Día is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children, from all backgrounds, and creatively links them to bookjoy – the gift of reading. This year-round fiesta culminates with Children’s Day, Book Day/El día de los niños, El día de los libros celebrations in April.
Can’t wait to start planning? Here are great ways to get started:
- Check out the Celebrate Día category on the First Book Marketplace to find excellent books perfect for fostering bookjoy with kids of all ages and backgrounds.
- Click here for a FREE downloadable Children’s Day, Book Day planning booklet, with great tips on partners, fundraising and suggested activities for a successful celebration.
- Invite your community to spread bookjoy by adopting your Día celebration! Set up your fundraiser now to get books for your celebration and to send home with kids.
- Don’t forget to add your celebration to the National Día Program Registry!
The Mora Award was established by author and poet Pat Mora and her siblings in honor of their parents, and recognizes outstanding schools/programs that celebrate Children’s Day, Book Day (Día) as a way of connecting all children to bookjoy and promoting literacy all year round. The winning program receives a $1,000 credit for brand new books from the First Book Marketplace, and two honor award recipients will each receive a $500 credit. Read about the 2018 winner, Johnson City Library in Johnson City, Texas.
Estela and Raúl Mora Award Honorees 2019
Organization: Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama
Location: Mobile, AL
The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama hosted the only children’s book festival in the state of Alabama and the Gulf Coast. The Gulf Coast Children’s Book Festival was created to help ignite a greater love of reading in the children of our area. Even though a large storm hit our area that day, we had over 3,000 children, teachers and parents attend.
We provided a variety of activities for our children to immerse themselves in surrounding books. We had seven storyteller stages, two illustrator workshop areas, a hands-on STEM games area and a bookstore. Local high school students circulated in costumes and interacted with the children dressed as an assortment of book characters. Alabama Public Television (PBS) hosted a children’s hands-on area with tablets and illustration opportunities. Eighteen children’s authors attended and did book signings with the children and participated on our storyteller stages. We had over forty different exhibitors from educational organizations.
Our first goal was to put books into each child’s hand. We were able to give each child at least two books. We were able to obtain over 200 signed copies of books from nationally known children’s authors. We also gave those away to the children. We gave away almost 7,000 books on the day of the festival! We wanted to expose the children to different types of children’s literature, including science fiction, teen authors and a comic book exhibitor. The illustrator workshops enabled them to experience the process of creating book characters.
Children’s Day/Book Day Partners:
We enjoyed tremendous community support for our Gulf Coast Children’s Book Festival. The following organizations sponsored, supported and participated in our festival:
Springhill Medical Center, WKRG TV5, The Grounds (fairgrounds), Greene & Phillips Injury Lawyers, Circle T Designs and Competitive Ink. Also, all the exhibitors such as The Exploreum, Mobile Public Library, Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Estuarium, Mobile Symphony, Mobile Fire Department, Mobile Police Department, Alabama Forestry Commission, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Environmental Center, the Mobile Arts Council have committed to next year’s festival.
How do they share bookjoy in their program year-round?
We conduct Free Book Fridays in our clubs on a regular basis to build up our children’s home libraries. We also have monthly Book Clubs to improve the level of casual reading and increase the love of reading. We have created a Blue Roof Library Trail that consists of community libraries (little libraries) in areas that increase the availability of books to children in neighborhoods. We also conduct “Read Across America” Days each year in conjunction with the national recognition day.
Honor Awardee #1
Organization: Andress High School Library
Location: El Paso, TX
This year, we celebrated our 3rd annual Día de los niños/ Día de los libros. Our theme was ‘Reading is Magical!’ We had over 700 attendees, and gave away over 850 free, brand new books. Students, their families, and our entire feeder pattern were invited. Our local public library had their bookmobile at our campus. We had paper circuits, origami, rock painting, a bookmark station, plus tons of other free arts and crafts! We had a jumping balloon in order to draw the younger children in our community. We also gave away free hot dogs. Despite our limited funding, we made sure families had a free, safe, and fun time together. We partnered with the El Paso Public Library, Barnes & Noble, the Army, the National Guard, the Marines, United Way, and the Sherriff’s department.
Our goal is to promote literacy. Because our population is grades 9 through 12, it is much more difficult to draw in students to read. They have plenty of work, and plenty of other extracurricular activities to choose from. We felt that inviting their families, offering many family-friendly activities, and making everything free of charge, we would be able to capture the attention of our population, and as such, invoke an interest, and hopefully, a love for reading. I do feel our goals were met. Two days ago, a ‘non-reader,’ came in asking if we had more of the ‘Teardrop’ series. She picked it up at our Día celebration, finished it, and was excited to learn there was more to the characters she fell in love with.
Honor Awardee #2
Organization: Anaheim Central Library Children’s Room
Location: Anaheim, CA
The children’s staff chose a theme for this year’s Día de los niños/ Día de los libros celebration and it was “Be a Superhero and READ! / ¡Se Superheroe y LEE!” About 250 kids and parents joined us on Monday, April 29th, some dressed in superhero costumes for our Super Balloon Storyteller. This performer was chosen because although the presentation was not bilingual, her balloon tricks, dancing, slap stick, and magic could be understood no matter what language you spoke. The goal for our event is to make kids understand that reading books will make your brain grow just like a superhero! There’s nothing you can’t do if you can READ!! Our goals were met when we saw the great turnout for the event, as well as the happiness children left with as they chose their free books and went home to read! Please check out our promotional video that was shared with the Anaheim Elementary School District and shown at their 24 school sites for their 30,000 students: https://youtu.be/enOVWRSqWkM