Congratulations to the 2016 Mora Award winners!

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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

Texas Institute of Letters Lifetime Achievement Award

TIL Award WinnerAuthor Pat Mora has been named the winner of the Texas Institute of Letters’ prestigious Lon Tinkle Award for Lifetime Achievement. This is the highest honor given by the TIL which was established in 1936 to recognize distinctive literary achievement. The award will be presented to Mora at the TIL’s annual banquet, set for April 8, 2017 in El Paso.

“Pat Mora is one of the most beloved and acclaimed writers from Texas,” TIL President Steve Davis said. “It was a joyful occasion when the TIL council voted unanimously to honor Pat with this award.”

First Book Celebrates Welcoming Week

Hooray for First Book, celebrating Welcoming Week September 16-25! Welcoming Week is an annual celebration designed to raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone–including new Americans! They’ve chosen some books to help you cultivate a welcoming community within your school, classroom or program. Some are stories of students navigating new schools or new cultures. Others are books that encourage empathy by helping kids better understand their similarities and differences.
Welcoming Week logo

September 16: Constitution Day and Citizenship Day

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recognizes September 16 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, encouraging Americans to reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and what it means to be a U.S. citizen. On their website, they provide resources to help people prepare for the naturalization process and free online tools and materials for educators.

"Libby and her Great Aunt Lobo are learning the Pledge of Allegiance at the same time–but for different reasons…Sprinkled with Spanish words, this gentle book explores what it means to be an American from the perspective of both a child and new citizen."—School Library Journal

September 11: Do something grand for Grandparents Day

Grandparents, today is a perfect day to share your wisdom, perspective and stories with your families!

In Pat’s colorful bilingual picture book The Bakery Lady/La señora de la panadería, Mónica yearns to be a baker like her grandparents. Readers will enjoy visiting the wonderfully sweet bakery world of la panadería.

Illustration by Pablo Torrecilla from The Bakery Lady.

Illustration by Pablo Torrecilla from The Bakery Lady.

The love between a boy and his grandfather is at the center of Pablo’s Tree, an adoption story in which Pablo’s grandfather celebrates his birthday in a special way every year.

Illustration by Cecily Lang from Pablo's Tree

Illustration by Cecily Lang from Pablo’s Tree

Celebrate the day AND Día’s 20th anniversary year with these videos featuring grandparents and grandchildren in Santa Clara Pueblo, NM. The videos were created by Día Dynamos Christine Vasquez, a retired librarian and Thom Eberhardt, a retired filmmaker and screenwriter.