Wednesday, April 29, 2009

America Celebrates Día with Special Events and Free Books

On Thursday, April 30th, the United States officially celebrates Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros, otherwise known as Children's Day/Book Day. Orginally a Mexican tradition known as Día del Niño, or Day of the Child, it resulted from the 1925 "World Conference for the Well-being of Children" held in Geneva, Switzerland. Countries all over the world, like Japan, Turkey and India, adopted their own versions of Children's Day. But the holiday didn't blossom here in America until 1996 when author Pat Mora became inspired to combine the holiday with literacy for children. A year later, Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros was born in the United States. Ms. Mora soon found support from across the country, and the vision exploded.

Today, Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros (also known as simply Día) is the celebration and honoring of our children, who represent the hopes and dreams of every family and community. They are our future and the path that our history will take, depends upon their choices and actions. It advocates literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds, as essential to their mental development and well-being.

The current outlook is that Día should be celebrated every day, culminating on April 30th with events and activities all around the country. Families, libraries, community centers, bookstores, museums, and more, all plan and initiate events to observe this holiday and to promote the idea of "bookjoy."

As founder of the American holiday, Mora’s states that the goals of Día are a daily commitment to: honor children and childhood, promote literacy, honor home languages and cultures, involve parents as valued members of the literacy team, and to promote library collection development that reflects our plurality.

If you’d like to check out the official web site for Día, click here. On it you will find tools to help you find out if there are any Día celebrations in your area, downloadable education programs, bibliographies, articles and much more.
And for more information about the holiday, be sure to check out the Latin Baby Book Club for ideas on how to celebrate the day with your familia. As an extra bonus, the LBBC is giving away bilingual and bicultural books (like the one pictured above) this week to celebrate. So don't dawdle...get over there and enter for your chance to win!!!!

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