The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture / Tagus Press is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Working in close partnership with the Department of Portuguese and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, it is the oldest of these units devoted to Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth.

Events - 2017

First English children’s history of Portugal launches Wednesday

Article in SouthCoastToday, August 30, 2017

A Childrens History of Portugal
Cover of the book “A Children’s History of

By Aimee Chiavaroli /
Posted Aug 30, 2017 at 9:16 PM
Updated Aug 31, 2017 at 1:35 PM

NEW BEDFORD — The first children’s history of Portugal in English had its launch Wednesday night at the Discovery Language Academy in the DeMello International Center downtown.

“It’s been very, very popular,” said Lisa Tavares, administrative assistant at UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture. She noted she’d heard from people in New Jersey, California and Hawaii interested in purchasing the book. At Wednesday’s event, she sold nearly 30 copies.

The book, A História de Portugal Contada às Crianças by Sérgio Lúis de Carvalho was translated by UMass Dartmouth PhD student Inês Lima. The idea was brought forth by James DeMello, owner of the DeMello International Center to João Paraskeva, previous director of the CPSC. The current director, Victor Mendes completed the project.

The book was copyedited by Tavares and her 12-year-old daughter Anisa Tavares along with Asher Pereira, son of Mario Pereira who is the executive editor of the book.

The center pledged to donate one book to each registered student this fall at the Discovery Language Academy which teaches the Portugese language and culture.

Leslie Vicente, executive director of the academy, estimated 110 students are registered so far, with more to come.

Two Portuguese schools in the city merged to become the academy which moved to the DeMello International Center last year in suite 303. The enrollment increased so much that the school had to move to suite 300 which was renovated to fit its needs.

Sept. 11 will be the first day of classes in the new space. “The school is for anyone,” Vicente said, noting there are classes for kids, teens and adults in the evenings.

The colorful book, a short version of Portugal’s history is set to be implemented into the academy’s curriculum, she said.

“If we don’t use education as a tool to pass this on to’s such a loss,” Vicente said. “You have to use education as a tool.”

DeMello said the book is a way to introduce Portuguese children who speak English to their culture. The academy classes are to “help keep developing that culture and expanding upon it,” he said. The goal is to expand regionally and draw students from Taunton and Fall River and provide them transportation, DeMello said, which will hopefully happen in the next year.

Tavares said while children, like hers, can understand Portuguese if their parents and grandparents speak it to them, they reply in English, not knowing how to speak or read the language, which is where the academy comes in.

After a process of about two years, the book published by Tagus Press is on sale for $10 until the end of September; regular price is $20.

Those interested in purchasing the book can contact Tavares at 508-999-8255 or