April 24, 2012

Día Reflections

Last year, to celebrate Día's 15th Anniversary, my web team and I created a down-loadable booklet, Pat Mora's Idea Booklet for a Día Year DÍA as in Delight in celebrating children, Imagine your community strengthened by reading families, Affirm the importance of daily sharing bookjoy. We hope you have found the booklet a useful tool with your planning committee. We hope to continue adding to these ideas and welcome your suggestions.

I also wrote 30 Reflections since I believe that to be our most effective in our advocacy work, we need to regularly move between reflection and action, reflection and action, so that we invest our energy in our highest priorities and thus act wisely. Last year, I began the reflections by saying that "day by day, día por día, I invite each of us to read the reflection and then to ponder: how am I doing this in my own life?" I hope you find these thoughts helpful.

 Through Día, share bookjoy!

Let’s see ourselves as part of the National Día Community connected by our commitment to the potential of each child and to the pleasure and power of literacy.

Let’s create regular time to reflect on the importance, challenges and opportunities of Día’s goals.

Let’s remind one another often that Día is a daily commitment and not only an annual celebration.

Let’s creatively make Día fun for ourselves and others.

Let’s champion children and literacy in our daily lives and creatively and concretely introduce Día to potential partners.

Let’s learn what other Día advocates have shared and discovered.

Let’s affirm home languages and diverse cultures.

Let’s learn together to be more compelling in articulating the importance and relevance of our goals to our various communities.

Let’s explore new ways to share what we’ve learned or are trying to implement.

Let’s reach out to new partners including elected officials, school administrators and faculty preparing future librarians and teachers.

Let’s attend and support an annual Día celebration and experience the joy of honoring children and of linking children and families to books.

Let’s question our assumptions about how to reach our goals and who our appropriate partners can be.

Let’s thank and celebrate our partners again and again.

Let’s create Día planning communities locally and nationally that reflect the diversity we espouse, and let’s invite social service agencies, the media, the young and seniors to enrich our work.

Let’s remember that effective advocates need to endure the challenges of learning new skills; in Día’s case: partnership building, fund raising, marketing, publicity, public speaking, social networking, true collaboration.

Let’s assist school and public libraries to diversify their collections to reflect our national diversity and global connections.

Let’s design Día programs and celebrations that—though they may include food, music, dancing and prizes—create positive and memorable literacy experiences for attendees.

Let’s encourage and assist all families to build home libraries, to celebrate Día annually at home, and to take pride in being reading families.

Let’s involve children as presenters in our various literacy events and at Día book fiestas and celebrate our children’s talents.

Let’s commit to developing programs that assist parents of our diverse families to become effective literacy mentors, our partners.

Let’s propose innovative solutions to predictable resistance to change and increase Día’s growth and impact.

Let’s praise leaders who become Día champions because they are committed to assisting all children to become learners.

Let’s remember that though change is slow, people and institutions can change; our challenge is to be persistent, effective advocates.

Let’s connect in committed circles that form the powerful community-based National Día Community in our city, state, region and country.

Let’s see ourselves as central rather than peripheral, as a force for positive change that welcomes ideas for expanding and deepening Día’s work.

Let’s collaborate: honor the perspectives we each bring, listen with open hearts and minds, respect our varying styles and unite for the well-being and future of our children, our nation’s future.

Let’s gather together when possible to re-excite one another about Día’s potential to enrich lives and strengthen families and communities.

Let’s rejoice that Día, this family literacy initiative that works to honor children and to connect them to books, languages and cultures, has grown for 15 years and continues to grow and flourish.

Let’s boldly plan together for Día’s 20th Anniversary expanding Día’s impact and thus uniting our too-often divided country, uniting for the well-being of all our children.

Let’s unite our energies, knowledge, and diverse skills, unleashing our creativity, adding our individual zing to sharing bookjoy and creating a nation of readers.

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