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posted: 4/20/2013 8:00 AM

Children, 'Books and Libros' the focus at Aurora festival

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  • Crystal Sosa of Aurora University helps Lilian Martinez,11, of Aurora pick out a free book during the 10th annual El Dia de los Ninos literacy festival in Aurora in 2011. This year's festival is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. April 27.

       Crystal Sosa of Aurora University helps Lilian Martinez,11, of Aurora pick out a free book during the 10th annual El Dia de los Ninos literacy festival in Aurora in 2011. This year's festival is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. April 27.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Ballet Folklorico Quetzolcoatl will perform Saturday, April 27 during the annual El Dia de los Ninos festival at Spring Street and Lincoln Avenue in Aurora.

       Ballet Folklorico Quetzolcoatl will perform Saturday, April 27 during the annual El Dia de los Ninos festival at Spring Street and Lincoln Avenue in Aurora.
    BEV HORNE | Staff Photographer

 
 

For the third year in a row, the annual El Dia de los Ninos festival in Aurora will feature a "Books and Libros" theme, focusing on literacy and making reading fun for children, organizers say.

The 12th annual festival is a Latin American celebration to recognize children, highlight their importance in society and support their well-being. Its name translates to "The Day of the Children."

Scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 27 in the Aurora Transportation Center parking lot near Spring Street and Lincoln Avenue, El Dia de los Ninos will include literacy stations and book giveaways along with food and entertainment.

The focus for the free festival is once again on "Books and Libros" because literacy is a vital need in the community, said Tony Martinez, chairman of the Aurora Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board. The heritage board partners with East Aurora District 131 and West Aurora District 129 to bring volunteer teachers to staff literacy-based activity booths for students in all the elementary grades.

Once students complete enough literacy activities, they become eligible to pick one of 5,000 free books (or libros) that will be available.

"The focus really should be with the younger generation on books and literacy," Martinez said. "Education really is the key to success, so we'd really like to emphasize education and books and libros for the kids."

Adding to the reading theme will be Culture Stock, a downtown Aurora used bookstore that opened last year, selling reading materials at a vendor booth, Martinez said.

While kids work on their reading skills, the West Aurora Step Team, Ballet Folklorico Quetzolcoatl, A-Town Bachateros and a puppet show courtesy of Mexico's own Moebius Entretenimiento will grace the stage.

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