Today was Belmont University's 13th Annual Family Literacy Day. It's a free event that the University puts on for the community to promote literacy. Aimed at kids from pre-K to sixth grade, the kids get a paper with six boxes on it. They go to their choice of reading circles set up by different groups on campus, where they can either read to or be read to by volunteers made up of groups on campus. After their stories, they get a sticker in a box to prove they've been to a reading circle. When they get two stickers, they can go get refreshments and/or do crafts. When they get six stickers, they are allowed to pick out a book from a large selection of books - anything from picture books to the latest book by Lemony Snicket. It's a great way to get kids reading and enjoying the written word.
|Small signs to let people know they've come to the right place.|
This is our 4th year going (I think) and, as in past years, we had a wonderful time. They host it at one of the local parks so we can enjoy the wonderful Tennessee spring sunshine. Things were set up a litter different this year from the times we've been in the past. They'd moved the registration table inside and had the reading circles in the new baseball stadium the park had built over the last year. But we were able to find where we needed to be fairly quickly, picked up the boys' papers and goody bags, and headed out to get our read on!
|Showing the way to the reading circles.|
As always, there were quite a few groups with their reading circles, all vying for the attention of kids to come listen to their stories. Each group had a different theme (though they didn't always choose books that were exactly fitting). As soon as we walked in, someone suggested we got to her group where they were reading fairy tales and mythology. It was as good of a place to start as any other, so the boys went and chose a Dr. Seuss - Horton Hears a Who. I don't think the students that suggested it really realized how long the story was. It took three of them reading it to the boys to get through it, and then they gave each of them two stickers instead of one! The kids were pretty happy with that!
|My boys, listening as a student reads Horton Hears a Who to them.|
|Pete was behaving pretty well there, too. I was happy with my boys.|
|Teddy and one of the students reading together.|
The next circle we stopped at was a huge hit for Teddy. He saw a book that he loved and he wanted to read it to them. Dear Mrs. La Rue: Letters From Obedience School. Apparently, it's one his teacher has read in school before and he loves it. The girls he read to were really impressed with how well he did. Reading words like "Obedience" isn't something you'd expect from a 7 year old. While he was reading, Pete and Rich came over, Pete having just one more story to go. A couple of the other students read to him while Teddy was continuing to read his. He finished before Teddy and got not just his last star but also a blow pop! Then he sat down to listen to Teddy finish reading his story. The girls Teddy was reading to were so impressed that they gave him two stars.
|Teddy, entertaining the students with his reading.|
|Little Brother paying attention while Big Brother reads him a story.|
I actually snuck off so I could take a picture from the bleachers of all the reading circles. Being a reader from my earliest days, seeing so many groups promoting reading, and so many parents bringing their kids to share in the joy of reading, was a wonderful thing.
|A sea of reading circles, spreading the joy of reading|
|Boys and their books...|
|And I love that he loves to read!|