Latino authors F. Isabel Campoy and Duncan Tonatiuh will be part of the celebrations virtually, while local Latino artist Erick Picardo will do eight in-person presentations at three different GRPS schools on September 27 and 28.

Media are invited to cover Picardo’s in-person presentations or any of the virtual presentations. Contact Communications at to make arrangements ahead of time. See full schedule below.

Kay Smith, the English Language coordinator for GRPS, said that Picardo will be working with scholars at both the elementary and secondary levels to create hands-on art projects and will also provide a Latin drum assembly at Innovation Central High School.

She noted that Picardo is a Grand Rapids-based visual and performing artist who hails from the Dominican Republic and a community organizer for whom culture preservation is a central goal.

“He has created several murals in the Grand Rapids area,” she added, “including a mural honoring the life of labor leader and civil rights activist César E. Chávez which is located at César E. Chávez Elementary School.”

Picardo describes himself a multi-dimensional artist who combines painting, mixed media, music and dance into a blend that serves his community, builds bridges and preserves Dominican island and diasporic cultures.

In-Person GRPS Schedule for Erick Picardo

Tuesday, September 27

  • Innovation Central, 7:40-8:40 am, 9th grade (Jelens)
  • Innovation Central, 8:40-9:40 am, 11th grade (Jelens)
  • Innovation Central, 1:30-2:20 pm, Drum Assembly

Wednesday, September 28

  • Sibley Elementary, 9-10 am, 2nd grade, (Wisnieski)
  • Sibley Elementary, 10:30-11:30 am, 5th grade (Phillips)
  • Sibley Elementary, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, Artist Luncheon
  • César E. Chávez Elementary, 1-2 pm, 5th grade (Pak)
  • César E. Chávez Elementary, 2:20-3:20 pm, 3rd grade (Sheneman)

Tonatiuh will present from his book, Separate Is Never Equal, virtually to 3rd and 4th graders at Sibley and César E. Chávez Elementary from 10:30-11:30 am on Tuesday, September 27.

He also will present his book The Princess and the Warrior virtually to first and second grade scholars at Sibley and César E. Chávez Elementary from 2-3 pm on Tuesday, September 27.

Campoy will present virtually on Thursday, October 6 from her book “Yes! We Are Latinos,” which features poems and prose about the Latino experience. That will be for sixth and seventh grade scholars at Dickinson and Burton Middle from 9-10 am.

Tonatiuh is an award-winning author-illustrator who is both Mexican and American. 

His artwork, Smith added, is inspired by Mesoamerican art and his aim is to create images and stories that honor the past, but are relevant today, especially to children.

Campoy is an author and an educator specializing in the area of literacy and home school interaction, topics on which she lecturers nationally.

Smith said her presentation will focus both on the importance of literacy and on having an awareness of cultural identities.