Together With Dia!

Plan Your Celebration Today

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Also known as Dia de los ninos / Dia de los libros - Dia! is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. It is a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages and cultures. The Dia initiative was founded by author and poet, Pat Mora - visit her website HERE. Find a multitude of helpful resources to plan your Dia celebration on the official Dia website. Dia! = Diversity in Action!

DPS Schools Celebrate Dia!

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Academia Ana Marie Sandoval

Last year Academia Ana Marie Sandoval celebrated DIA with their first annual multicultural fair! Throughout the week students created passports in the library and read books about different countries and cultures. On a Friday after school, the fair began with an exciting drumming performance. Students picked up their passports at the embassy - which was a table with the flags of many countries. They could then travel to different tables to learn about different cultures and countries and receive stickers for their passports. The library was one of the highlighted stops as that is where students were able to choose a free book to take home. There were a lot of smiling faces and every student left with a book they were excited about! Kudos to Mariana Mendez, Associate Educator and paralibrarian, for helping organize the celebration. Mariana said that it was a beautiful event and Sandoval hopes to repeat the celebration every year to encourage a love for reading, cultures, and community! The free books from Library Services helped make this a special event for their students.

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Valverde Elementary

According to Cynthia Eames, Parent Liaison at Valverde Elementary, celebrating cultural diversity is one of their treasured values. December 11, 2019 was a special day for learning and celebration. The Bridges of Cultural Understanding, part of the Mizel Museum’s traveling exhibits, taught K-5 students cross-cultural understanding through interactive presentations of themes and rituals from around the world. The exhibit includes cases that hold a wide array of cultural objects that invite students to explore commonalities and differences among various traditions. The Mizel Museum encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate diversity and equality and to combat discrimination and hatred. ( Valverde students also celebrated Dia! by having a free book distribution for all kids! The students were so excited to choose their own books. That evening, the Valverde community joined in the celebration by enjoying musical performances, delicious food from around the world, and a cookie station where they got to make flags from different countries. Cynthia played a big role in making it all happen. She commented that the event encompassed everything the Valverde community loves about their school community - learning, family gathering, and fun! Valverde Elementary appreciates and thanks the Mizel Museum for the valuable learning the students experienced, Library Services for the free books for kids, and Community Resources for helping them pull off a great event for their students.

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Lowry Elementary

The Lowry Elementary school community enjoyed a colorful and entertaining school-wide multicultural celebration where ethnic clothing was displayed, delicious food was served, and student-created art work was proudly displayed.

Literacy Programs, Events, and Activities to Promote in Your Library

ADD MAKERSPACE KITS TO YOUR DIA LITERACY CELEBRATION! HERE is the link to makerspace kits available for checkout from DPS Library Services. Promote the STEAM books in your collection. There is a Building STEAM with Dia Toolkit available for download.

HERE is a list of STEM books that include diverse characters.

The Reading Rockets Literacy Calendar has more ideas for celebrations.

**Celebrating Dia de los Muertos in DPS**

Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy

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Every year for Dia de los Muertos, Bianca Dominguez, Parent Liaison at Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy, loves to create an altar in her home. So this year when she was asked to be in charge of the altar at KCAA she was thrilled! She had a vision for what she wanted to accomplish and coworkers and students joined in to help her create a beautiful altar. Bianca invited the KCAA community to contribute meaningful items like photographs, ofrendas, and messages to loved ones.

Valverde Elementary School

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Kristina Barboza, art teacher, was the organizer behind the beautiful display at Valverde. Volunteer moms helped to put the altar together and students in ECE-5th grade created Dia de los Muertos inspired art work to enhance the display. Kristina commented that it was like a mini magical art museum where students could walk through and experience the beautiful colorful displays and appreciate the magic of the celebration.

Holm Elementary School

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Holm Elementary teacher librarian, Kathleen Close, made sure her students enjoyed a colorful celebration in the library.

George Washington High School

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Michelle Jensen, teacher librarian at GWHS, provided a creative outlet in the library for students to have fun and enjoy the celebration!

FYI ... You can find the Dia de los Muertos Smore HERE. There are book suggestions your students will love including a focus on the book "Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras" by Duncan Tonatiuh. Great inspirational resource for your next Dia de los Muertos celebration!
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Below are archived Dia Smores that offer great ideas for celebrating Dia in your library! Read how DPS libraries celebrate diversity and promote culturally responsive celebrations. Included are book suggestions, ideas for bulletin boards, and activities that support diversity.

  • Dia! Building Bridges: ideas for showing kindness in a diverse world; ways to promote RAK - Random Acts of Kindness, book suggestions that inspire kindness and compassion; and three units with detailed literacy activities.
  • Dia! Diversity in Action: ideas for easy multicultural crafts and a link to Reading Challenge Bingo with a Focus on Diversity - an entertaining K-12 book bingo students will love!
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Children's Day / Book Day (Dia) is about celebrating kids, cultures, literacy, and learning!