Trinity will investigate new partnerships to expand opportunities for faculty and students. In particular, we will pursue partnerships that eliminate programmatic redundancy and offer new sources of revenue. Local partnerships enable Trinity to strengthen ties to the San Antonio community and beyond. One example of our recent work in this area has been a successful collaboration between Trinity University Press, the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA), and the San Antonio Library Foundation to launch the Arte Kids series, a collection of bilingual children’s books in Spanish and English.
On April 25, 2019, Trinity President Danny Anderson and other members representing the University were invited to the Texas State Capitol in honor of the University’s 150th anniversary. Upon their arrival, the group were greeted by Governor Greg Abbott during a special reception in his private chambers. There, he presented a proclamation lauding the University’s milestone anniversary and commitment to providing an education that has “established a legacy of success—a legacy that will long highlight the best of our great state.”
Immediately following the governor’s presentation, Trinity was honored on the floor of the Texas State Legislature by State Senator José Menéndez, District 26 from San Antonio. Menendez invited Anderson, Denees Jones, vice president for Academic Affairs, Ty Tinker, president of Trinity’s Student Government Association, and Amani Canada, Trinity student ambassador onto the senate floor where he proclaimed April 25, 2019 as Trinity University Day at the State Capitol.
Thanks to its unique “Arte Kids” book line, Trinity University Press is changing the game for young readers who may be or aim to be bilingual. Tom Payton, director of TU Press, says the Arte Kids series blends reading in Spanish and English with visual learning thanks to vibrant colors, diverse subjects ranging from animals to numbers and shapes, and stunning art from the lush galleries of the San Antonio Museum of Art.
“These are the only early reader bilingual board books on the market right now that use art as a teaching tool,” Payton says.
The Arte Kids line, which includes hits such as Hello Circulos, Animal Amigos!, and 1,2,3 Si, is a partnership between the TU Press; the San Antonio Museum of Art, which provided the artwork for each book; and the San Antonio Public Library foundation (SAPLF). Working with SAPLF, the book line was funded through generous gifts from the Semmes Family Foundation, under the direction of Trinity Trustee Thomas R. Semmes, whom Payton credited as the true visionary behind the publishing initiative.
In San Antonio, SAPLF has been able to distribute tens of thousands of books to the parents of newborn children for free, thanks to Semmes. TU Press has also partnered with local children’s museums and literacy programs nationally to send books home, free of charge, to thousands of children.
“These are children of often lower-income households that may not have big libraries and whose parents’ dollars have other places to go besides books,” Payton says.
H-E-B, Target, and other large chains have sold the books at select locations; so have museums, such as at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The books have also garnered several awards, including the Silver Prize in the children’s category from the Latino Book Awards.