Celebrating Día Day 2020!
El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), commonly known as Día, is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. It is a daily commitment to connecting children and their families to diverse books, languages, and cultures. The celebration is intended to be year-round, culminating on April 30th.
The goals of Día programming are to:
Celebrate children and connect them to the world of learning through books, stories, and libraries.
Nurture cognitive and literacy development in ways that honor and embrace a child’s home language and culture.
Introduce families to community resources that provide opportunities for learning through multiple literacies.
Recognize and respect culture, heritage and language as powerful tools for strengthening families and communities.
The History of Día
In 1996 author and poet Pat Mora learned about Día Day while she was in Mexico. She realized the United States didn't have anything like this, and so she proposed linking Children's Day, the celebration of childhood and children, with literacy and bilingualism, and created a new holiday: El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day).
The Texas State Library, under the direction of Jeanette Larson, produced a planning booklet to help librarians develop local programs to celebrate El día de los niños/El día de los libros.
A grant was awarded from the Kellogg Foundation to allow the National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE) to develop a plan for a national campaign to disseminate information on El día de los niños/El día de los libros.
Schools and libraries across the country were hosting their own celebrations and creating a diverse love of reading for children from all backgrounds.
El día de los niños/El día de los libros had become a tradition in many schools and libraries and found its permanent home with the Association for Library Service to Children.
Día in the United States
Día is celebrated by librarians, children, and parents all over the country. Book clubs, bilingual story times, guest appearances by children’s authors, crafts, music, and even more events are held every year. Libraries can register their Día Programs in the national registry, where communities can find all types and sizes of Día programs held throughout the country.
Unfortunately, safety precautions for COVID-19 have required most libraries in the U.S. to be closed at this time. Even if Día Day events in your area are postponed or canceled, it is still important for kids to explore language and culture through literature. Here are some ways you and your family can celebrate Día de los niños/Día de los libros at home:
Have story hour at home: set aside time to read a bilingual book with your child; story time, bed time, lunch time—any time will do!
Get creative: check out some of the crafts and activities available in the Día Day Program Model or research others of your own.
Join the club: the Día Family Book Club, that is! Complete with free online lesson plans.
Explore: look for further activities and booklists through the Día resource list.
Science Naturally: Helping You Celebrate Día Day at Home
We are excited to offer a special buy-one-get-one-free coupon code in celebration of Día Day! For a limited time (offer good through 5/10/20) buy one Spanish-only or Spanish bilingual book from our website and get one FREE! Simply enter the code DIABOGO at checkout.
We offer a wide selection of Spanish and bilingual books to choose from, including our popular book Si mi mamá fuera un ornitorrinco: Los bebés mamíferos y sus madres, and even book sets like the Bilingual Science and Math Book Set / Conjunto de libros bilingües. We even have a new stroller-bag edition of our award-winning book, Cuddled and Carried / Consentido y cargado.
What are some of the fun ways you like to introduce your children to diverse cultures? Let us know in the comments!