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Award Winning Ecuadorian Artist Poncho Franco Combines Art With Technology to Create STEAM Workshops For Children

Published Date: 
February 29, 2016

All Part of “Día Turns 20” Celebrations at Providence Community Library

Multi-talented artist Ildefonso “Poncho” Franco will lead a series of mask making and animation workshops in April at Providence Community Library (PCL). The program is connected to El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), an annual celebration of books and literacy for children of diverse backgrounds that takes place at the end of April. Poncho’s visit has been made possible by a $2,000 “Building STEAM with Día” grant from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC).

Every Spring, hundreds of libraries and schools celebrate the multicultural family literacy initiative El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros, informally known as “Día.” This year marks the 20th anniversary of the introduction of Dia as an annual event in the United States. ALSC's “Building STEAM with Día” grant award allows PCL to incorporate exciting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math) components into creative workshops that are educational, fun and incorporate diversity. Minority populations are underrepresented in STEAM education and professional fields; PCL believes it can help bridge this learning gap with stimulating programs and services developed with the intent of having a positive impact on every child who participates.

The workshop schedule is as follows

  • Mask Making with Poncho Franco
    Thursday, March 31 3:30 - 5:30 (part 1)
    Thursday, April 7 3:30 - 5:30 (part 2)
    Suitable for ages 7 -10
    Mount Pleasant Library, 315 Academy Avenue, Providence
  • Mask Making with Poncho Franco
    Friday, April 1 3:30 - 5:30 (part 1)
    Friday, April 8 3:30 - 5:30 (part 2)
    Suitable for ages 7-10
    Olneyville Library, One Olneyville Square, Providence
  • Animate! with Poncho Franco
    Saturday, April 2 2:30 - 4:30 (part 1)
    Saturday, April 9 2:30 - 4:30 (part 2)
    Saturday, April 16 2:30 - 4:30 (part 3)
    Suitable for ages 11-13
    Knight Memorial Library, 275 Elmwood Avenue, Providence
  • Animate! with Poncho Franco
    Wednesday, March 30 3:30 - 5:30 (part 1)
    Wednesday, April 6 3:30 - 5:30 (part 2)
    Wednesday, April 13 3:30 - 5:30 (part 3)
    Suitable for Ages 11-13
    Washington Park Library, 1316 Broad Street, Providence

The 2016 Dia celebrations feature a bilingual story-writing contest for children ages 6-12 and PCL is offering a series of writing, illustration and bookbinding workshops in support of the contest. The closing date is April 15. Winners will be honored on Dia day, April 30 from 2:00PM-5:00P.M. at Knight Memorial Library. Dia Day will include also a short performance of Shakespeare in Spanish, suitable for children, to celebrate the arrival in April of Shakespeare’s First Folio, which will be exhibited at Brown University.

To register for the mask making and animation workshops, contact Carolina Briones, 401-467-2700 x1608 To learn more about the bilingual story-writing contest and Dia Day, visit this link: