Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dìa del Niño y de Libros / Day of Children and Books

Many Children, Many Cultures, Many Books

Muchos niños, muchas culturas, muchos libros

What is Dia del Nino Dia del Libro?
The following is an excerpt of what & how dìa was founded & how it is being used in libraries & schools to promote literacy & make it a fun event for children and their families. 

Celebrating Children and Books: El dìa de los niños/El dìa de los libros by Pat Mora and Rose Zertuche Treviño

What might sound lighthearted—planning a literacy celebration that involves children and their diverse families—has serious motivations. Can we dream big enough to want a nation of readers? Can democracy thrive in a country with serious literacy challenges? Are all the children in our schools and libraries discovering that books are fun, comforting, and also serve as sources of information, ways to make sense of the world?

These questions matter deeply. "Bookjoy," the private pleasure that true readers savor, is something to share, and every child deserves to find a good home in books. This desire prompted the founding of El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children’s Day / Book Day) more than 10 years ago. Along with energetic and committed librarians and teachers, I wanted kids and their diverse families to experience literacy in all their home languages as fun and welcoming.

On a sunny, desert day in March 1996, while visiting the University of Arizona in Tucson, I learned about an annual tradition of celebrating April 30 as El día del niño, the Day of the Child. Hmm, I thought, remembering my own children’s question: "Why do we have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and not Children’s Day?" Hmm, what if literacy advocates linked a celebration of children with a celebration of literacy, and together we created El día de los niños / El día de los libros?

With the support of librarians, especially members of the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking (REFORMA), by 1997 cities including Santa Fe, El Paso, and Tucson held their first, now annual, celebrations.

Día is currently housed at the  Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and administered in cooperation with founding partner REFORMA. Thanks in part to additional support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, ALSC's Día Web site offers librarians complimentary tip sheets and bilingual brochures as well as the opportunity to register their events or search for events in their area. In addition, the Texas Library Association received funding for an online tool kit. (For links to these resources, see  Día Web Connections).

Día’s Goals for Cypress Park Branch Library

       My name is Alicia M. Rodriguez and I am currently the children’s librarian at Cypress Park Branch LAPL.  As a child of a Mexican mother I was raised celebrating Dìa del Niño on April 30th every year.  I remember my mother would pick me up from school early and both her and my father would take me to the children’s museum or the zoo and the day consisted of me being pampered with gifts and a day of fun! I have brought this tradition to the library I work for and thanks to Pat Mora I have adopted literacy into my program. 
As a children’s librarian at the Cypress Park branch library each year in April, I have a special Dìa event where I read stories, sing songs, and just have a great time with the kids that visit our library.  I also provide parents with resources on how to help their children become better readers to make reading time a fun time at home or on a day out.  We provide an information guide on the various events at our library for adults, teens and children.  The goal is to promote literacy and celebrate children. We use various mediums to reach out to our community in order to provide them information.  Outreach by visiting surrounding schools, community centers, recreation parks, and local businesses.  We provide them with flyers in person or through email, or we fax our information.  We also use social media such as, twitter @cypressparkLapl,
The library as a center of our community brings together literacy and families.  We provide programs to encourage parents to read to their children and make it a time to learn and most importantly a fun time to share great stories with their children.  Before children leave the Dìa program, I provide each child a book and toy.  Each year, I think how can I make our Dìa event even greater? This year I plan to add face painting!  This year our Dìa will take place on Tuesday April 24th from 2-5PM.  I hope you will join us for this fun filled event!
       And I am currently seeking donations of toys to give to the children.  If anyone knows of any

company that would be kind enough to help us that would be great!                      

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