Partnership Brings Free Multicultural Children’s Books to Libraries
The Texas Center for the Book will once again support Texas libraries celebrating Lone Star Día this April in partnership with First Book. The Lone Star Día Grant Program is designed to support libraries and literacy nonprofits serving children in need.
“Lone Star Día is our Texas celebration of El día de los niños, El día de los libros, a national initiative founded in 1996 by author and literacy advocate Pat Mora to encourage a love of books and reading among children of all cultures,” said Mark Smith, Director and Librarian at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. “Lone Star Día can be a great way to encourage and reinforce the power of reading among all people in our communities.”
Grants of $200 will be awarded, allowing libraries to purchase multicultural titles to augment Lone Star Día programs. Librarians will be able to use the funds towards books they select from the First Book Marketplace, which offers a wide array of diverse titles for children. Libraries not eligible for first book will qualify for a limited number of $100 Amazon gift cards to support their libraries diverse title selection.
This year is the 24th annual celebration of Children’s Day, Book Day (Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros). The Texas Center for the Book participates in the event through the state’s Lone Star Día programming, which encourages statewide participation. Nationally, libraries, schools, churches and other allied organizations are encouraged to discover “bookjoy” year-round. Most events occur around the official national celebration on April 30.
Pat Mora, a native Texan, founded Children’s Day, Book Day in 1996 to link all children to books, languages, and cultures, and to make reading an integral part of children’s lives. Mora chose the Mexican observance of Día de los Niños (Children’s Day), April 30, since promoting literacy went hand-in-hand with supporting the well-being of children.
A national registry listing events is available at dia.ala.org, which covers events such story times, family celebrations and cultural meals. The site includes a Free Program Downloads section to access booklists, event posters and sample activities available to all libraries, schools and participating organizations. The website aims to provide easy-to-use materials to make events manageable. Users are encouraged to register their event to the National Día Program Registry to attract more participants.
Information about Lone Star Día Grants and other available grants is available at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/lonestardia.
The Texas Center for the Book is one of 50 state centers affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and is under the direction of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Funding is made possible by the Edouard Foundation and the Friends of Libraries and Archives of Texas.
First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books, learning materials and other literacy essentials to children in need. Since its founding in 1992, First Book has distributed more than 170 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information they need to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit www.tsl.texas.gov.
Coordinator, Texas Center for the Book