ALSC receives $100,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support multicultural literacy campaign

Contact: Linda Mays


Program Officer, ALSC


312-280-1398


lmays@ala.org
For Immediate Release


October 31, 2006

ALSC receives $100,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation


to support multicultural literacy campaign


(CHICAGO) The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, has received an unprecedented fourth grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for $100,000 to support its national awareness efforts and community participation in El día de los niños/El día de los libros (children’s day / book day). The grant is the largest ever received from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and will assist with ALSC ‘s work with libraries and support efforts to reach literacy-based organizations outside the library community.

Celebrated every April 30th, El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día) spreads "bookjoy" by linking children from all languages and cultures with books, and brings hundreds of communities from across the country together to celebrate multiculturalism. Día honors children, their languages and culture, encourages reading and literacy, and promotes library collections and programs that reflect the country’s diverse communities.

"ALSC would like to thank the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for supporting our efforts to promote Día to the masses," said ALSC President Kathleen T. Horning. "As our country is becoming more diverse, there is no better time to celebrate and promote the free multicultural resources libraries have to offer. We want to encourage every child and their parents to turn to their local library as a resource to learn about the world."

Librarians can host Día events of their own by taking advantage of program resources available through the Día Web site at www.ala.org/dia. Resources include bilingual booklists, free downloadable flyers and bookmarks, program ideas and much more. Additional Día resources also can be found on the Texas Library Association’s Web site at www.texasdia.org.

El día de los niños/El día de los libros is an enhancement of Children’s Day, which began in 1925 as a result of the first "World Conference for the Well Being of Children" in Geneva, Switzerland. Children’s Day was designated as a day to bring attention to the importance and well being of children. It was then designated by the United Nations for November 20, by UNICEF for April 23 and by Mexico for April 30 (Día del Niño). In 1996, Pat Mora, nationally acclaimed author of books for children and adults, proposed linking the celebration of childhood and children with literacy.

REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, is a Founding Partner of El día de los niños/El día de los libros. REFORMA’s members have promoted Día in their communities for the past decade. As an affiliate of the ALA, REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials. The organization works to recruit bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff, and the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 "to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations." Its programming activities center around the common vision of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self, family, community, and societal well-being; and has the capacity to be productive, and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions, and healthy communities.

ALSC, found in 1941, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of service to children in all types of libraries. ALSC sets the agenda for the future of children’s library service and acts as a children’s advocate, urging policy makers to support library service for children.