Dia!

Ocean County Library will join in the fun of “Dia!”, a national American Library Association program, that celebrates diversity, children and literacy, and presents it to families through books, stories and programs during April and March.

Outstanding storytellers, dancers and musicians will bring to life tales and tunes from around the world.

“Books and stories have the inexhaustible potential for the enrichment of life and the human spirit,” said Valerie Bell, Ocean County Library Assistant Director. “Literature is universal and the desire to prepare children for a happy, successful life is also universal.”

“All Ocean County children deserve books in which they can see themselves and the world in which they live reflected in their stories and literature,” said Supervising Librarian Glynis Wray, who is coordinating the Dia! events.

“Each branch will present programs to honor and embrace a child’s home language and culture and nurture their cognitive and literacy development,” she said.

Those programs will include:

Queen Nur, who celebrates the storyteller’s ability to speak of values, history and universal truths, entertains families with stories told in the African oral tradition.

She will appear at these branches:

Stafford, 129 N. Main St., Manahawkin, Mon. April 15 at 4 p.m.

Tuckerton, 380 Bay Av. Mon. April 15 at 7 p.m.

Pt. Pleasant Boro, 834 Beaver Dam Rd., Tue. April 16 at 11 a.m.

Pt. Pleasant Beach, 710 McLean Av. Tue. April 16 at 4 p.m.

Berkeley, 30 Station Dr., Bayville, Tue. April 16 at 7 p.m.

Ocean County troubadour Valerie Vaughn will present music and characterizations of New Jersey’s unsung heroes at:

Jackson, 2 Jackson Dr. Mon. April 22 at 7 p.m.

Beachwood at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Thur. April 25 at 7 p.m.

Long Beach Island, 217 S. Central Av., Surf City, Wed. May 1 at 7 p.m.

Island Heights, 121 Central Av., Sat. May 4 at 11:30 a.m.

Manchester, 21 Colonial Dr. Sat. May 4 at 2:30 p.m.

Tap Team Two will present “Hoofing in America” and showcase Irish, African, hip-hop and house rhythms. Students will learn how to dance practicing the basic steps at Barnegat, 112 Burr St. Thur. May 2 at 6:30 p.m.

International storyteller Julie Pasqual will perform her African-American “Loud and Rowdy Folk Tales” and share her love of world languages and cultures through her interactive stories.

She will perform at:

Little Egg Harbor, 290 Mathistown Rd. Wed. May 1 at 4 p.m.

Lacey, 10 E. Lacey Rd., Forked River, Wed. May 1 at 7 p.m.

Plumsted, 119 Evergreen Rd., New Egypt, Sat. May 4 at 10:30 a.m.

Lakewood, 301 Lexington Av., Sat. May 4 at 1 p.m.

Brick, 301 Chambers Bridge Rd., Sat. May 4 at 3:30 p.m.

Maria LoBiondo brings her love of fairy, folk and wisdom tales to listeners where they are able to create a place they can feel the spirit of “happily ever after.”

She will perform Sat. May 4 at the Waretown branch, 112 Main St. at 10:30 a.m. and the Toms River branch at noon.

All of these programs are free and open to the public. For more information about the performances visit the library’s Web site: www.theoceancountylibrary.org/dia .

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