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Día de los Niños is the celebration of children, families, and books. It is held on 30 April each year and stresses the importance of reading for children of all cultures and languages. Schools, libraries, and bookstores have embraced this Latino celebration in order to expose children to a variety of cultures and books. The celebration has its roots in a 1925 event called Children's Day, which was designed to bring the public's attention to the well-being of children. In 1996, children's book author Pat Mora suggested that the celebration of children be combined with the celebration of children's literature.
People celebrate Día de los Niños in many ways. The celebration can be a simple matter of a teacher sharing literacy and cultural activities with her classroom. On the other hand, the celebration can be a city-wide event where children are treated to special programs, parades, and free book distributions.
Children's librarians can plan several activities to celebrate the day. A librarian can schedule a storyteller to tell stories to kids who come to the library on this special day or even invite a local children's author to read from his or her latest book. Libraries can also host bookmaking events where kids can create their own blank books by using a variety of colored paper and craft items. She can also have a library program where children are greeted by costumed storybook characters.
School teachers plan similar activities that a librarian devises by hosting storytellers or inviting children's book authors to the school. She can also seek donations from local bookstores to provide students with one free book during the celebration of Día de los Niños. Many children do not have access to books in the home, so providing students with their own book that can be kept forever is a wonderful way to encourage children's love of literature.
Schools can host a Family Literacy Night to celebrate Día de los Niños by planning special guest readers, literacy activities, prizes, and refreshments for parents and students. Literacy activities can include arts and crafts relating to books. Some crafts may involve creating homemade books or bookmarks. Schools can give away bookstore gift cards donated by the PTA or local bookstores.
Parents who wish to celebrate Día de los Niños with their children can spend time reading with their children, helping their children write a story, or visiting the local library with the family. Others may wish to donate children's books to a library, school, or local children's hospital. Whatever they decide to do, parents can be assured that children will develop a love of reading if they show kids that reading is a worthwhile activity.
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