For 10 years the Riverbank Library has been celebrating Día De Los Niños (Day of the kids) and Día De Los Libros (Day of the books) with a variety of activities, bringing families an afternoon of fun that promotes literacy. This past Saturday, April 13, the festivities included Ballet Folklorico dancers from Riverbank Language Academy performing for guests, continuing the tradition at the Dia celebration.
“We love offering a fun day for the kids,” stated Riverbank Librarian Vicky Holt. “I think the event went very well this year. We started with the dancers, which is always a treat. Then we had a bilingual story time including a skit that was performed called Clever Jack Takes the Cake.”
This is the first time that the RLA dancers have performed together, according to Ballet Folklorico instructor Rosalia Rojas Hernandez and the first time that they entertained guests at this event. There are about 30 dancers in the group that range between about five to 12 years old.
“Most of the kids are really new,” added Hernandez. “They are just learning. Every year we have different people with only about eight that have been doing it every year.”
Hernandez has been teaching for about four years and offers kids the opportunity to participate in the traditional dance from Mexico afterschool.
“I used to dance when I was in Mexico,” said Hernandez. “It is nice to see that they have the love for the dance and keep the tradition going.”
They did a couple different numbers which included some outfit changes and the young dancers entertained the crowd with each performance receiving a round of applause.
The kids were invited to enjoy a bilingual story time in the library with staff engaging everyone in a skit after the dance.
“Several of our teen volunteers helped act it out,” added Holt. “It was a lot of fun. There were activity songs as well, both in Spanish and English.”
A few volunteers from Love Riverbank assisted with the crafts and refreshments.
“They really made it run smoothly,” said Holt. “I appreciate their help.”
There were also craft tables which included fairies made out of clothespins and yarn as well as a moving paper dragon puppet. Kids also had the option to do some face painting or create with some playdough. Books were given away to the children to take home and read. Families were offered refreshments which included animal cookies, Cuties, and water.
“We had a great attendance to the Día this year,” expressed Holt. “We had great feedback from the kids and parents about our Día. Many expressed their thanks for offering a fun program for their children.”
With over 80 people in attendance throughout the celebration participating in the different activities, it was another successful celebration at the library for Día De Los Niños.
The Friends of the Riverbank Library provided all the supplies for the crafts, the refreshments and a few of the puppets that were used in the skit.