Category Archives: Refugee and Immigrant Resources

DIA! DIVERSITY IN ACTION

Library building with "Dia! Diversity In Action" text

April 30th of each year is the culmination of Dia! Diversity in Action.

Dia! Diversity In Action

Also known as El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), Dia! is a nationwide initiative from the American Library Association that helps libraries connect their patrons to more bilingual and multicultural resources.

One of the primary goals of Dia! is to encourage families of all backgrounds to read daily with their children in their home language. They want to honor and maintain cultural diversity by helping families find bilingual books and other resources to nurture literacy development.

Importance of Multicultural Libraries

Our country’s population is becoming increasingly diverse. Often, new immigrants are struggling to learn English, while maintaining a connection with their heritage. Public libraries have stepped up to welcome these newcomers, and also to celebrate the diversity of our communities.

Many libraries are using creative strategies to reach their patrons, like offering multilingual storytimes, increasing their book holdings in more languages, and offering specialized workshops tailored to meet the needs of immigrant families.

Diversity In Action

Ready to take action in your own community? Check out the official website for Dia! to get free resources, like book lists, coloring pages, planning guides and more. There’s even a toolkit to help you start your own bilingual book club. They also offer guidance on advocacy, and action steps for those who are interested in getting more involved with the Dia! mission.

World Refugee Day – Support Those in Need

refugee children using Language Lizard books
Language Lizard bilingual books used in a refugee camp

World Refugee Day is coming up on June 20. Marked in over 100 countries, its goal is to raise awareness and funds to help provide refugees with shelter, food and safety.

There are an estimated 60 million refugees in the world. More than half of them are children.  According to the UN, every minute 24 people become refugees who are fleeing war or persecution.

Refugee children in the US face many challenges when adapting to a new life: culture shock, making friends, and learning a new language are just a few.  There are educational resources out there to help ease the transition for newcomers, as well as for teachers, administrators and other students.

Refugee child reading a Language Lizard multicultural children's book
Refugee child reading a multicultural children’s book

There are a number of organizations that support children living in refugee camps.

We at Language Lizard had the pleasure of working with volunteers at The School Box Project, an organization that provides trauma-informed care to relieve the effects that years of violence and conflict have had on the children emotionally and physically. They run various programs that include fun, physical games, as well as projects that allow children to sit quietly and create beautiful artwork.

In Greece, volunteers used Arabic-English bilingual books in a refugee camp to engage children in creative art and reading sessions with parents and teachers. 

Whether you support a local refugee family, help a newcomer in your school, or donate to a large refugee organization, every act of compassion makes a difference.

Do you have plans to mark World Refugee Day? Comment below and share your experiences.