The Little Free Library in El Paso

Since Día promotes daily creative literacy activities and initiatives, Pat sends a shout out to her friend and Día supporter librarian Lisa Lopez-Williamson and to Día Dynamo Dr. Joseph Rodríguez for their recent UTEP honor.

UTEP President Diana Natalicio honored Herrera Elementary librarian Lisa Lopez-Williamson with the newly established President’s Meritorious Service Award Tuesday at Magoffin Auditorium. Read more.

Dr. Joseph Rodríguez, UTEP President Diana Natalicio and Lisa Lopez-Williamson.

Dr. Joseph Rodríguez, UTEP President Diana Natalicio and Lisa Lopez-Williamson.

November 2: A Day for Remembering

The Remembering Day by Pat MoraIn this special bilingual picture book for children, Pat creates an origin myth in which she imagines how the Mexican custom of remembering deceased loved ones–El día de los muertos or the Day of the Dead–came to be. With tender illustrations by Robert Casilla that depict Bella and Mamá Alma’s loving relationship, this book will encourage children to honor loved ones, whether by writing stories and poems or creating their own remembering place.

Curriculum extensions:

  • Invite students to share stories about their relationship with a remembered loved one. Students can also share a photo or their own drawing.
  • Invite students to write a poem about a deceased family member or friend.
  • Invite students to bring photos or special objects of remembered loves ones and create a classroom, library or school display.
  • Plan a remembering day event at your school or library. You can include flowers, songs, favorite foods of loved ones, funny stories. Create a celebration of special people we have known.

Teen Poetry to Share for Teen Read Week

October 9-15, 2016 is Teen Read Week, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). This year’s theme is “Read for the fun of it!”
Read for the fun of it!

We hope you’ll include some poetry in your Teen Read Week celebrations:


Both were written especially for teens, and you can find poetry resources and activities to use with the books.

October is National Reading Group Month

House of HousesThe Women’s National Book Association celebrates October with National Reading Group Month. You can find resources and tips for celebrating the bookjoy of shared reading on their website.

Pat’s family memoir, House of Houses lends itself to thought-provoking reading group discussions. Here are some questions for exploration:

  1. In what ways is House of Houses like and unlike other memoirs you’ve read?
  2. Why do you think memoirs have become such a popular genre?
  3. Name the person you connected to most in the book and describe the reasons why.
  4. The author asks “Why do certain events become central memories, part of the core life story we create about ourselves?” (page 24) How would you answer?
  5. Spanish words and phrases are used throughout the book. How does this affect your reading and understanding of the memoir?
  6. How is your family like and unlike the Mora family?
  7. Look through family photographs taken before you were born. Choose one and write a page about it. Would you like to share your piece with your reading group? A family member or friend?
  8. The author refers to her childhood home as the “house of houses.” What does she mean? Would you describe your childhood home as your “house of houses”? If not, what three or four words would you use to capture your feelings?
  9. What humorous scene and sad scene most appealed to you? Why?
  10. The family stories in this memoir are organized through different seasons or rhythms–the rhythms of the garden, the church liturgy, the family. What seasons or rhythms would you use to organize your family’s stories?

October celebrations

October 4: The Feast of St. Francis
Inspired by Saint Francis’s own reverence and love for animals, Pat’s book The Song of Francis and the Animals celebrates the celebrates the tender relationship between the beloved saint and the animals whom he adored.

The Song of St. Francis and the Animals

October 5th: World Teachers’ Day
World Teachers’ Day is a UNESCO initiative, devoted to appreciating, assessing, and improving the educators of the world.

Pat shares some insights for teachers from her book ZING! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators & Students:

Congratulations to the 2016 Mora Award winners!

dia mora parents

Pat’s parents, Estela and Raúl Mora, her sister Cissy and Pat

Sonia M. Sotomayor Early College High School in Pharr, Texas, will receive the 2016 Estela and Raúl Mora Award, an honor given by Pat and her sister in partnership with First Book. This year, the award recognized schools that held literacy activities during the month of April in celebration of Children’s Day, Book Day; also known as El día de los niños, El día de los libros; or Día. The award will provide $1,000 in credits to the First Book Marketplace.

Sonia M. Sotomayor Early College High School, a special purpose program committed to teen mothers’ success, earned this year’s top honor for hosting a full week of family-oriented bilingual and multicultural activities. The week focused on preparing teen mothers for success in motherhood, literacy for children, culturally diverse learning resources, and the role of mothers in children’s early cognitive and literacy development. Activities provided students with research-based methods of introducing their children to reading and each student received a free children’s book.

This year there were two Mora Award honor winners that will receive $500 in credit to the First Book Marketplace. Broward County Public Schools in Hollywood, Fla., and Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) Library and Media Services in Brownsville, Texas were also recognized for innovative Día celebrations, which reached a combined 187 elementary schools and 200 early education providers.

Nearly 75 schools and educational programs submitted entries to this year’s award process. Read First Book’s press release.

Mora Award logo      First Book