Día celebrated in nation’s Capitol

Contact: Linda Mays
Progam Officer, ALSC
(312) 280-1398
lmays@ala.org

 

NEWS
For Immediate Release
May 12, 2008

 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and  Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) and Congressmen Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas) and  Mike Honda (D-Calif.) were joined by local children on April 30 to honor El día de los niños/El día de los libros  (Children’s Day/Book Day), also known as Día, an annual celebration of children, families, cultures and reading. Pat Mora, award winning children’s author and founder of Día, joined them for the event in the U.S. Capitol.

The event was one of many that took place across the country to promote bilingual literacy, bridge cultures and highlight the vital role our nation’s libraries play in providing a wide range of opportunities for people with diverse needs and interests. 

Other event participants included Jane B. Marino, president of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and Mario Ascencio, President of REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking.  REFORMA is the Founding Partner of Día.

Opening remarks by the participants were followed by Senator Salazar and Congressman Honda each reading to the children from Centro Nía, Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care and the Oyster Bilingual School.  The children were each provided with two books through the generous donations of the following publishers:  HarperCollins/Rayo;  Lectorum Publications;  Random House;  Pangaea;  Scholastic, Inc.; and Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing. 

"Dia provides children and families with ways to explore new worlds through reading and books,” said Jane B. Marino, ALSC president.  “It was truly inspirational to see the national focus that Dia has achieved through this event.  The two senators and two congressmen were wonderful examples of national leaders who both embrace multiculturalism, reading and education."

“April 30 is a day to celebrate childhood, books and culture,” said REFORMA president Mario Ascencio.  “And there is no better place to do so than in your public and school libraries.  REFORMA is pleased to partner with Día founder, Pat Mora, and ALSC in these activities.”

El día de los niños/El día de los libros is an enhancement of Children’s Day, which began in 1925.  Children’s Day was designated as a day to bring attention to the importance and well-being of children.  In 1996, author Pat Mora proposed linking the celebration of childhood and children with literacy. 

ALSC is the national center for El día de los niños/El día de los libros. ALSC is working with other national organizations, such as REFORMA, to initiate communication and education efforts that promote Día to families across the United States. 

Tips for parents on how to raise avid readers, multicultural booklists and more information on El día de los niños/El día de los libros can be found at www.ala.org/dia .

About the Association for Library Service to Children

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) develops and supports the profession of children's librarianship by enabling and encouraging its practitioners to provide the best library service to our nation's children.  ALSC provides leadership to the profession and public on behalf of high quality library services that support children in becoming lifelong learners. 

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 64,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

About REFORMA

Established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the establishment of a national information and support network among individuals who share our goals; the education of the U.S. Latino population in regards to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resource centers serving the interests of Latinos.