2020 Noche de Cuentos Mini-Grants Winners

Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Public Library / Zoraida Martinez - Santa Clarita, CA
Cuentos del Puente de Recuerdos
For this event we have attained the day with Juan Felipe Herrera, 2012 California Poet Laureate and 2015-2017 U.S. Poet Laureate. Juan Felipe has years of storytelling experience and will be presenting bilingual historias as well as reading some of his books. With the close proximity to Dia de los Muertos, this event will include stories of those that have passed in order to honor them and will hold some aspects of this day. We will have Grab-and-Go kits available earlier that day and people can work on their kits while “attending” this event. The kit will include sugar skulls that the families can decorate at home, tissue paper so they can make their own cempasuchil flowers, chocolate individually wrapped in order for families to make their own chocolatito caliente at home, and we will also have coloring and activity sheets for kids.

Newport Public Library / Laura Kimberly - Newport, OR
Noche de Cuentos
The Library will celebrate the power of storytelling to unite communities on Sunday, October 11 at 3 pm on Facebook Live called, Noche de Cuentos. This program is free and open to all ages. Local musician and craftsman Alex Llumiquinga is the hired storyteller and performer. Alex will be accompanied by a friend from the Guatemalan community in Newport to share the ancestral music, dance and culture of the indigenous people of the Andes. The focus is storytelling, which can be expressed through music, dance, and shared stories. The Library will be distributing a storytelling kit prior to the event, which will include a composition book, color pencils, a mini Spanish storybook, and a pencil.

Tulare Public Library / Carol Lovos - Tulare, CA
Noche de Cuentos: A Bilingual Evening for Families
Our Noche de Cuentos event will be the first of many programs in our 1st annual month long celebration Latinx @ the Library: Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month. It will be a virtual program using Zoom. The bilingual event will open with a puppet show "Rubia and the Tres Osos" performed by library staff. Following the puppet show, will be one or more of the following performers: Jose Luis Orozco will perform a storytelling themed show featuring songs and stories in Spanish and English, storytellers Bob Kenagis and Liz Mangual, and/or storyteller Sandra Aguirre-Magana.

Fox River Valley Public Library / Monica Boyer - East Dundee, IL
Storytime with a Luchador
This program is designed to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with books such as Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales, Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza, and Friday Night Wrestle Fest by J.F Fox. Carlos Galli, owner of Galli Lucha Libre (Villa Park, IL), will suit up as a luchador and read two stories to our patrons. The storytime will feature one other luchador who will perform a demonstration of traditional wrestling moves and briefly review the history of Mexico's most famous luchadores. This program will be filmed at Galli Lucha Libre and will air on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 10 a.m. via the Library's YouTube and Facebook page.

Prince George's County Memorial Library System / Vilma Sandoval-Sall - Prince George's County, MD
Maya Weaving Alive!
The Library will partner with Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas to provide a virtual program titled Maya Weaving Alive! The Story of a Cultural and Artistic Tradition to launch the series Noche de Cuentos. The program will consist of three segments, and will be live or prerecorded. It will be presented by Julia Lopez and her daughter Vicky Cabrera, a local Maya family and members of the weaving cooperative Weaving for the Future/Tejiendo para el futuro. The program will include a read out loud of Abuela's Weave by Omar S. Castañeda, the story of a young girl and her grandmother weaving and going to market together to sell their textiles.

Pomona Public Library / Anita Torres - Pomona, CA
Los Pollitos Dicen - Celebrate Latino Heritage With Us!
The event will feature a performance by the nationally recognized Latina Storyteller Olga Loya followed by a reading of the poem Los Pollitos Dicen and a singalong. The Librarian will then speak about the value of passing along cultural stories, and the opportunity to do so within the context of food. Librarian will share a story about how cultural storytelling and food impacted her life. They will then invite viewers to record short videos telling their own stories of culture and food, which can be shared via the Library, City, and/or advocacy groups social media.

San Diego County LGBTQ Latinx Coalition / Ady Huertas - San Diego, CA
Queer BIPOC Noche de Cuentos
This virtual event will feature an evening of storytelling from our Queer BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community. The night will be emceed by local Drag Queen Storytime Performers dressed as characters from traditional Latinx leyendas. Musical performances and poetry will kickoff the event.

Each organization will receive $300 to support their Noche de Cuentos programs during Latino Heritage Month.

REFORMA thanks the 2020 Noche de Cuentos Mini-Grants Selection Committee: 

  • Stefanie Bailey, Youth Services, Las Vegas Clark County Library District
  • Erin Downey Howerton, Youth Services Manager, Wichita Public Library
  • Maria F. Estrella, Chair of REFORMA's Children's and Young Adult Services Committee (CAYASC), Cleveland Public Library
  • Elisa Garcia, Unit Head-Teen Services Department, Bronx Library Center, The New York Public Library, Reforma Northeast Vice-President/ President Elect 2020-2021
  • Lucia M. Gonzalez, Library Director, North Miami Public Library, Vice President/President Elect ALSC, REFORMA President 2010-11, Noche de Cuentos Founder 
  • Emily Harris, Library Associate, Siouxland Libraries, Oak View Branch
  • David Lopez, Marketing & Communications Librarian, OC Public Libraries, Western Region Chapter Representative REFORMA National 2017-2021
  • Cristina E. Mitra, Family Engagement Coordinator, San Francisco Public Library?, 2009 Spectrum Scholar
  • Alma Ramos-McDermott, Media Specialist, Lake Trafford Elementary School, Immokalee, Florida, REFORMA National Secretary 2020-22, Chair REFORMA de Florida Vision 2020 Task Force, 2007 Spectrum Scholar
The program coordinator was Madeline Peña, Digital Content Manager, Los Angeles Public Library, REFORMA President 2018-19, Technology Committee Co-Chair. 

We thank everyone who applied for our Noche de Cuentos Mini-Grant Program—we received 15 eligible submissions (of a total of 22 submissions). If you would like to support future Noche de Cuentos Mini-Grants, consider making a donation to REFORMA at reforma.org/donate. 

REFORMA believes that storytelling and oral traditions are key to the transmission and preservation of culture, as well as a significant tool in developing literacy skills. Noche de Cuentos was launched in 2010 to promote and preserve the art of storytelling within our Latino communities in the U.S. 

¡Felicidades a los ganadores!

2020 Noche de Cuentos Mini-Grants Program

REFORMA will award 8 mini-grants of $300 to support a Noche de Cuentos program during Latino Heritage Month, September 15 - October 15, 2020.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Public libraries, academic libraries, school libraries, and community organizations in the United States including Puerto Rico are eligible to apply.
  • The library or the person submitting the application must be a current member of REFORMA.
  • The program must celebrate Latino culture. Proposed programs must focus on oral traditions and be storytelling based, with an emphasis on cultural literacy activities.
  • Funds will be provided to pay for hired storyteller/performer, and to support other related expenses such as publicity, materials, decorations, and refreshments - as specified in your proposal. Only 10% of monies can be spent on refreshments.
  • The program must take place during Latino Heritage Month, Sep. 15 - Oct. 15, 2020. Virtual or in-person.
  • Winners must agree that publicity for their event will identify REFORMA as sponsor/partial sponsor. Winners agree to use the Noche de Cuentos program logo and flyer/poster templates provided by REFORMA.
  • Winners must submit a final report by October 30, 2020.
  • Winners must be willing to have their program featured on the REFORMA website, listserv, social media accounts, and Newsletter both in written and photographic detail.
  • Applications must be received by 11:59 PM (PST) on July 24, 2020.


Selection criteria will be based on:
  • Creativity of the program
  • Level of community involvement
  • Publicity
  • Impact of the project
Winners must submit a final report by October 30, 2020, to include:
  • Photos of the event to post on the website/newsletter
  • Number of participants
  • Ages of participants
  • List and description of activities
  • List of other pertinent information that you would like to share about your program 
Important Dates and Deadlines: 
  • June 26 - July 24, 2020 - Submit proposals
  • July 24 - August 7 - Proposals will be reviewed
  • August 7 -  11 - Winners will be announced and monies disbursed
  • September 15 - October 15 -  Libraries host Noche de Cuentos
  • October 30 - Reports due to the REFORMA