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Spanish Language Books, Music add Flavor to Children’s Book Day in Nevada

April 28, 2008

Reno, NV – One in four Nevadans lives in a household where a language other than English is spoken. This week, Northern Nevada libraries are making a special effort to reach younger members of those families on "Children's Book Day," known in Spanish as "El día de los niños, El día de los libros."

Tuesday kicks off five days of events, all dedicated to reaching children of any cultural or linguistic background, many who are struggling in school as they also learn to read. Beate Weinert, programming coordinator for the Washoe County Library System, says the goal is to bring kids into the library, where they can discover the free homework help that is available, as well as how much fun reading can be.

"The biggest focus of the day is to just bring children and books together regardless of culture, and to start reading to your child at an early age."

English Language Learner students are the fastest growing population in Nevada schools. That's one reason Weinert cites for making a special effort to involve Spanish-speaking children and their parents, who often face extra challenges dealing with homework.

"The adults are struggling helping the children with their homework. So, if they know they can go to the library where the children can get help, once the word gets out, they bring their friends and their families."

Weinert says many Nevada children of all backgrounds already love multi-lingual book characters like "Dora the Explorer." Children's Book Day kicks off on Tuesday, with family story readings at many branches and the music of the group "Duo Kantu" at the Mendive Community Library, starting at 4:30 PM. These Andean musicians, from Machu Picchu Pueblo in Peru, will present history, culture, geography, traditional instruments, music and dances from Latin America.

Learn more about Children's Book Day online, at www.ala.org.

Michael Clifford/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - NV