Hmong Students Book Reading Series
Students involved in a Hmong class at Park Center Senior High School published three books. They are the first Hmong student authors ever to publish with the Hmong Education Resources Publisher, a one of a kind publisher that provides services for Hmong students, teachers, writers, educators, researchers, and graphic artists. These amazing students opened a new world for future potential youth authors by sharing their experiences in writing, publishing, and illustrating at a Hmong Student Book Reading Series at the East Side Freedom Library and Hmong Archives on June 18 in Saint Paul. The students believe that books play a very important and crucial role in any student’s development, and they encouraged others to not only read, but write and record their stories into a book. As one of the student authors shared, “In writing, we can experience new things that we would not normally be able to experience, or to tell the things that we want others to know who we truly are inside.”
Under the guidance of a Hmong teacher, Ms. Pang Yang, the students have published three books over a year. Their first book is The Cultural Dish: Behind Every Dish is a Story, which dedicated to their teachers for inspiring countless generations of students to live healthy lives and for the education experience through cultural food that brought students and teachers together. As the students wrote, “My mother’s hands are precious, as they are the hands that raised me, fed me, and supported me…This special squash bowl dish is special to me because it reminds me of home, my mother’s cooking, and my childhood.”
Their popular book published in 2019 is Dear My Teacher, a book that explores the world of today's Hmong teenage students through honest, sincere, and heartfelt letters to their teachers. Caught in between two worlds, their perspective is unique and necessary to understanding how education, race, and the Hmong experience intersects. At times, their words may be humorous and poignant, but all their stories are grounded in truth and empathy. And their recently released book is the Hmong Youth Poetry Collections: From Mountains to 10,000 Lakes, the poems open a world of stories and call out a generation of lives lived and lives yet to be lived.
Osseo Area Schools is in the Northwest suburbs of the Twin Cities serving all or parts of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Corcoran, Dayton, Maple Grove, Osseo, Plymouth, and Rogers. It’s the fifth largest school district with the second largest Hmong population, second to Saint Paul Public Schools. With over 20,000 students and 80 dialects spoken by students, the diverse background of students enriches experiences in the classroom. The school district is currently offer Spanish and Hmong for Native Speakers classes to students at both Osseo Senior High and Park Center Senior High. The students could read and write in Hmong. As one of the student authors shared a reading chapter in Hmong from Dear My Teacher, Tsis Muaj Txiv Lawm:
Nyob Zoo Xibfwb,
Thaum koj hais kom peb sau txog ib yam uas kuv xav kom kuv cov xibfwb paub ua rau kuv nyuaj siab vim kuv yeej muaj ib yav ua kuv xav txog xwb. Kuv yeej zoo siab thiab vim kuv tau sau txog qhov no rau koj nyeem.
Kuv xav kom koj paub hais tias kuv tsis muaj kuv txiv lawm. Kuv txiv tsis nrog kuv nyob lawm. Kuv txiv tau puv ib puas nees nkaum xyoo. Kuv txiv xiam vim rau qhov kuv txiv mob stroke. Kuv txiv xiam lub cuaj hli vas thib kaum yim xyoo 2015.
Muaj tej thaum muaj tej yam ua tau kuv nyuaj siab vim tsis muaj kuv txiv nyob nrog kuv lawm. Yog muab hais los kuv txiv yeej xiam tau ntev los lawm thiab. Tab sis zoo li kuv mus tsis txog qhov kuv txiv xav kom kuv mus txog. Yeej ua tau kuv nyuaj siab kawg vim kuv txiv yeej mob puag thaum kuv muaj peb xyoo lawm. Kuv yeej tsis tau pom saib kuv txiv lub neej zoo li cas thaum nws tseem ua neej nyob es tsis tau mob stroke. Kuv txiv yeej yog ib tug neeg ua kawm ntawv tau zoo heev li. Thaum nws tuaj txog teb chaws Mekas no, nws pib qib 9 txog qib 12. Nws cov hoob kawm yeej yog straight A xwb. Thaum nws kawm ntawv tas qib 12 nws yog tus thib ob hauv nws lub tsev kawm ntawv qib 9-12.
Kuv yeej xav kom kuv zoo ib yam li kuv txiv tab sis kuv lub hlwb khiav tsis zoo npaum kuv txiv lub. Kuv txiv yeej xav kom kuv mus kawm ntawv kom siab es thiaj li tsis txom nyem. Txij thaum kuv txiv xiam, kuv niam yeej ua hauj lwm sab kawg kiag. Kuv yeej tsis xav kom kuv niam mus ua hauj lwm li lawm. Tab sis kuv tij luag thiab kuv tsis tau mus ua hauj lwm ces tsis muaj leeg twg pab them nqi tsev nrog kuv tus tij laug hlob. Yeeb vim li ntawv, kuv thiaj xav mus kawm ntawv kom zoo es peb tsev neeg thiaj tsis txom nyem. Txawm kuv tsis keej thiab tsis paub npaum kuv txiv los kuv yeej yuav siv tas nrho kuv txoj kev xav kom kuv mus kawm ntawv tau siab. Kuv yeej yuav muab kev cia siab kom koj ho pab qhia kev kawm ntawv rau kuv.
Tsis Muaj Txiv Lawm
These books were made possible by the Education Minnesota Foundation Classroom Grant: The Untold Story, and published by the Hmong Education Resources Publisher.