If you like history, you might want to know the background of this holiday (if not, skip ahead! :)). In 1959, the United Nations General Assembly issued a Declaration of the Rights of the Child. This spelled out the principal rights of children – nutrition, medical care, education, adequate housing, and legal protection from underage employment, discrimination, cruelty, and neglect. The signing date, November 20, was declared Universal Children’s Day.
Countries around the world set different dates to celebrate children, and they celebrate in different ways. In Mexico, Día del Niño is celebrated on April 30, and schools invite parents to attend special events featuring music, art, stories, and more. Some schools ask children to bring donations to help less fortunate children. Colombia, Bolivia, and Spain also celebrate during the month of April, while other countries have their festivities later in the year. Ecuador celebrates in June, Panama and Venezuela celebrate in July, and Chile and Uruguay celebrate in August.
At Spanish Schoolhouse, we set aside one week at the end of April to acknowledge the rights of children and to celebrate them in a special way. A highlight of this week is the Bike Parade. We invite students to decorate and bring their bike/trike/scooter and helmet to school. This week is a great time to teach children about safety, including helmets, riding the right direction (with traffic), and watching out for their friends. The children are so proud to earn their “Driver’s License.” An outdoor area is blocked off for safety and becomes our riding course! Special outdoor stations may include a “gas station,” a “carwash,” and/or a refreshment stand. Our preschoolers and kindergarteners participate and have a great time!
Throughout the week, we enjoy games, special stories, and surprise treats. We love lavishing attention on our students, and helping them to know their value as important members of society!