“I want to connect all children with bookjoy, the pleasure of reading.” ~ Pat Mora
El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), developed under the leadership of author Pat Mora, is an April event that focuses on 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. Día is celebrated on April 30th and this year is the 20th anniversary!
Pat Mora coined the term “bookjoy” to refer to the love of reading, as described in this Council Chronicle article. On her site, Mora provides suggestions for growing a nation of readers and creating bookjoy. Here’s a sampling of those ideas, complemented by resources from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org:
- Familiarize children with books. In this video, you will see excerpts of an adult demonstrating the Before, During, and After strategy with a young reader. The child in this video is already familiar with the book, but watch for the signs of interest and engagement, even on a repeat reading.
- Enjoy daily conversations to build vocabulary. One way to help early readers begin to make sense of what they’re reading is to help them build their vocabulary. In this Tip, learn how to ask questions and have conversations with a child to integrate new words into his/her vocabulary.
- Visit the library and bookstores. Tune into the ReadWriteThink.org podcast “Latino Literature for Teens” for text recommendations that celebrate the Latino cultural experience in literature.
- Develop the habit of daily book time. “Drop Everything and Read!” This independent reading program helps students build a lifelong reading habit.
- Encourage older children to read to younger ones. “Using Paired Reading to Increase Fluency and Peer Cooperation” is a research-based strategy that can be used with any book or text in a variety of content areas, and can be implemented in a variety of ways.
- Celebrate Kids and Books Day!