Skip to main content

ASU awarded Mora Award for community engagement

October 11, 2013

Arizona State University has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Estela and Raúl Mora Award for the most exemplary culminating celebration of "El día de los niños, El día de los libros" – "Children’s Day, Book Day" – also known simply as Día.

The Estela and Raúl Mora Award was established by author and poet Pat Mora and her siblings in honor of their parents to promote culminating celebrations of this yearlong initiative that links all children to books, languages and cultures. The award is presented annually in partnership with REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.  

Día traditionally takes place on or near April 30.

The Día celebrations at ASU, organized by the Department of English, began with sounds of trumpets vibrating, guitars strumming and folkloric dancers moving to renditions of traditional mariachi favorites. Throughout the festivities, 500 students, sixth through 12th grade, accompanied by their teachers, had the opportunity to participate in reading- and writing-themed workshops hosted by local authors Tom Leveen, Angela Morrison, Aprilynne Pike, Janette Rallison and Bill Konigsberg.

Adding to the festivities were authors Alberto Rios, Myrlin Hepworth and Gary Soto, who provided students motivating and empowering words. Students received free books, were able to meet and greet the authors, and had the opportunity to have their books signed. 

“What resonated with the committee was the commitment local authors, ASU faculty, staff, students and literacy advocates demonstrated,” said Lupita Vega, Mora Award committee chair. “They worked together to create an event that not only connected this age group to books and diverse authors, but their Día celebration also motivated and empowered adolescents to share their unique stories.”

“We created a Día celebration at ASU because of a shared belief in providing opportunity and access to relevant literacy experiences to children of all languages and cultures,” said doctoral student Tracey T. Flores. “Our aim was to engage students in activities that would capture their unique interests and open their minds to the liberating power of reading and writing.”

This is the first year an educational institution is named as the winner of the Mora Award. REFORMA will present the award during the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association (ALA) next January in Philadelphia. To learn more about the Mora Award, visit