As part of the school’s Veterans Day celebrations, students in all grade levels at Silver Strand Elementary spent Tuesday morning in a whole-school Zoom with children’s book author Graciela Tiscareno-Sato. Her bilingual Captain Mama book series about women flying airplanes in our nation’s military is inspired by her own experience. The author, a bilingual, highly decorated military veteran and daughter of Mexican immigrants, shared her own message and then answered questions from students.
“She connects so well with students, relating her service in the Air Force to math skills, curiosity, courage, and perseverance. She is a terrific role model as a female Latina veteran who has forged a new career as author and public speaker as well!” said Principal Jenny Moore.
Silver Strand Elementary School has a 76% military-connected student population in grades TK-5, and Veterans Day celebrations at the site have a special meaning for students whose parents serve in the military.
Students from all grade levels were very engaged in the Zoom presentation and were eager to ask questions at the end. The author graciously responded to an array of questions from each classroom, covering everything from where the jet fuel comes from to how to fly a plane. “Our students asked great questions, and we learned that an all-school ‘assembly’ over Zoom can be really effective for connecting!” said Moore.
Each classroom was also given a copy of the second book in the series: Captain Mama’s Surprise/ La Sorpresa de Capitán Mamá to read and discuss with their teachers. The book was selected for 1st Place honors at the International Latino Book awards in the “Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book” category.
Tiscareno-Sato says she was inspired to write the Captain Mama series by a conversation with her son the night before a Veterans Day event at his preschool. Her mission is “to inspire children, parents and educators in two languages.” She attended the University of California at Berkeley on an Air Force ROTC scholarship and earned a degree in Environmental Design/Architecture while completing the Aerospace Studies program as an AFROTC cadet. She was commissioned as an Air Force officer and served as a navigator and instructor onboard refueling jets.
Read more about the author and the book’s illustrator, Linda Lens, at captainmama.com