Hello, everyone! I know this is going to be a busy month with Halloween and Día de los muertos celebrations, but we wanted to take some time this week to examine prominent Latina writer and actress Sonia Manzano. Manzano, daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, grew up in the South Bronx. She developed an interest in the performing arts at a young age. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in New York City as well as Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Manzano gained acclaim as an actress in the 1970s when she joined the production of Godspell. Since that time, Manzano has performed in other on-stage productions. Manzano also portrayed the character of María on Sesame Street for ten years, and she would later go on to write for the show. For her work as a part of the writing staff at Sesame Street, Manzano has won fifteen Emmy awards.
Since her work is different than what we normally showcase here at Vamos a Leer, why have we focused an entire post on Manzano? Manzano is also an author of children’s books. She wrote the Little Bill series, for which she won a Peabody. In 2004, her book, No Dogs Allowed, was published. In 2012, she published The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano. More recently, Manzano has been working with General Mills and First Book to help improve children’s access to books across the country. Manzano is committed to childhood literacy. For her work, Manzano has received several prestigious awards including those from the National Association of Latina Leaders, the Association of Hispanic Arts, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Notre Dame.
Manzano has certainly done some groundbreaking work as an actress, writer, and promoter of children’s literature. Please support this endeavor by considering some of her work for use in your classroom!
Until Next Time,