Learning about Haïti is part of the French curriculum at Belmont Day. Eighth grade students of French are celebrating the recent publication of books they wrote and illustrated for the Mother Tongue Book Project, an initiative to contribute to literacy among speakers of Haïtian Créole. Books written by children for children are translated from one mother tongue into the mother tongue of the children receiving the books—our students’ books have been translated into both French and Créole. There are very few published books for emerging readers of Créole. The books will go into school libraries in Haïti and they will also become part of the Créole collection at the Cambridge Public Library.
The Mother Tongue Book Project is a project of the Matènwa Community Learning Center in rural Haïti. Since 2008, Madame Friborg and her students have nurtured a partnership with Matènwa through student email penpal exchanges, educator visits to share best practices, and fundraising efforts.
Learn more about Mother Tongue Books and its impact on children’s literacy and learning. Here are some examples of our students’ books.