For Arizona PBS, El Día de los Niños Gives Back to the Neighborhood
The “El Día de los Niños” (Children’s Day) Festival is a celebration of children, families, and reading that occurs yearly on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Arizona PBS has participated in “El Día de los Niños” in Phoenix for several years, notably bringing in PBS KIDS’ Miss Rosa to engage with local children in positive, educational ways.
This year, as one of 10 local PBS stations piloting PBS KIDS’ Be My Neighbor Day, Arizona PBS approached “El Día de los Niños” with the theme of “giving back.” Inspired by the legacy of Fred Rogers, Be My Neighbor Day invites kids and families to learn about acts of kindness, participate in activities that benefit the community and meet Daniel Tiger.
Arizona PBS wove Be My Neighbor Day activities throughout the El Día de Los Niños festival to encourage children’s awareness about the importance of giving back. The station worked with the Sojourner Center –a local shelter for women and children affected by domestic violence-- to collect donations of personal care items ahead of the festival so participants could create care packages for women and children who receive services at Sojourner.
The historical setting of Heritage Science Park – the first original block in the city of Phoenix – made for a magical setting and provided a real “neighborhood feel.” Also, having Ollie the Trolly participate as a vehicle parked and hosting some of the cardboard Daniel and friends cutouts – children were able to board the trolley, sit, imagine, play and take photos. Finally, Gordon Brown, a Head Start early childhood educator, led everyone in songs from the stage – and yellow megaphones printed with the trolley and DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD were distributed far and wide so everyone could sing along with Gordon.
Over 5,000 children and parents attended the event, and the donation drive yielded over 400 gift bags for families in need. Arizona PBS also collected 6 boxes of children’s gently used books for the Sojourner Center, ensuring the literacy-themed El Día de los Niños truly extended to as many local children as possible.