Donation of 250,000 copies throughout 13 states underway
Arte Público’s innovative wellness education program, ¡Salud Familia!, kicks into high gear with the publication and mass distribution of a new bilingual children’s book, I Kick the Ball / Pateo el balón by author Gwendolyn Zepeda.
A total of 250,000 copies will be distributed free of charge in coming weeks throughout thirteen states—including Texas, California, New York, Ohio, Florida and Arizona—by partnering organizations. The groups vary in nature and scope: migrant centers, health clinics, food pantries, The Boys and Girls Club, and Recipe for Success Foundation—which is working in close collaboration with Michelle Obama’s Presidential Task Force to combat childhood obesity.
The ¡Salud Familia! series of children’s books features young protagonists making choices about exercise, food consumption, and other relevant wellness topics. Books will be distributed by collaborating organizations to low-income Hispanic families with school-aged children residing in both urban and rural areas. The program is funded by the Marguerite Casey Foundation, The California Endowment, The Simmons Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation; its mission is to address the pandemic problems of childhood obesity and diabetes among Latinos in the U.S. Arte Público Press also receives support from the City of Houston, through the Houston Arts Alliance.
Dr. Nicolás Kanellos, founder and director of Arte Público Press, points out, “The financial burden of dealing with obesity, heart disease, and diabetes can be alleviated through preventive measures.” Access to engaging materials such as I Kick the Ball, a book about a boy who uses his imagination and healthy lifestyle sensibilities to be a skillful soccer player, encourages children to exercise and eat the rights foods.
Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters, and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Books published under the imprint are designed to serve as a bridge from the home culture to that of the school, as well as to support family literacy and elementary school education. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity. For more information, please visit www.artepublicopress.com.