(Senate - April 30, 2015)

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[Page S2582]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. MENENDEZ (for himself, Mr. Reid of Nevada, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Bennet, 
Mr. Booker, Mr. Durbin, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Heinrich, Mrs. Murray, Mr. 
Reed of Rhode Island, and Mr. Schumer) submitted the following 
resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

                              S. Res. 164

       Whereas each year, people in many countries throughout the 
     world, and especially in the Western Hemisphere, celebrate 
     Dia de los Ninos, or Day of the Children, on April 30th in 
     recognition and celebration of the future of their country--
     their children;
       Whereas children represent the hopes and dreams of the 
     people of the United States, and the well-being of children 
     remains one of the top priorities of the United States;
       Whereas the people of the United States must nurture and 
     invest in children to preserve and enhance economic 
     prosperity, democracy, and the spirit of the United States;
       Whereas in 2013, the Census Bureau estimated that 
     approximately 17,800,000 of the nearly 54,000,000 individuals 
     of Hispanic descent living in the United States are children 
     under 18 years of age, representing \1/3\ of the total 
     Hispanic population residing in the United States and roughly 
     \1/4\ of the total population of children in the United 
       Whereas Hispanic Americans, the youngest and largest racial 
     or ethnic minority group in the United States, celebrate the 
     tradition of honoring their children on Dia de los Ninos and 
     wish to share this custom with all people of the United 
       Whereas, as the United States becomes more culturally and 
     ethnically diverse, the people of the United States must 
     strive to create opportunities that provide dignity and 
     upward mobility for all children;
       Whereas the primary teachers of family values, morality, 
     and culture are parents and family members, and children are 
     responsible for passing on family values, morality, and 
     culture to future generations;
       Whereas the importance of literacy and education is most 
     often communicated to children through family members;
       Whereas the latest data from the National Assessment of 
     Educational Progress (NAEP) indicates that Latino students 
     continue to score lower than the national average on reading 
     assessments conducted at the elementary school, middle 
     school, and high school levels--an achievement gap that has 
     persisted for decades;
       Whereas the most recent data by NAEP demonstrates that 81 
     percent of Latino fourth graders in public schools are not 
     proficient in reading;
       Whereas Latino authors and Latino protagonists remain 
     underrepresented in literature for children, and less than 3 
     percent of books for children are written by Latino authors, 
     illustrated by Latino book creators, or feature significant 
     Latino cultural content, even though \1/4\ of all public 
     school children are Latino;
       Whereas research has shown that culturally relevant 
     literature can increase student engagement and reading 
     comprehension, yet some Latino students may go their entire 
     educational experience without seeing themselves portrayed 
     positively in the books that they read and the stories that 
     they hear;
       Whereas increasing the number and proportion of 
     multicultural authors in literature for children elevates the 
     voices of the growing diverse communities in the United 
     States and can serve as an effective strategy for closing the 
     reading proficiency achievement gap;
       Whereas addressing the widening disparities that still 
     exist among children is of paramount importance to the 
     economic prosperity of the United States;
       Whereas the designation of a day to honor the children of 
     the United States will help affirm the significance of 
     family, education, and community among the people of the 
     United States;
       Whereas the designation of a day of special recognition for 
     the children of the United States will provide an opportunity 
     for children to reflect on their futures, articulate their 
     aspirations, and find comfort and security in the support of 
     their family members and communities;
       Whereas families should be encouraged to engage in family 
     and community activities that include extended and elderly 
     family members and encourage children to explore and develop 
       Whereas the National Latino Children's Institute (NLCI), 
     serving as a voice for children, has worked with cities 
     throughout the United States to declare April 30, 2015, as 
     Dia de los Ninos: Celebrating Young Americans, a day to bring 
     together Latinos and communities across the United States to 
     celebrate and uplift children; and
       Whereas the people of the United States should be 
     encouraged to celebrate the gifts of children to society and 
     invest in future generations: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) designates April 30, 2015, as Dia de los Ninos: 
     Celebrating Young Americans; and
       (2) calls on the people of the United States to join with 
     all children, families, organizations, communities, churches, 
     cities, and States across the United States to observe the 
     day with appropriate ceremonies, including activities that--
       (A) center around children and are free or minimal in cost 
     so as to encourage and facilitate the participation of all 
       (B) are positive and uplifting, and help children express 
     their hopes and dreams;
       (C) provide opportunities for children of all backgrounds 
     to learn about each other's cultures and share ideas;
       (D) include all family members, especially extended and 
     elderly family members, so as to promote greater 
     communication among the generations within families, which 
     will enable children to appreciate and benefit from the 
     experiences and wisdom of elderly family members;
       (E) provide opportunities for families within a community 
     to build relationships; and
       (F) provide children with the support they need to develop 
     skills and confidence, and to find the inner strength, will, 
     and fire of the human spirit to make their dreams come true.