Morris - Award Winning Bilingual Children's Author - West Des Moines, IA, USA

Ann Morris

West Des Moines, IA, USA

Summary

I have always been a teacher, since teaching piano lessons in Junior High and High School. After college, I taught High School Spanish for 18 years and loved it. I moved into work for the state government with Iowa Workforce, where I was the only bilingual advisor. I handled most of the vast Latino clientele, by phone, in writing, translating statements and documents, and explaining the system to them. I spent two years coordinating the New Iowan Center, designed to assist people new to the area seek employment, job skills, language and education skills, citizenship training, and a myriad of community services. I did much outreach to promote our services and worked with people from around the globe, mostly Latino, but with large incoming groups of refugees also. I learned a greater interest and appreciation for other cultures and their need to feel accepted and understood. Literacy and education extend beyond the classroom into our lives and attitudes.

Services

Award Winning Bilingual Children's Author

Summary:

Author of "Mommy and Mikel Go for a Walk" and "Mikel y Mami dan un Paseo". Published originally by AuthorHouse and republished in hardback by Mascot Books in 2014.
"Surprise in Auntie's Garden!" and "¡Sorpresa en el jardín de la tía!". Published in

Work History

Children's Author and Consultant

Ann Morris, Bilingual Children's Author and Spanish Consulting Services

From January 2010

Author of "Mommy and Mikel Go for a Walk" and "Mikel y Mami dan un paseo".
Originally published by Authorhouse in 2011, Republished by Mascot Books as "Mommy and Mikel Go for a Walk" by Ann Morris/"Mami y Mikel dan un paseo" de Ana Morris in 2014.

"Surprise in Auntie's Garden!" and "¡Sorpresa en el jardín de la tía!" published in 2013 with vivid illustrations by Heather Varkarotas. This book was honored by the Mom's Choice Awards in 2013.

Current project: English version of "Everything Is Different!"/"¡Todo está diferente!" currently with Mascot Books and illustrator Melissa Wright.
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Participate in local, state, and on-line author activities, read to school students, participate in signings, art and craft fairs, media activities and all attempts to increase exposure.

Author, Spanish language services

Self-employed
2000 – Present (13 years)|Des Moines, Iowa Area
Taught ESL to same children from Madrid, Spain for about 5 years. Used Rosetta Stone, worksheets, field trips, conversation, grammar, spelling, videos, projects, reports and much variety to maintain interest.

Have done professional translation projects (documents or manuals) for:

Des Moines Water Works 2012
Drake Head Start Program, Drake University
Iowa Public Television
Ignition Interlock Systems 1999
Loffredo Fresh Produce (2 manuals)
Iowa Workforce Development (on contract before employment began), multiple levels of translation during employment

Translated "The Birthday Makers" by Cari Morgan to Spanish 2013.

Owner-Operator

Bilingual Children's Author and Spanish Language Consultant

A children's author that writes books separately in English and Spanish. I also do other freelance writing that involves my interests and experience of language and cultures, history, education and literacy. My interests are very wide. I write not only for children, but for the adults that read to them. I write the stories separately for the different language interest groups. Each group includes native language speakers and language learners. Those interested in each language many times prefer the book specifically in that target language. I work with the Latino population in community activities and around the world. I also work with English language learners and other world cultures. I promote understanding and learning through education and communication. I am constantly learning and wanting to learn in order to understand others more. I believe that understanding and communication on a personal basis help us to dispel with stereotypes and judgment. People accept each other when they understand each other individually.

Projects

Let's Go for a Hike! (English done)

My newest English book ready to be rewritten in Spanish and submitted for publication. Another true story, but this time it's a memory from when I was one of the children!

Everything Is Different!/¡Todo es distinto!!

My current book pair in publication process is about a young "American" boy visiting England for the first time with his father. He observes many differences between what he knows and what is different. He wrestles with "is different wrong or is it just another way to do things?" Illustrations copyright protected by Melissa Wright of Bee Scene Studios.

Surprise in Auntie's Garden/¡Sorpresa en el jardín de la tía!

This is my second book pair based on an experience with my niece. She discovers a colorful "worm" in Auntie's garden, and the fun begins. Each of my books is written separately in English and Spanish and published by Mascot Books. This book pair was honored by the Moms' Choice Awards. Illustrations copyright protected by Heather Varkarotas

New Iowan Center

Here is where I did a lot of outreach and public speaking to make people more aware of a service we had at the time for newcomers to the area. We were very busy providing referral services to community and government agencies that would help our clientele's needs. We recommended and referred people to educational resources to help them grow their skills and become more marketable. We helped groups of refugees and immigrants complete applications for work and for unemployment, if they so qualified.

Iowa Workforce Development

I began as a temporary worker, teaching Spanish to employees at the Des Moines local office to those interested. I also worked bilingual customer service and wrote several instructional documents in Spanish for our clients. I also produced an oral tape for those who do not read well to help them complete the application to seek employment and/or unemployment.

Community Service

I have participated of and on with Latinos Unidos of Iowa for at least 10 years. Several of those, I was actively the Public Relations Coordinator, taking pictures at events and assisting as a scholarship donor, a historian (maintaining an album of activities that made the news), and very involved in the scholarship promotion. I am still involved in the Latino Resource Fairs that provide community and educational service information and contacts to the Latino community.

Teaching High School Spanish

I learned more about English and Spanish while teaching the language to high school students. I learned that another language well achieved can raise test standardized test scores, and that mathematical, artistic, and musical skills are related to language skills. Math because of the "formulas" used to express many idioms and sentence structure, the arts because of the freedom to express oneself.

Lived and studied in Spain

While in college I lived and studied in Spain, which taught me both written and verbal language skills. After returning to the US, I have continually used those skills and am now many times mistaken as a native speaker.

Mommy and Mikel Go for a Walk/Mami y Mikel dan un paseo

This was my first pair of books. The story is based on a nature walk with my son when he was young. He discovered an animal that I couldn't even identify, which sent us to the library to find out what it was. He still remembers the walk to this day. The story has been well received by children, adults, schools, communities...people of all ages can relate to and learn from it.

Advocate

http://www.issuu.com/annmorris

Qualifications & Certifications

Major: Spanish Education; Minor: World History

Wartburg College, Waverly, IA

Majored in Spanish Education and minored in World History. I had the opportunity to live and study in Spain, where I was for the first time the minority. My goal was to observe and perfect my language skills so as to not be identified as a foreigner.

Wartburg College

Humboldt High School, Humboldt Iowa

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