Dia Mini-Grant Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 REFORMA Día Mini-Grants: Bilingual Language and Literacy Academy Library, Des Moines Public Library, San Diego County Library, Broward County Library, and Newark Public Library.
Bilingual Language and Literacy Academy Library / Rosa Díaz - Rochester, NY
El día de los niños/libros: A Reading Celebration
The students of our Bilingual Academy arrived in Rochester after the devastating hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. We built a library in our academy to foster a love of reading in our students and help them become proficient in the English language. The students love visiting our school library and enjoy story times. Our goal with this program is to create a Día children's celebration that will continue to encourage our students to read. Our celebration of the joys of reading will focus on children's books that celebrate Hispanic culture. We will feature Spanish-speaking storytellers reading to each visiting class. In addition to the storytellers, we will have face painting, arts & crafts, and live Latino music. We will finish with refreshments.

Des Moines Public Library - East Side Branch / Marlu Abarca - Des Moines, IA
Bilingual Storytime/Cuentos y canciones bilingües
Bilingual Storytime has become a staple of children's programming for the Des Moines Public Library. We would like to create a special experience for all the children and families that attend our Cuentos y canciones bilingües (Bilingual Storytime) by expanding the program from just a weekly storytime to a culturally relevant celebration! The families in Des Moines need events where their children can embrace their roots and celebrate bilingualism, especially during a time where our community has seen an increase in bullying in schools, ICE raids, and hate speech around town.

San Diego County Library - Casa de Oro Branch / Blanca Ginsberg - Spring Valley, CA
Together With Día
The Casa de Oro library will be hosting our Día de los niños/Día de los libros celebration on Thursday, April 11. Activities will include a family storytime hosted by Mara Price, author of Grandma's Chocolate: El chocolate de Abuela, in which she will introduce the Mayan culture, its language, their rich traditions and the many uses of the cacao tree referenced in her story. The author will bring cacao pod samples, tools used in the preparation of making chocolate, and even chocolate samples for families to taste. After the author visit, a ballet folklorico performance celebrating the traditional dance styles and history from various regions of Mexico will be performed by Casa de Oro Elementary School's Folklorico Club. After the performance, free books will be given to all the children in attendance.

Broward County Library - Lauderdale Lakes Branch / Freda Mosquera - Lauderdale Lakes, FL
Earth Day/Día Celebration
The Lauderdale Lakes Library is located in a mainly Caribbean American community. This year we'll celebrate Día in conjunction with Earth Day. A bilingual storyteller will share stories about the Earth and each child will be able to plant an herb commonly used in Latin and Caribbean cuisine. This activity will be conducted by a master gardener and children will learn about the importance of taking care of the planet. Then, they will enjoy a dish from the Latin Caribbean cuisine to experience the aromas and tastes of the herbs. Children will learn about healthy eating habits and will make cultural connections as they share common dishes in the Caribbean. The program will end with a book give away featuring Latino authors.

Newark Public Library - Branch Brook Branch / Isabel Castro - Newark, NJ
Pura Belpré Project
The community in which the library is located is mostly Latino, with many members from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Our branch would like to celebrate Día with a presentation of The Pura Belpré Project. The Pura Belpré project is a re-enactment of Pura Belpré's bilingual story hour. It is presented by an actor from Teatro Sea, a Latino theater company that presents for young audiences. It is an interactive experience that combines storytelling with puppets. Before the start of the show, the children's librarian will read selections from Planting Stories by Anika Aldamuy Denise, then families will see the story come to life!
Each library will receive $300 to support their wonderful Día programs!
REFORMA thanks the Día Mini-Grants Selection Committee:
  • Alma Ramos-McDermott, Media Specialist, Lake Trafford Elementary School, Immokalee, Florida 
  • Ana-Elba Pavon, Branch Manager, Oakland Public Library - Elmhurst Branch
  • Madeline Peña, REFORMA President, Los Angeles Public Library
  • Maria F. Estrella, Chair of REFORMA's Children's and Young Adult Services Committee (CAYASC), Cleveland Public Library
  • Sujei Lugo, Children's Librarian, Boston Public Library - Connolly Branch 
We thank everyone who applied for our Día Mini-Grant Program. We received 19 eligible submissions (a total of 34 submissions). We also thank Pat Mora and First Book for contributing funds for this initiative. If you'd like to support future Día Mini-Grants, consider making a donation to REFORMA at
¡Felicidades a los ganadores!