The Estela and Raúl Mora Award

The Estela and Raúl Mora AwardMora Award logo

Who were Estela and Raúl Mora?
Raúl (Roy) Mora came to El Paso, Texas from Chihuahua as a young boy at the time of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Estela (Stella) was born in El Paso as were her four children. Bilingual, loving parents, Estela and Raúl took great pride in their children's successes. Raúl, a hard-working father with a great sense of humor, established and owned the United Optical Company. Stella, a homemaker who loved learning and books, helped with her husband's business, was active in her children's school (President of the PTA), and later worked part-time teaching and translating Spanish. Articulate in both languages, she was Pat’s first speech coach and editor.

dia mora parents

Pat’s parents, her sister Cissy and Pat

What is the Estela and Raúl Mora Award?
In 1996, Pat founded "Día," Children's Day/Book Day, El día de los niños, El día de los libros, a family literacy initiative that advocates daily linking all children with books through creative literacy. REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking, became her first organizational partner. In 2000, Pat and REFORMA established the Estela and Raúl Mora Award to honor Pat’s parents and to motivate libraries to celebrate "Día," Children's Day/Book Day, El día de los niños, El día de los libros, on or near April 30th. Hundreds of annual culminating celebrations of "bookjoy" are held in libraries, schools, educational institutions, youth-serving organizations and homes across the country in April.

REFORMA members have served as judges (committee chairs and as members) for fifteen years, determining the annual exemplary winner, and when possible, Honor Awards winners. The annual Award has consisted of a plaque and a check for $1,000. In 2000, the Austin Public Library received the first annual Mora Award. Subsequent recipients are listed below.

It has been a privilege to read the applications through the years. We salute the commitment of so many committed to children and literacy. Pat and her family are deeply grateful to the hard-working REFORMA Presidents, and the committee chairs and members. The 2014 award was the 20th Estela and Raúl Mora Award.

Why have REFORMA and Pat worked together to emphasize celebrating children and linking them to books, languages and cultures? Pat and REFORMA value children and know that books offer children pleasure and power. Reading families are essential in a democracy.

2014 Estela and Raúl Mora Award Winners

2014 Mora Award Winner:
Sioux Center Public Library
Sioux Center, IA
Visit website
Press release: English   Spanish
Read Pat's interview with the winner on her blog

2014 Honor Winners
Brownsville Independent School District, TX
Farmington Public Library, NM
Puyallup Public Library, WA

Past Estela and Raúl Mora Award Winners

2013 Award:
Arizona State University
English Education Department
Tempe, AZ
Tracey Flores, email, 602-628-5097
Press release: English   Spanish
Visit website
Read Pat's interview with the winner on her blog

2013 Honor Winners
Joliet Public Library, IL
Salt Lake County Library Services, UT
Waukegan Public Library, IL

2012 Award:
Lynden Public Library
Whatcom County Library System
Lynden, WA
Tina Bixby, email, 360-354-4802
Press release: English  Spanish
Visit website
Read Pat's interview with the winner on her blog

2012 Honor Winners
DC Public Library/Mount Pleasant, DC
King County Library, WA
Sacramento Public Library, CA

2011 Award:
The Santa Ana Public Library
Santa Ana, CA
Silvia Cisneros, email, 714-647-5244
Press release: English  Spanish
Visit website

Springfield Public Library
Springfield, OR
Emily Ziglinski, email, 541-726-3766
Press release: English  Spanish
Visit website

2010 Award:
The Arthur F. Turner Community Library
of Yolo County
West Sacramento, CA
Patty Wong, email, 530-757-5597
Press release: English
Visit website

Pima County Public Library
Tucson, AZ
April Gering, email, 520-594-5211
Press release: English
Visit website

Santa Barbara Public Library System
Santa Barbara, CA
Jayne Lee, email, 805 564-5646
Press release: English

2009 Award:
San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco, CACA
Christy Estrovitz, email, 415-557-4218
Press release: English
Visit website

Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library
Topeka, KS
Lisa Brien, email, 785-580-4400
Press release: English
Visit website

2008 Award:
Riverside County Library System
Riverside, CA
Maggie Gutierrez, email, 951-369-3003
Visit website

The Public Library of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County
Charlote, NC
Meryle A. Leonard, email, 704-416-0558
Press release: English
Visit website
Read an interview with the 2008 winners

2007 Award:
Broward County Library
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Aneatra King, email, 954-357-7470
Press release: English

2006 Award:
Kenton County Public Library
Erlanger, KY
Lise Tewes, email, 859-962-4000
Press release: English  Spanish

2005 Award:
REFORMA de Utah (chapter inactive)
Día celebrations are held throughout Utah

2004 Award:
Providence Public Library Providence, RI
Carolina Briones, cbriones@provcomlib.org, 401-274-4145 x1705

2003 Award:
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library
Corvallis, OR
Ruth Rose Hennessey, email, 541-766-6489
Read more about the 2003 winner

2002 Award:
Multnomah County Library
Portland, OR
Ana Schmitt, email, 503-988-4332

2001 Award:
El Paso Public Library
El Paso, TX
Martha A. Toscano, email, 915-543-5480
Visit Facebook page

2000 Award:
Austin Public Library
Austin, TX
Paola Ferate-Soto, email, (512) 974-7518
Visit website