When we first started celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros, Children’s Day/Book Day in 1996, we focused on April 30th, El Día del niño in Mexico, the observance that inspired me to promote celebrating children and linking that celebration to literacy. REFORMA (National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking) was my first organizational partner in this work. Thanks to support from my friend Dr. Dan Moore who was then at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, ALSC (Association of Library Service to Children) offered to become Día’s home in 2004. (See Día Visual History.)
April, a month with many literary and literacy celebrations, now includes many Día celebrations throughout the month. I love the fact that Día is a community-based family literacy initiative and that schools and libraries select the specific date to have their book fiesta.
Soon we’ll begin thinking and planning for Día’s 17th anniversary in April 2013. Today, we celebrate a month of honoring children and exciting them about books, languages and cultures. Thanks to each of you who was part of a Día celebration this month, to USBBY (United States Board on Books for Young People) that has steadily supported Día, and to Albert Whitman & Co., Myrick Marketing & Media, and Tricycle Press. I had a wonderful time at Discovery Green in Houston last weekend, and on April 30th, I’ll be at Burnet and Kohlberg Elementary Schools in my home city of El Paso, Texas.
Special thanks to my web team Laurina Cashin & Bobbie Combs, to the new Día Author and Illustrator Ambassadors , REFORMA, ALSC and to the following partners listed on the ALSC Dia site: Arte Público, Charlesbridge Publishing, Cinco Punto Press, HarperCollins, Lee & Low Books, Lorito Books, Peachtree Publishers, Random House, NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English,) W.K. Kellogg Foundation.