Children’s author donates books for library’s reading event

See how successful the ‘Every Family Reads’ event at Midland Library was this year – and discover their motives behind running this program …

Pat Mora (center), featured author of the 2008 “Every Family Reads” program, reads to the children from the book she wrote and now has donated to the Portland library system, entitled, “Yum! ¡Mmm! ¡Qué Rico! America’s Sproutings”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
We’ve brought you stories about a wide variety activities that take place at your Midland Library. Now we can tell you about a special event that took place not long ago which actually featured – reading!

“Thanks for coming to our 2008 ‘Every Family Reads’ day at Midland,” welcomed Branch Manager Javier Gutierrez.

The event, Gutierrez explained, is sponsored by the American Library Association, and is called Day of the Children. “It’s all about early literacy, and promoting literacy with an intergenerational, intercultural event.”

7-year-old Liezie Lopez gets her own copy of “Yum! ¡Mmm! ¡Qué Rico! America’s Sproutings”.

Author donates 10,000 books
As we spoke, noted children’s author Pat Mora was on stage at the west end of the library’s grand atrium interacting with kids.

“She’s a writer of many children’s books and poems,” explained Gutierrez. “Even more, she’s the sponsor of our ‘Every Family Reads’ program. To help promote reading she donated her book, ‘Yum! ¡Mmm! ¡Qué Rico! America’s Sproutings’ to support our effort.”

In support of the multicultural program, the author and the library first translated the book into Spanish. “We have about 10,000 copies of this bilingual book; and we’re the only library system that offers it.”

The library manager said when a child comes in – and the parent signs a pledge that they will read with them – the youngster gets a copy of this colorful book.

Rita Jimenez, Multnomah County Manager of Libraries with Javier Gutierrez, manager of Midland Library, holding copies of the book they’re giving to kids to promote reading.

Serving a multicultural community
At the event, we met Rita Jimenez, the Multnomah County Manager of Libraries. “This program – and the book – is a wonderful gift in our community. We’re doing our best to serve the part of our community which communicates and reads in many different languages, including Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Vietnamese.  This is a great celebration for everyone.”

Promoting early literacy
In addition to the author’s interactive reading, the library’s large meeting room was turned into a craft workshop, that day. Kids were also treated to snacks and treats. And, there were regular “story-times” held throughout the day.

“The bottom line is,” underscored Gutierrez, “that this event is important to our core mission of promoting literacy, and the importance of parents reading to their children. My big thing is this: It’s hard to ‘teach an old dog new tricks’; that’s why we teach them as pups!”

Kids have fun with crafts at the celebration.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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