Sesame Street cast member to visit

Sonia Manzano will give two presentations next week as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Sonia Manzano will give two presentations next week as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.
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Known for three decades as "Maria" on PBS's Sesame Street, Sonia Manzano will give two presentations in West Michigan that focus on how the civil rights movement impacted the Hispanic community.

Manzano will be at Grand Valley on Monday, October 14, and at the Cook Library Center, 1100 Grandville Ave. SW in Grand Rapids, on Tuesday, October 15.

Her visits, each with a book signing, are sponsored by GVSU’s Kutsche Office of Local History, Liberal Studies Department and Community Reading Project in partnership with the Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities. Details are below.

October 14, 4:30 p.m., Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons, with book signing at 4:30 p.m. and presentation to follow at 5 p.m. Free and open to the public.

October 15, 4:30 p.m., Cook Library Center. Geared toward younger children and families, Manzano’s presentation will include the importance of education, literacy and her experiences as a Latina writer, in addition to discussing family and heritage. Free and open to the public.

Manzano’s visit coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month. She wrote a new book, “The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano,” which explores Latino heritage and civil rights in an accessible and historically poignant format.

One of the first Hispanic Americans to appear on television, Manzano has been honored by many organizations, including the Association of Hispanic Arts, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, and Hispanic Heritage Award for Education. In 2013, she was named among the “25 greatest Latino role models ever” by Latina Magazine.

For more information, contact the Kutsche Office of Local History at (616) 331-8099 or kutsche@gvsu.edu.