IndyPL celebrates Día del Niño this weekend

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Indianapolis Public Library will celebrate its annual Día del Niño Be My Neighbor Day at Central Library on April 27. (Photo provided/IndyPL)
Indianapolis Public Library will celebrate its annual Día del Niño Be My Neighbor Day at Central Library on April 27. (Photo provided/IndyPL)

The Indianapolis Public Library (IndyPL) is celebrating Día del Niño during Be My Neighbor Day.

Families with young children are invited to experience and learn about being a good neighbor through language and literature during Día del Niño, a traditional Mexican holiday celebrating children and childhood. The event will feature kid-friendly games, activities, concerts, animal meet and greets, bilingual storytime and more at Central Library from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 27.

“The goal is really to celebrate children and to encourage them to be neighborly to those that live here with them,” Jessica Neeb-Smith, The Herbert Simon Early Literature Specialist for IndyPL, said. “So, we do try to highlight activities throughout the day that are in English and Spanish to welcome our Spanish speaking neighbors.”

IndyPL has hosted Día del Niño Be My Neighbor Day for the last 15 years, and Neeb-Smith said the partnership with WFYI and Daniel Tiger plays a huge role, since Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is “really a great way for kids to understand what you know, where they live and how we all play a part in being neighborly.”

A sensory hour for children and families who need a softer, quieter environment will be held from 9-10 a.m., Neeb-Smith said. However, throughout the rest of the day, kids will have an opportunity to sing and dance with Grammy-Award-winning, bilingual music group 123 Andrés, sit for storytimes in both Spanish and English, meet animals from Silly Safaris and write letters to first responders.

Each child will also get to take home free books and be entered in giveaways, Neeb-Smith said.

“I think it’s crucial for the library to be able to recognize our neighbors and the language that they have in their culture that they have in their homes, and to not just recognize that, but to celebrate it,” Neeb-Smith said. “It’s a really important program to the library to be able to honor and celebrate kids and their families, and so we hope that they will come and join us.”

Día del Niño Be My Neighbor Day takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St., and is free to attend. Parking is available in the Library parking garage and on the streets near Central Library. For more information, visit indypl.org.

Contact Arts & Culture Reporter Chloe McGowan at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @chloe_mcgowanxx.