El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), commonly known as Día, is a celebration every day of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The ALSC shares some ideas for ideas for celebrating the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Here they are, paired with resources from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org.
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.
- This article presents the concept of heritage literacy, a decision-making process by which people adopt, adapt, or alienate themselves from tools and literacies passed on between generations of people.
- “Exploring Heritage: Finding Windows into Our Lives” details how eighth-grade students create memoirs after investigating family members’ stories, values, and culture.
For additional ideas for celebrating El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day, visit Pat Mora’s website, the American Library Association website, or the ReadWriteThink.org calendar entry.
“I want to connect all children with bookjoy, the pleasure of reading.” ~ Pat Mora
El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), developed under the leadership of author Pat Mora, is an April event that focuses on the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. It is a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages, and cultures. Día is celebrated on April 30th and this year is the 20th anniversary!
Pat Mora coined the term “bookjoy” to refer to the love of reading, as described in this Council Chronicle article. On her site, Mora provides suggestions for growing a nation of readers and creating bookjoy. Here’s a sampling of those ideas, complemented by resources from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org:
- Familiarize children with books. In this video, you will see excerpts of an adult demonstrating the Before, During, and After strategy with a young reader. The child in this video is already familiar with the book, but watch for the signs of interest and engagement, even on a repeat reading.
- Enjoy daily conversations to build vocabulary. One way to help early readers begin to make sense of what they’re reading is to help them build their vocabulary. In this Tip, learn how to ask questions and have conversations with a child to integrate new words into his/her vocabulary.
- Develop the habit of daily book time. “Drop Everything and Read!” This independent reading program helps students build a lifelong reading habit.
- Celebrate Kids and Books Day!
Día means “day” in Spanish. In 1996, author Pat Mora learned about the Mexican tradition of celebrating April 30th as El día del niño, the day of the child. Pat thought, “We have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Yes! We need kids’ day too, but I want to connect all children with bookjoy, the pleasure of reading.” On April 30, 1997, the first annual Día celebrations were held in cities including Tucson, El Paso, and Austin.
El Día de Los Niños/El Día de Los Libros focuses on providing children with books in many languages and making reading an integral part of their lives. El Día de Los Niños/El Día de Los Libros is supported by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA, an ALA affiliate that provides library and information services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking community, and First Book.
NCTE is honored to be an official supporter of Día. In 2005 NCTE members attending the Annual Business Meeting during the Annual Convention passed the NCTE Resolution on El día de los niños/El día de los libros.
For ideas for celebrating El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day, visit Pat Mora’s website, the American Library Association website, or the ReadWriteThink.org calendar entry.
El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), developed under the leadership of author Pat Mora, is an April event (Celebrated on April 30) that focuses on the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. It is a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages and cultures. Plan your celebration by tapping these ideas and resources suggested in the following articles and lesson plans.
In the Talking Points article, “Connecting Students to Culturally Relevant Texts” Yvonne Freeman and David Freeman argue the importance of providing students with culturally relevant books and discuss their criteria for deciding if a book is culturally relevant to a particular child. The ReadWriteThink.org lesson plan Assessing Cultural Relevance: Exploring Personal Connections to a Text cites this article.
“Collaborative Voices Exploring Culturally and Socially Responsive Literacies” an article in Language Arts shares how preservice teachers were introduced to literacy as social, cultural, and critical practices. The article also raises important debates about what is valued in language arts education.
Being aware of the kinds of multicultural literature used in the ELA classroom, and making sure to include literature attentive to differences within and beyond one’s nation for students to engage is a job for all of us, as explained by the English Journal article “Reading Nation and World: Cultivating Culturally and Critically Reflexive Readers”.
Writing Instruction in the Culturally Relevant Classroom offers specific ideas for how to teach writing well and in a culturally relevant way. Drawing on research-based understandings from NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing, the authors demonstrate how these principles support an approach to writing instruction that can help all students succeed. Listen to the authors discuss how culturally relevant pedagogy is important for all students, across all content areas, as they share the work of four classroom teachers.
Respecting learners – and educators – as individuals with culturally defined identities is just one of eight core principles outlined in The Conference on English Education Position “Supporting Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners in English Education”.
Tune into the ReadWriteThink.org podcast “Latino Literature for Teens” for text recommendations and visit ReadWriteThink.org to learn more about El día de los niños/El día de los libros.