Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Family Literacy Night ~ Camp Read S'more

While Merry Mermaid and Super Scraptastic Scrap Eater were at Quilt Market in Minneapolis with Riley Blake, I was preoccupied with another activity close to my heart. :)  

This was the first year that I volunteered to co-chair something at my son's school, their Annual Family Literacy Night.  Two other moms and I had been planning it since the first of the year, and it finally happened!  It was so much fun!! 
I found this graphic online at a library site, and we used it to make passports, for the kids to get stamped at the various activity stations, and then had some door prizes at the end of the night. Lots of key club and other high school volunteers who needed hours for credit helped out at the stations.

One of the dads made some wooden trees for decoration from the lumber from a friend's construction site scrap pile.  I wish I had better pics, I just took some quickly before it got too crowded. FREE lumber is the BEST! The mom decorated the trees with paint, egg cartons, shower scrunchies, tissue paper, you name it.  They turned out really cute.

We had been sending home flyers asking for donated books that kids have outgrown, etc, and ended up with eight extra long cafeteria tables overflowing with books for the free book exchange.

The first station had kids decorating a book bag, so they had a bag to carry their free books in. :)

Along with the free books at the book exchange, a local author came, and had a great table setup, and was also autographing her books if anyone wanted to buy one. 

There was storyboarding with another local author; bookmark making; vocabulary volley where kids could volley a beach ball over a net, and whatever word their thumb landed on when they caught the ball, they had to use in a sentence, or give the definition..

There was a tent set up in the middle of the multipurpose room, for decoration but we realized that the kids LOVED taking their books inside, or just hiding out in it for a few minutes for some down time from the crowd.  Kids, tents and books seemed to be a good combo. :)

There was a "poet-tree" which I failed to get a pic of. :(  Lots of signs dotted around the room.

A "paws-4-reading" therapy dog, for the kids to read to, which ended up being a huge hit, even with the older kids. This pic melts my heart, not only the student reading to the dog, but the kids lounging on an old quilt that I threw in at the last minute to put up on the stage in the dog area.  Kids, tents, books and QUILTS.  Winning combo. :) And the dog's owner was so soo kind.  He was a Vietnam vet and a retired school teacher and volunteers his time in the community doing wonderful things like this for kids.

We had a Literacy Lounge - a small area of camping chairs and some literacy info out on a table for people to pick up.

Our public library system brought their Training Wheels bookmobile. *swoon*  It was also a huge hit, even with the older kids!  And they have a program where they can give out a free age/reading level appropriate book to anyone who listened to a story reading.

Everyone left with a bag of books. We couldn't have pulled it off without the volunteers from our community organizations, which helped me realize that there is so much support out there and so many resources.  It was just a lot of fun!!

While I'm really realllly looking forward to this year being behind us for various reasons, this was definitely one of the highlights. A had a lot of fun being behind the scenes and helping set up and build/decorate etc. even if he was exhausted and may not have finished his homework that night. ha! :) 

If you have a minute, check out these staggering literacy facts. The most staggering being:
  • To determine how many prison beds will be needed in future years, some states actually base part of their projection on how well current elementary students are performing on reading tests.

In other news, I sold two more pin cushions for pancreatic cancer! :) Thanks to Janet and Sunny!

Buster is suddenly obsessed with jumping up onto the patio table and nearly jumped up into the middle of it when we had guests over and were sitting around it the other night! NOT good!!

I spotted Merry Mermaid and SSSE on instagram the other day thanks to Riley Blake and mini_mushrooms! So exciting!

.. and if you're ever looking for a good chocolate cheesecake that has a little guinness in it, this recipe that I found online is sooo so good!! I posted it on IG but wanted to share for my friends that don't do IG. I found the recipe here.

If you have a moment tomorrow, pray for my sanity.. I'll be on a field trip to a Nat'l Park with 90 2nd graders.  Then after next week, it's on to summer vacation! And lots of summer sewing! Can't wait! :) 

Happy Wednesday!


I had to pin your literacy night! Im an elementary librarian and you had such good ideas!! Im doing Give 5 Read 5 right now. Students who read 5 books near their reading level will maintain over the summer. So we trade out. I have t read a loud a math end of grade test tomorrow so I will willingly take 2nd graders on a field trip! I miss teaching that grade!

magistra said...

Your literacy night looks wonderful! Thank you for doing it. I know as an adult I have been amazed over and over again how many people will use (or make) spare time and personal resources to help kids. It is humbling and uplifting to know so many people care.

The reading night looks like it was great! I used to read to the 2nd graders, when my boys were younger. I loved it as much as the kids did, getting to teach them the wonders that are in books. The librarian loved it too, since she would have a 'run' on the books that I had read to the class (all my books, but, most of them were in the library, too).

KathyinMN said...

Love this post! Quilts and kids and reading and tents. Yeppers! And the dog on the table? Just a normal every day around here too. =)

Looks like a great evening - bravo!

MissPat said...

As a retired public librarian, I applaud your efforts to foster early literacy. It's always great when kids get to pick out their books and having the extra activities made it a fun night. Enjoy your summer with your kids.

I volunteered in my oldest daughters library for 5 years - it is all that librarian's fault that I ended up getting 2 degrees in education! Loved working in the library introducing kids to books. Your book fair would have been a blast! Anything that helps to get kids reading is A+ in my book :)

You ROCK!!
What a great evening you guys made for the kids. I am certain that you started many down the reading road and gave a boost to others who may have been flagging.

Congratulations on the success of your event for kids! It looks like it was an all around smash hit! And here you go off to market again! Way to go! Let me know if you are coming to Missouri this year!

Mara said...

Hey how are you? This sounds like such a wonderful project for the kids and looks like it was a success. I hope Buster isn't jumping on the table anymore, he is huge, and I hope your summer went well, Regards Mara

Sweelish said...

Great post! Promoting reading for pleasure is one of the hardest things when it comes to children. My child was an early reader though. He was reading without anyone else when he completed prekindergarten.

He went through about fourteen days in kindergarten before the school educated us that since he was reading so easily, they needed to propel him to initially grade.

How could we do this? As others have stated, I read to my kid as often as possible. Books are constantly present in our home.

My significant other and I both love reading and composing, so we read to him continually, including books that outlined the letters of the letter set, so he took in his letters and how they functioned.

But most importantly I definitely think that every parent needs to check out "" if you're serious about giving your children a head start in life.

Good luck!

Father of 2

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