FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – For some, learning about college and higher education didn’t happen until middle school, maybe even high school. In Spanish-speaking households, it may have been even harder to learn about it. However, this Fresno State alum aims to change that. 

“Being a Latina & first-generation student myself, I felt I wasn’t aware of all the resources, and I didn’t have a guide on how to get here to college,” Perla Solorio, founder of Libros for Small Hands, said.

That’s why Solorio is starting at the very beginning with kids ages 0-3 years.

She recently published “Fresno State First Words-Primeras Palabras,” a bilingual picture book for children who are just learning their first words. 

And the theme around it? A tour of Fresno State. 

“We’re showcasing the campus, so you’ll see a lot of landmarks, different places or objects that you might see if you’re here on campus, so it’s just a really fun way to start introducing to them the idea of higher education,” Solorio said.

She said there’s a lack of bilingual books in general.

“When we realized there wasn’t so many, we decided to be part of the solution,” Solorio said. 

In the book, there are objects that students associate with Fresno State, including the library, the stadium, the fountain, and the César Chávez statue.

“I know these are some landmarks that I recall so vividly,” Solorio said. 

Solorio, who is also a school counselor, said by doing this, she found a way to mix her passion for counseling, being a mother and her love for Fresno State. 

“It definitely began when I started reading to my daughter, I was like ‘okay, how can I add the school counseling piece to it?’”

She said she not only hopes this can help her own children but other bilingual households and families who want to teach their kids Spanish. 

“Our hope is that we continue to just plant those seeds early on, where university, higher education is accessible to our students,” she said.