Child’s play all day at Latino celebration of youth | NevadaAppeal.com
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Child’s play all day at Latino celebration of youth

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Left, Bubbles the Clown talks with Ana Sanchez, 14, of Carson City, Sunday during the Dia Del Niño celebration at the Carson City Community Center.
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From balloons and face-painting to the popular cotton-candymaker, every booth in the Carson City Community Center gym was surrounded by children Sunday afternoon. Cookie Monster and Winnie the Pooh handed out hugs and candy. Every table catered to children.

And why not, since the name of the event was Dia Del Niño, Day of the Child?

“It’s a traditional holiday in Latin America when we celebrate children. It’s a day about being a kid,” said Leticia Servin, president of El Comite de Padres Latinos.

The group consists of more than 30 parent volunteers from the Carson City area whose objective is to promote Latino traditions.

Dia Del Niño, traditionally celebrated April 30, attracted about 600 people.

Booths representing 30 organizations ranged from the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada and the Nevada State Museum to Head Start and Scouting organizations.

Ana Ramos, 10, of Reno, said she wanted to make sure she got to every booth while she was there. She was well on her way, her arms full of balloons, candy and flowers had she planted for her mother.

“I liked the face-painting. I did flowers because I like them, and they are pretty,” Ana said.

Gil Gonzales, director of the Head Start Program for the Washoe Indian Tribe, said the event was a superb way to spend time with children and reach new families.

“This is a great day to tell people about Head Start because we can tell young families about the program and its benefits,” Gonzales said. “Through the program, (children) are more confident, more assertive and more able to learn.”

After making sun visors, collecting candy and watching the puppet at the State Museum booth, children could get a balloon creation by Bubbles the clown.

Bubbles, complete with orange wig and floppy shoes, came to share information about Court-Appointed Special Advocates.

“We hope to let people know that children need us and there are children that don’t have anyone there for them. We want people to step up and be there for children,” Bubbles said.

Anyone interested in joining El Comite de Padres Latinos should call Servin at 443-0976.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.