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Bilingual circus performance in Campbell focuses on literacy

The Campbell Library will celebrate Day of the Book/Day of the Child with a circus on April 29.

The event is part of a national campaign to connect children with diverse books, languages and cultures through literacy.

The celebration began in 1925 and is supported by the American Library Association and other organizations promoting national literacy.

Circus of Smiles will perform in the library’s community room from 11 a.m. to noon. The organization encourages learning through circus entertainment and began as a service project in 2011, touring Southeast Asia and Central and South America.

“We did great across the globe, but we knew there was work to be done at home,” said Paula Parks, Circus of Smiles co-founder.

Parks and her husband perform at schools, after-school programs and libraries throughout the Bay Area for children and families. The organization focuses on teaching perseverance through challenges, Parks said.

The Alameda-based organization offers classes in acrobatics, circus performing, puppetry and “how to be a ninja.” There is even a class that teaches children how to recycle household items by turning them into circus props.

Parks said she and her husband each have an background in education as well as acrobatics and juggling.

The Campbell event will see the two perform, read and interact with the crowd in English and Spanish.

“We perform for both languages so people can see and understand the context of the show,” Parks said. “People who aren’t fluent or native in either language also get a taste of a new language.”

Friends of the Campbell Library, a nonprofit organization, raised the funds to bring the performance to the library.

For more information about the event, call the library at 408-866-1991.

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