Pat's Día Celebration Ideas
Día, a family literacy initiative, began in 1996. It's a daily commitment to linking all children with books and culminates in annual, national literacy celebrations on April 30th. At homes, schools, libraries, museums, churches, parks, and bookstores, etc., communities celebrate children, books, home languages and cultures.
Although food, music, crafts, making book marks, and playing games (book walks instead of cake walks, book bingo or book lotería) are often part of these book fiestas, nurturing literacy is the heart of the celebration. Include book displays, storytellers, author readings, puppet shows, celebrity readers, children as authors, read-a-thons and book give-aways or raffles. Always share brief comments about bookjoy and about the importance of daily family reading time, of building a home library and of visiting and participating in school and public libraries. Involve parents on your planning team and engage local community organizations and businesses in supporting your literacy efforts. Libraries, expand your collections to reflect our plurality and remember to use Día as your kick-off for Summer Reading.
Other Día Ideas:
- Plan a book parade.
- Organize a book-pajama party at a school, book store, library or public housing project.
- Plan a giant families-and-books picnic.
- Plant poems written by children and families and or fly poetry kites.
- Link your Día celebration to other celebrations such as Earth Day, Arbor Day, Mother's Day, National Poetry Month, etc.
- Create a library-school collaborative to plan a joint book festival or reading carnival. Include after-school programs in your planning.
- Partner with universities, middle or high schools to present or collaborate on stories, plays, poetry jams and poem-paloozas.
- At middle schools, celebrate El día de los jovenes, El día de los libros/Young People's Day,Book Day, and have students plan and perform stories and original work at their own school or at an elementary school or library.
- Plan a book signing of books written by children or families.
- Adopt a creative book raffle idea. Partner with a bookseller who agrees to provide a book spending spree at her/his store. Families qualify for the raffle by reading books together. Schools that promote your goals can compete for their own spree based on your guidelines. In Oregon, a book seller donates a $1,000 spree for the winning family and another $1,000 to a school. That's commitment!
- Get excited about starting picture book clubs in English, other languages, or starting bilingual or multilingual family book clubs. They can be occasions to enjoy all kinds of picture books together with parents and care-givers and can provide opportunities for middle or high schoolers, and college students to read with families. In addition to sharing stories, the clubs create an opportunity to model literacy skills, teach support strategies, and to promote oral story telling, family reading time, library visits, and home libraries. Members of the clubs could then be leaders in planning your annual April Día celebration.
- Books + PJs = Bookjoy, right? An easy way to promote the daily habit of family reading is to encourage a concrete cue: getting ready for bed = time to read before going to sleep. Start this campaign at your home, school or library.