It was an honor for Natalija to be invited to East Los Angeles College to read her book to the Child development and Children's Literacy group, and later answer questions. An impressive group of students lead by Mrs. Linda Wilbur, comes together in this very interactive program that investigates how the community helps promote children's literacy. Marisa and Robert met Natalija at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and chose her to be represent the goal of their project.
After the event we received this wonderful letter written by Marissa Mendez on behalf of herself and her colleagues.
"On behalf of the group: We want to thank both Natalija and Zana Bajlo for agreeing to come to our class presentation. We loved the little author's public reading of her book as well as the honesty and innocence in her answers to the adult audience's question. The way in which Zana, her mother has supported Natalija is absolutely amazing and is deserving of an applause all on its own. Many parents now a day do not take advantage of nurturing their child's talent, so for us to witness this with Natalija and her book at such a young age, is wonderful to say the least.
The message that Natalija is spreading through her book is one far beyond her years. At such a young age she has managed to write and explain about something so difficult for most adults to fully comprehend; acceptance, diversity, and love. Society as a whole has almost failed in fully accepting differences within itself and has become obsessed with making everyone a replica of what we consider "normal" or "acceptable".
Over all, we had a great time having both ladies in our class. The main objective of the class is to help children develop a liking for literacy. We thought this was a wonderful opportunity to show that children can find a path in literacy when introduced to books early and have constant reading materials and practice. "
- Marisa Mendez
The team; Marisa, Robert, Mercedes, Daisy, Sandra, Susan and Lydia