Día! Diversity in Action

Guest Post by Joanna Ison

With the population of the United States becoming more diverse each year, working to connect children, and their families, to books that celebrate our diverse population and rich cultures has never been more important. The Día celebration (El día de los niños/El día de los libros – Children’s Day/Book Day) works to do just that.

Día is a national initiative that works to nurture cognitive and literacy development in ways that honor and embrace every child’s home language and culture.  Día started as 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.  In 1996, Pat Mora, nationally acclaimed author of books for children and adults, proposed linking the celebration of childhood and children with literacy. 

Since its conception, Día has expanded to be a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages and cultures. Currently Día is celebrated throughout the United States by libraries, schools and community organizations alike and is growing every year. From book clubs, to story times to full multicultural celebrations Día celebrations throughout the country take on all shapes and sizes.

The Día website supported by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the America Library Association (ALA), features a wide variety of free resources to help anyone incorporate Día into their curriculum, programming or family activities.

Want an idea of a multicultural book to read to your 6 year old at bedtime? We’ve got a booklist with over 100 titles for age’s birth to 12! Want to start a Día Family Book Club? We’ve got a toolkit that takes you through the process! Want program suggestions, coloring sheets, worksheets, posters, bookmarks and buttons? Yep, we have those for you too!

Visit the Día website today to learn more, browse through the National Program Registry for events near you and register your own program while you’re at it!

In the spirit of Día, children’s book authors and illustrators whose works celebrate diversity are invited to submit a short video about their work and the importance of recognizing our common plurality in children’s books through the Día Author and Illustrator Video Project. Videos will be featured on the Día website and YouTube channel to be shared with librarians, children and parents.  

An example video featuring Pat Mora, founder of the celebration, is showcased above and can be viewed through the Día website.

For more information on how to submit videos to the Día Author and Illustrator Video Project please visit:  http://dia.ala.org/content/d%C3%ADa-author-and-illustrator-video-project.

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