First Book

Celebrating Día

Día is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children, from all backgrounds, and creatively links them to the gift of reading.

First Book is proud to be teaming up with award-winning author, Pat Mora, to present the annual Estela and Raúl Mora Award to recognize outstanding schools or programs that celebrate Día (Children's Day, Book Day) as a way of connecting all children to bookjoy and promoting literacy all year round, culminating with Día celebrations in April.

To learn more about the award and application process, scroll to the bottom of the page. To apply, please follow this link to the submission form.

While Día celebrations culminate in April, Día is a celebration that can take place every day, with all children, speaking all different languages, reading all kinds of children’s books. Here are resources that can help you prepare for Día all-year-round:

Estela and Raúl Mora Award

First Book will accept applications from 5/1/17 - 6/30/17. To learn more about previous winners and the Estela and Raúl Mora Award, please visit

The Estela and Raúl Mora Award was established by author and poet Pat Mora and her siblings in honor of their parents and to promote Children's Day, Book Day/El día de niños, el día de los libros. In 2017 the Mora Award will be a $1,000 First Book Marketplace credit and a plaque to be displayed in a public area by the winning institution, plus two honor awards of $500 in First Book Marketplace credits. 

Application Guidelines

  • While broad community partnerships are essential, and contribute to award-winning applications, the applicant and host of the April Día program for 2017 must be a school or program registered with First Book. The celebration may include a variety of partners, for example, local library, an institution of higher education, a youth-serving or other community-based organization and corporate partners, including local media. Past honor-award recipients may apply again for the award itself but are not eligible to receive another honor award.
  • Día programming must have taken place during April of 2017.
  • The event must be literacy-focused with an emphasis on multicultural books and related activities.
  • Applications will be judged by the following:
    • Literacy focus and creativity of programming
    • Level of involvement of partnering organizations and families
    • Extent of publicity campaign
    • Impact of programming and award on the opportunity to support family literacy throughout the year
    • Demonstrated commitment to Día's goal of connecting all children to bookjoy and promoting literacy all year round, and continued support for future culminating April Día celebrations


Submissions will be open on 5/1/17 and close on 6/30/17. The 2017 winner will be announced in September.

Applicants will need to submit:

  • A description of their Día celebration
  • Date of celebration
  • Activities presented
  • Estimated total attendance
  • Goals for the celebration and how they were met
  • How Día is being celebrated by their school year-round
  • Organizations they partnered with
  • Promotional strategy for engaging families
  • Photos and/or video of the April Día celebration showing children having fun with literacy during Día

The following are not eligible to apply for the award: former Mora Award winners and First Book employees involved in Mora Award selection committee.