Sonia Sotomayor was the first Latina Associate Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history. Her pathway to joining the Supreme Court centered around her love for reading, learning, and the power of words. During her youth, Sonia enjoyed reading all types of books, from comic books to encyclopedias. This love of words began as a child when she would visit her abuelita.
Sonia’s abuelita, her father’s mother, helped raise her, teaching Sonia her native language, Spanish. One of Sonia’s favorite memories at Abuelita’s house were the domino parties that ended in sentimental Puerto Rican poetry readings. Abuelita would read the poems in Spanish while Sonia laid under the table to listen. Sonia would take in the poets' nostalgic words about their beloved Puerto Rico and imagine her family's homeland. One poem that stayed with Sonia was “A Puerto Rico (Regresso)” by the Puerto Rican poet José Gautier Benítez. It spoke of the poet’s love for the island, and his desire to return.
Inspire your learner to love poems like Sonia by reading some poetry aloud. You can read the poems, or challenge your child to read them aloud themselves. Practice working on reading the poems in a way that helps listeners imagine the words and scenes the poets describe.
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