and the difficulties faced when reaching for access to an equitable education. Fernández’s research centers on Latino placemaking in the Midwest. She is particularly interested in how they transform the places they live in to suit their political, economic and social needs.

¡Vamos A Leer!

1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21 and 28, and Oct. 5 and 12

Virtual Event | GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel

These storytimes celebrate the power of being bilingual and Hispanic Heritage. The stories we share will be read in both Spanish and English by friends from local organizations: Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities; West Michigan Chamber of Commerce; LINC Up; and Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Bilingual Yoga

6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22

9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2

6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6

Madison Square Branch lawn – 1201 Madison Ave. SE

Have you ever been curious about trying yoga? Discover the benefits of yoga with these all-ages classes taught by registered yoga instructor, Karolina DeLange.

Public Día de los Muertos Altars

During open hours Monday, Oct. 25 – Wednesday, Nov. 3

Madison Square Branch – 1201 Madison Ave. SE

Main Library – 111 Library St. NE

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities – 644 Grandville Ave. SW

Experience altars created by artist Reyna Garcia. The altars highlight the significance of the Dia de los Muertos celebration within some Hispanic cultures. Printed educational material will be available for everyone that visits the altars.

For those interested in encouraging their kids to take part in the celebration, GRPL also is offering take-home Latinx figures craft kits and altar kits honoring Día de los Muertos. Altar kits are limited to one per family or classroom and both take-home kits are available for pick-up at any GRPL location and at the Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities’ Cook Library Center while supplies last.

Altar kits allow both parents and teachers to build an educational altar to honor the traditions of Dia de los Muertos in a hands-on way. Latinx figures craft kits include age-appropriate crafts and coloring pages for kids, including inserts to educate both children and their parents about four influential Latinx figures: Roberto Clemente, Celia Cruz, Ellen Ochoa and Cesar Chavez.

All library events are free and available on GRPL’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel. Visit or call (616) 988-5400 for more information.

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