May 6, 2021
Written by Benay Hicks, Book Harvest Communications Manager
& Mercedes Jaramillo-Mccurley, Parent Liaison/Interpreter, Durham Public Schools
Día is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. It is a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages and cultures. The common goals of all Día programming are to:
- Celebrate children and connect them to the world of learning through books, stories and libraries.
- Nurture cognitive and literacy development in ways that honor and embrace a child’s home language and culture.
- Introduce families to community resources that provide opportunities for learning through multiple literacies.
- Recognize and respect culture, heritage and language as powerful tools for strengthening families and communities.
El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) occurs on or around April 30 and is a culmination of the year-round Día programming. The celebration emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
On April 28, the Hispanic Program Coordinator of the Durham County Library hosted Durham’s fifth annual celebration of Día in collaboration with Book Harvest, City of Durham, Cooperative Extension, El Futuro, and the Multilingual Resource Center. The drive-through event took place at El Futuro, and each child received a small gift bag, as well as a grade-level bag of books provided by Book Harvest. Día attendees harvested an impressive 2,640 books! One of the organizers, Mercedes Jaramillo-Mccurley said, “We are greatly appreciative of Book Harvest’s contribution to this fun event celebrating an important tradition that connects Latinx children to their roots. We could not have done it without you!”
Many of those who attended wore costumes and face paint, and even decorated their cars! Parents also received information about programs and resources available to the Latinx community in Durham. It was a true celebration of children and books.