Lit­er­acy Fes­ti­val re­turns to the square

The Learn­ing Cen­ter, Main Street Cov­ing­ton co-spon­sor­ing the event

The Covington News - - Newton at play -

The Learn­ing Cen­ter and Main Street Cov­ing­ton will cospon­sor the fifth an­nual Lit­er­acy Fes­ti­val from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Septem­ber 13 on the square.

The event is de­signed to high­light lit­er­acy ser­vices for chil­dren and adults in the area. More than 20 lo­cal agen­cies and or­ga­ni­za­tions that fo­cus on lit­er­acy will pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and ac­tiv­i­ties for at­ten­dees.

“Par­ents are re­ally able to see the cre­ativ­ity of what places like the li­brary and lo­cal child care agen­cies of­fer in their cur­ric­ula,” said Mol­lie Melvin, di­rec­tor of The Learn­ing Cen­ter.

Melvin and Learn­ing Cen­ter vol­un­teers will pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about their pro­grams, such as Dolly Par­ton’s Imagination Li­brary, to par­ents.

The Imagination Li­brary is a na­tional pro­gram that pro­vides age-ap­pro­pri­ate books to chil­dren and their fam­i­lies each month from birth to age 5. The books are free af­ter the par­ent or grand­par­ent at­tends a short work­shop ex­plain­ing the im­por­tance of read­ing to their chil­dren.

“It is The Learn­ing Cen­ter’s Mis­sion that young chil­dren go to school pre­pared to learn to read,” Melvin said.

The Learn­ing Cen­ter is one of two or­ga­ni­za­tions in the state of Ge­or­gia of­fi­cially af­fil­i­ated with the Imagination Li­brary. Cur­rently, more than 1,200 fam­i­lies in The Learn­ing Cen­ter’s ser­vice area re­ceive books monthly.

Other or­ga­ni­za­tions will be spon­sor­ing ac­tiv­i­ties such as a “book walk” which op­er­ates just like a cake walk, but sends chil­dren home with books rather than Ger­man chocolate.

The Cov­ing­ton Ser­vice Guild will pro­vide ma­te­rial for chil­dren and their par­ents to cre­ate “lap-sit books” to­gether.

“The chil­dren se­lect a pic­ture

Read­ing is fun: of an item and the adult then names or de­scribes the cor­re­spond­ing ob­ject,” Melvin said, “and they com­plete the whole book on the square and can then take it home and read it to­gether.”

Other fea­tures of the fes­ti­val in­clude mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment by Seth Decker and the Miss­ing Piece, sto­ry­telling, arts and crafts and a side­walk chalk art con­test for mid­dle and high school stu­dents.

“We started the side­walk chalk con­test last year to bring in mid­dle and high school stu­dents to show that il­lus­tra­tion is very much a part of lit­er­acy,” Melvin said.

Mid­dle and high school stu­dents can reg­is­ter for free for the con­test as ei­ther in­di­vid­u­als or groups. A 12-pack of side­walk chalk will be pro­vided on a first-come-first-serve ba­sis, or par­tic­i­pants may bring their own chalk. Draw­ing com­mences at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. for judg­ing.

Regis­tra­tion forms can be ob­tained through school art teach­ers or by con­tact­ing The Learn­ing Cen­ter at (770) 7872778 or info@leap­in­to­books. org. If space is avail­able, con­tes­tants and agen­cies can reg­is­ter on the day of the event.

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Above, Lit­er­acy Fes­ti­val at­ten­dees play in a sand­box set up on the Cov­ing­ton Square dur­ing the An­nual Lit­er­acy Fes­ti­val in Oc­to­ber 2007. Right, Evan Davis, right, a 7-year-old Cov­ing­ton res­i­dent, dances to the tunes of Pam Blan­chard and the Sunny-Side Up Band dur­ing last year’s Lit­er­acy Fes­ti­val.

• Arts As­so­ci­a­tion in New­ton County • Cham­pi­ons for Chil­dren • Child Care Re­source and Re­fer­ral • Cov­ing­ton Ser­vice Guild • Heav­enly Dance Steps • Keep Cov­ing­ton/New­ton Beau­ti­ful • Kids R’ Great • Kid­sNet • Lil’ Angels Ed­u­care • Mom’s Club of New­ton-Rock­dale • Montes­sori School of Cov­ing­ton • New­ton County Pub­lic Li­brary • New­ton County School Sys­tem • New­ton County READS • Pi­lot/An­chor Club • Project Re­NeWal • So­journer Truth Pro­gram • To­tal Child­care Ex­pe­ri­ence • Wash­ing­ton Street Cen­ter

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