Lone Star "Dia" week is just around the corner! "Dia" week sprang from a celebration called "El Dia de los Ninos" (Day of the Child) which originated in Mexico in 1925. The idea was enhanced in 1996 by famed educator Pat Mora with the addition of a literacy element and spread to the United States as "El Dia de los Ninos, El Dia de los Libros" (Children's Day / Book Day). The celebration has grown into a national, multilingual, multicultural initiative honoring and celebrating all children, and promoting literacy.
The Mockingbird Branch Library will be joining in the celebration with several programs. On Saturday, April 23 at 2:30PM you can enjoy a free family movie about a couple of kids who have to save their secret agent parents by becoming spies. For the younger set, Toddler Time at 10:45AM on Tuesday, April 26 and Super Storytime on Thursday, April 28 at 10:45AM will both feature Spanish inspired stories, songs, and activities.
"Dia" honors all cultures and promotes understanding through reading. It also introduces families to community resources they may have been unaware of. As our world grows smaller and more people travel and immigrate all over the globe, it has become clear that children who are exposed to different cultures and languages are better equipped to become global citizens. There are over 6,800 languages spoken in the world. Only 5% of the world speaks English. Studies show that a bilingual brain is more efficient, flexible, and can focus on important things while ignoring distractions. A person is much more capable of learning languages at a young age and the library has material that you can use to develop that skill.
If you are interested in exploring Spanish with your child, the Mockingbird Branch has a nice selection of juvenile Spanish bilingual books. Studies have shown the many benefits of reading aloud to children. In addition to promoting bonding, it has been shown to reduce anxiety and build coping skills. Reading aloud also helps kids form a positive association with books and can instill a lifelong curiosity for learning.
You might also want to take a look at the wonderful electronic resource available on our website called TumbleBooks. It has animated, picture books you can read aloud to your child or have the program read to them. The titles are available in both Spanishg and French. Both options would be a fun way to celebrate "Dia" in your home.
Studies have shown that learning to read at an early age, can greatly improve the outcome and overall quality of a child's entire life, their physical and mental health, as well as their socioeconomic well-being. We hope you will drop by the Mockingbird Branch in April to help us celebrate "Dia," and we will be happy to recommend age appropriate material. After the celebration is over, we hope you continue to read to your children to your children and show them the possibilities in their futures.
Article Contributed by Debra Arnold-Higgins, Library Assistant at the Mockingbird Branch Library