Next month we will learn the 2012 winner(s) of the Estela and Raúl Mora Award. They’ll join the list of 17 other impressive, exemplary programs since 2000. My personal theme for Día in the coming academic year is Developing Día. Zen Buddhists refer to Beginner’s Mind, the concept of trying to embark on a project with a fresh and curious mind. To all of you newbies or experienced Día planners: how can we work individually and collectively to deepen Día’s work between September and April 30th? Are we being as inclusive as we could be in building year-long partnerships with parents, schools, colleges, media, organizations, etc.? If we repeat our planning in a rote fashion, and limit that to an annual celebration, won’t we lose our initial excitement about Día’s potential? If we believe in Día’s importance as a daily commitment, día por día, day by day, how do we embrace and share progressive change?
April is the month of culminating Día book fiestas that celebrate family literacy and a year of linking all children to books, languages and cultures, but Día is not a one-day event.
An example of expanding Día comes from my friend Meryle Leonard at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Meryle and her team coined the idea of DÍA as Diversity in Action and now her collagues have instituted a Latino Task Force to increase services to the Latino families in their community. Yea to my NC friends! I’d appreciate receiving other examples of expanding Día locally or state-wide.