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David Lopez
REFORMA Public Relations pr@reforma.org
www.reforma.org

Sioux Center Public Library Wins 2014 Mora Award

Santa Ana, California October 2014 – REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, is pleased to announce during National Hispanic Heritage Month that Sioux Center Public Library (Sioux Center, Iowa) has been selected to be the recipient of the 2014 Estela and Raúl Mora Award for the most exemplary culminating celebration of El día de los niños, El día de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day.

The Estela and Raúl Mora Award was established by author and poet Pat Mora and her siblings in honor of their parents and to promote El día de los niños, El día de los libros/ Children’s Day, Book Day, also known as Día. Culminating celebrations of this year-long initiative that links all children to books, languages, and cultures are traditionally held on or near April 30. The Mora award is presented annually, in partnership with REFORMA. The Sioux Center Public Library will receive $1,000 and a plaque commemorating their efforts.

The Sioux Center Public Library greeted children and their families with a traditional game of Loteria where children worked together in mixed-culture groups. Demonstrating the joy of reading in any language, families enjoyed both in English and in Spanish a reading of Wild About Books! = ¡Que locura por la lectura!. To continue the celebration before moving forward with fun-filled activities, an indoor picnic with colorful tablecloths awaited the children with snacks to munch on. A craft area was organized where the children demonstrated their creativity while creating flowers out of tissue paper and decorated flags from Mexico and countries from around the world. The day’s activities were not yet over. Children were encouraged to form a collaborative book where they illustrated a page from a popular book. To include the older grades, children in 3rd grade and higher participated in a scavenger hunt that sent them out on a quest throughout the library. An unexpected 200 people were in attendance during Sioux Center Public Library’s Día celebration. Everyone was filled with excitement.

“What resonated with the committee was the commitment demonstrated by the Sioux Center Public Library to Día,” said Mora Award committee chair Lupita Vega. “Staff worked together to create an event that excelled in literacy and cultural activities with an almost non-existing budget but with a lot of motivation. Their efforts are truly an inspiration for others.”

“Día helped us bring the community together and celebrate diversity, language, culture and reading,” explains Ruth Mahaffy from the Sioux Center Public Library. “This was an opportunity to recognize and respect cultural heritage and language.”

It is the third year that with the special donation from Kay and Dan Moore, three Mora Honor Winners were named; Brownsville Independent School District, Farmington Public Library, and Puyallup Public Library.

REFORMA will present the award during the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association (ALA) next January in Chicago, IL.

A major promoter of Día is the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The ALSC page lists planning resources and celebrations across the country at http://dia.ala.org/.

Details about the Mora Award, photos, a planning booklet and resources are posted at http://www.reforma.org and http://www.patmora.com/whats-dia/.