DÃa! Diversity in Action is the 2013 tag line for the celebration of Children’s Day/Book Day. For those of us serving children in libraries, that is every day. We know first-hand the power of the right book at the right time in the hands of a child. We know that reading changes lives. And, we work hard to share this news with everyone!
Luckily, we have DÃa to help us. El dÃa de los niÃ±os/El dÃa de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) is one of those robust, flexible campaigns that provides resources to create programs and plan a celebration. Although April 30 is the day most celebrations happen, Children’s Day/Book Day can happen on any day or on multiple days, at any time of the year. A DÃa! fact sheet provides additional information.
It was — and is — an exciting project to learn about. DÃa grew out of Children’s Day, a concept instituted throughout the world in 1925 with the goal of bringing attention to the importance and well-being of children. Author Pat Mora revived the concept in the U.S., and carried it a crucial step further, linking children’s well-being to books and literacy.
While it is commonly referred to by its Spanish name, our Children’s Day/Book Day is a celebration emphasizing the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The 2013 DÃa Booklist brochure is available in English/Spanish and an English/Chinese DÃa brochure will be available soon. The free DÃa Booklist brochure and Addendum features titles in Spanish, Somali, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Chinese — Mandarin, Hebrew, Russian, Michif, Japanese, and French. There are over 200 titles featured!
Many of us conduct storytimes on themes because it can be fun and creative to connect materials. El dÃa de los niÃ±os/El dÃa de los libros is a perfect opporunity to plan a community celebration of reading with a theme — and resources — already in place. Why not use it? And be part of persuading the world of what we know to our core — that books and reading change children’s lives. Check out the comprehensive resource guide!
Then please register the DÃa program you have created in the 2013 National Program Registry. Your registration helps build a national database that showcases all types and sizes of DÃa programming for everyone to view and learn from on our website. As an extra incentive we are also sending newly designed bookmarks, stickers and buttons (while supplies last) to those who register!
A complete DÃa Publicity Toolkit is available and features terrific templates that can be used to publicize local events. An ALA press release provides information about the contents and use of the kit.
Help us make the DÃa! Diversity in Action Facebook page more lively by posting pictures of the events in your library and community. The DÃa! Facebook page is a great place for everyone to learn even more about the celebration by sharing with each other.
Through a Dollar General Literacy Foundation grant there were 12 mini-grants, $5,000 each, recently awarded to libraries across the country to start DÃa Family Book Clubs. As a part of this grant, we are working with REFORMA, BCALA, and APALA to create a DÃa Family Book Club toolkit that is expected to be available in March for libraries to download for free off our website.
Together, let’s grow DÃa and connect children to a world of learning through books, stories and libraries.
(With special thanks to Joanna Ison, ALSC Program Officer, Projects and Partnerships for her assistance with this blog post information.)