A Día Story

5th annual DiapaloozaIn the 18 years that I have worked on Día, I have met many inspiring educators at all levels. Occasionally, I meet such “sparklers” by phone. Debbie Kaczar is such a librarian. When I chatted with her and heard her dedication and her persistence to bring Día celebrations to her school and community, I asked her to write her story so that you, blog visitors, would be inspired too. We all become discouraged in trying to make all children valued in our communities and in motivating others to share bookjoy with community families. Thanks, Debbie, for your dedication and for inspiring me in 2014.

I was raised in the country in Northwest, Illinois. As a child, if you looked out the front and back windows of my home, all there was to see was corn. I expanded my world through reading. Books took me to places around the world and introduced me to many cultures, heroes and mentors. I read every biography in the young people’s department of my public library. The people I read about made me realize that I could do anything I put my mind to. I know the meaning of Bookjoy and now share this joy with students at two very different elementary schools in Illinois.

In addition to my passion for spreading Bookjoy, I am passionate about learning about other cultures. I celebrate diversity. My family has hosted students from Japan, Bolivia, Germany, France, Brazil, Thailand and Indonesia.

After twenty-five years in sales, I knew I wanted to pursue my library media specialist certification. While attending library school, I had to write a grant for a class. I contacted a local school district and was told that I could write a grant for Golfview Elementary in Carpentersville, IL. The student population is ninety-six percent Hispanic. I conducted extensive research on Spanish and bilingual books and resources for children. During my research, I learned about the Día initiative, Book Fiesta, and Pat Mora. Book Fiesta inspired me since it celebrated many of my loves: reading, cultures, and children. I wanted to bring this celebration to my area.Book Fiesta

Fast forward one year, and I was hired at that very same school, and another school in the district, as the library media specialist. I immediately began plans to bring the first Día celebration to the district and was awarded a grant to bring an author or illustrator to one school.

At a district Foundation literacy meeting, I passionately spoke about Día and interested another school. I continue to speak about Día as often as possible and have interested other teachers. We have formed a committee to plan our celebration. My goal is eventually to bring Día celebrations to all twenty-six schools in the district and to work with the public libraries as well.

Debbie Kaczar

L-R: Mary Miller, LMS at Meadowdale Elementary; Debbie Kaczar, LMS; students at Golfview Elementary

This year, in our inaugural Día celebration, we are bringing the illustrator of Book Fiesta, Rafael López, to share his presentation and beautiful illustrations that celebrate reading, children, and all cultures. Plans for the Día celebration include student writing and illustrating workshops, book talks, a book club, Drop Everything And Read Day, a week-long Buy One, Get One Free Book Sale, Dress As Your Favorite Book Character Day, VIP read alouds, Family Literacy Night, and of course, a Book Fiesta.

This is only the beginning. I plan to promote Día not only in my district, but across the state of Illinois, and hopefully, beyond. My background in sales and marketing, and my passion for Bookjoy, should help me to spread the word. My goal is to one day meet the person who inspired me, Pat Mora.

Día Grant Receipients

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We congratulate the following 2 libraries on winning the 2014 Día Grants from the Center for Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature (CSMCL.)

Contra Costa County Library – Pittsburg Library, Pittsburg, CA (Día Theme: “Anyone Can Dream – A Celebration of African American Poetry”) Date of event: April 26, 2014, 1:00 p.m.

Seminole County Public Library, Casselberry, FL (Día Theme: “Dress, Drums, and Dance – Interactive Día Program with an African American Focus”) Date of event: April 10 – 30, 2014. (Note: There will be 5 programs. 1 at each of the 5 library locations.)

CSMCL awards $500 grants in selected multicultural books to libraries that serve children and their families who are having a Día library program, El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) with an African American focus. The Día grants are funded by CSMCL in partnership with the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC) and Día Founder, Pat Mora.

Happy Día from ALSC!

5th annual Diapalooza Today’s guest post is by Aimee Strittmatter, Executive Director of the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. Thank you, Aimee!

Aimee Strittmatter From their earliest years, libraries help children to understand society through books, new media and programming. Through rich programming and culturally diverse collections librarians facilitate in children an understanding of the diversity of their communities and the larger world. Participation in the El día de los niños/El día de los libros, commonly known as Día, initiative is one way libraries across the country are connecting children and families with a world of learning.

Recognized by the Library of Congress for assuring cultural relevance in literacy programs in the 2013 Literacy Awards Best Practices publication; the Día initiative works to link children and their families to diverse books, languages and cultures. Día emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds and aims to celebrate children and connect them to the world of learning through books, stories and libraries.

Through the Día initiative the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has worked to make it easier for libraries to incorporate quality culturally diverse programming into their schedule throughout the year.
dia web badge

Explore the Día website to find a range of free resources. ALSC offers annual book lists, program posters, coloring and activity sheets, a Día resource guide and more. Through the National Día Program Registry you can explore the Día Map to find a celebration happening in your own community or register your own celebration. ALSC will even send you free bookmarks, stickers and buttons to help you get started!

dia curiculum exampleALSC is pleased to announce the recent completion of the Día Family Book Club Curriculum for 2014 and beyond. Paired with titles that celebrate our common plurality; lesson plans in this curriculum were written by professionals in the library field. We encourage you to download the twelve lesson plans today along with the free toolkit and invite families in your community to discover the world around them through your own Día Family Book Club program.

The new website, rich resources and the national program registry has made it easier than ever for YOU to celebrate Día!
Happy Día!

Día Blog Hop Begins Today

5th annual Diapalooza The second annual Día Blog Hop begins today, hosted by Latinas for Latino Literature in honor of El día de los niños, El día de los libros/ Children’s Day, Book Day.

Pat’s post is the first of daily posts by different authors/illustrators who will appear on different blogs, writing an original short article or creating an original illustration in support of Latino children’s literacy. Read the full schedule — you’ll want to read each and every post!


Día Song

5th annual DiapaloozaToday we bring you a musical treat. Our thanks to the 5th grade at Tony Serna Jr. Elementary (West Las Vegas, NM) and their teacher, Billie Matthews.

Día Song

This is the day of the children,
los niños, the children.
This is the day of the children
the children and their books.

El día de los niños: El día de los libros,
the day of children and their books,
ta-lán, ta-lán, tan-tán, ta-lán,
los niños and their books.

Celebrate with piñatas
and musica de colores,
add the papel picado
and baskets and baskets of books,

Silly and sad, scary and glad,
baskets of delicious books.

Read to a favorite person,
read to lizards and cats,
read to the moon humming a tune
as you read from your baskets of books.

El día de los niños: El día de los libros,
the day of children and their books,
ta-lán, ta-lán, tan-tán, ta-lán,
the children and their books.

This is a song that keeps growing,
in Chinese or Navajo too,
so add your verse and sing along,
on this day of children and books.

El día de los niños: El día de los libros,
the day of children and their books,
ta-lán, ta-lán, tan-tán, ta-lán,
los niños and their books.

by Pat Mora

Bookjoy Celebrations

5th annual Diapalooza In addition to the April Día celebrations of a year honoring all children and linking them to bookjoy, April is rich with many other literacy-related events.

El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day
National Poetry Month
School Library Month

April 2, International Children’s Book Day
April 12, Beverly Cleary’s birthday, known as DEAR Day for DROP EVERYTHING AND READ
April 13-19, National Library Week
April 15, National Library Workers Day
April 16, National Bookmobile Day
April 17, Teen Literature Day
April 23, World Book Night
April 24, Poem in Your Pocket Day

When we began Día, April 30 was a key celebration day. As of 2018, children of color will be the majority in the U.S. Many communities now have Día celebrations throughout April at various sites. Día began as a day honoring all children and sharing bookjoy with them. Now, we do this important work all year long, and then we have happy book fiestas in April.

April Literacy Collage

Díapalooza Begins!

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Welcome to our 5th annual Díapalooza! It’s exciting to think of all the dedicated and creative Día planners who are preparing for annual book fiestas on or around April 30th. April includes many celebrations including National Poetry Month. Those of us who work on Día are particularly committed to the next generation of poets, artists, scientists, etc., to the children who deserve the pleasure and power of bookjoy.

I’m pleased to introduce our newest Día Dynamo . Originally from El Salvador, Roxana Barillas is Director of Hispanic Engagement for First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that has provided over 110 million books to children through its network of over 90,000 educators, librarians and program leaders serving children in need. Roxana’s own immigrant experience has shaped her professional and service career. I haven’t met Roxana but have been so grateful for her enthusiasm about Día and for her determination to expand Día’s impact on all children and families.

Roxanna Barillas