Mattawa Elementary School, in the Wahluke School District in Mattawa, Washington, has received the 2017 Estela and Raúl Mora Award, an honor given by Pat and her sister in partnership with First Book. The award recognizes 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. Mattawa Elementary School will receive a $1,000 credit for brand new books from the First Book Marketplace, as well as a Mora Award plaque to be displayed in their school.
Mattawa’s Día event was open to the whole community and focused on drawing parents to the school library to see the collection of Spanish and bilingual books available to their children. “Circulation for these titles is low–we wanted children and parents to understand the importance of reading books together in both English and their heritage language,” Día; volunteer Tiffany Coulson said.
The after-school event was three hours long and included an authentic taco dinner, an outside bounce house, a soccer obstacle course where kids could earn prizes, dancing, a coloring station, Lotería (a game of chance similar to bingo), carnival games, and a raffle. The school library also held a book giveaway–if a student brought a parent or caregiver to the library and they read a book together, each child in the family could take home a free book! Read more about the event on the First Book blog.
There were also two Mora Award honor winners that will receive $500 in credit to the First Book Marketplace. Safford K-8 School in Tucson, Arizona, and John F. Kennedy Library in Vallejo, California were also recognized for their Día celebrations.
First Book received over 100 applications this year for the Mora Award–the highest number of submissions in the award’s 17-year history!