Mercado on Fifth turns virtual with bilingual story time and concerts

MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - As it gets warmer, we can expect Mercado on Fifth, a usual summer favorite to come back. Because of social distancing though, they're coming up with a new and creative way to get the community involved: going virtual through Facebook Lives.

"Virtual storytime with Rosie" or "Hora de cuentos con Rosie" is every Friday at 2 P.M. on Mercado on Fifth's Facebook page, where Lincoln-Irving's Principal Rosalva Portillo reads a children's book in both English and Spanish.

Instead of crowds of hundreds of people, now families can appreciate Mercado in their own homes. "We hope that the spirit of Mercado can be transferable through the internet and online, and that same spirit of sharing with their loved ones. Being with your family and community is what Mercado is. It’s a much smaller scale," says Melissa Freidhof-Rogers, the Director of Mercado on Fifth.

Through Facebook, Mercado on Fifth is bringing bilingual storytime to students and parents, "part of Latin culture is sharing the language and celebrating language. So it provides opportunities for Spanish to be celebrated and for Spanish to be learned," explains Freidhof-Rogers.

Virtual storytime with Rosie or Hora de cuentos con Rosie is every Friday at 2 P.M. on
Mercado on Fifth's Facebook page , where Lincoln-Irving's Principal Rosalva Portillo reads a children's book in both English and Spanish.

"I'm learning how to speak a little more Spanish because I barely know how to speak it," says Nathalia Pollock who is a 2nd grader at Apollo Elementary School. Pollock says storytime is cool because she's "never seen a Principal read to us before."

As students are out of school for weeks, Portillo hopes this can help them. "Not being able to provide that face to face instruction is very hard for us right now. This will help fill our needs at Lincoln-Irving and for others. Whoever wants to watch can click the links later and participate," shares Portillo.

Through interactive readings, Portillo and Freidhof-Rogers hope community members from all over and of any age can learn Spanish and something new.

Mercado on Fifth will have concerts and cooking classes as well as their Virtual storytime with Rosie on their Facebook Live on Fridays. You'll be able to see TV6's Montse Ricossa call Loteria> or Mexican Bingo next Friday.