Monfredo: All Aboard for “Love a Book Month”
Sunday, February 05, 2017
“Worcester: the City that Reads” will be sponsoring its annual “Love a Book Month” during the month of February. Last week I filed an agenda item on this topic and the entire School Committee supported the concept of bringing it to the schools.
As co-chair of the committee along with my wife, Anne-Marie, our goal has been to promote literacy throughout our city. We have singled out the month of February as “Love a Book Month” since February 14th is Valentine’s Day and READING is the Heart of learning we felt our reading theme would fit nicely. It is our hope that schools and businesses will encourage reading activities throughout the month and that reading will continue in the ensuing months to be encouraged by all. We need to reinforce our reading campaign throughout the year.
Keep in mind that reading and literacy are more than just skills. They represent a means of participating in the exchange of the ideas, feelings, and information that define a thriving society. A recent study found that the ability to read well is the single best indicator of future economic success regardless of family background.
Under the umbrella of “Worcester: the City that Reads” a variety of events have been planned at the schools and in the community. Free books have been given for the children at many schools to read and to bring home. School nurses will wear “I Love Reading” buttons. Posters with the “Love a Book Month” theme have been distributed to all of the elementary schools and will be on display during the month of February.
All the elementary schools will be having a variety of activities including a book character day, advertising” their favorite books over morning announcements and having literacy activities both in and out of school. Here is just a sampling of some of the activities taking place at a number of sites in the community:
Head Start’s 35 classrooms will take part in the celebration. For each week several books will be read and books will be provided to families through the lending libraries to read at home. In addition, hearts will be created in class and sent home each week with the students so that the school and the home can share their love of reading. According to Head Start, it is their hope that this event will promote a lifelong of love of reading, build stronger home reading experiences and support school readiness skills and family engagement initiatives.
At the YWCA Director Darlene Belliveau stated that many activities are planned. The Pre-K classrooms will focus on friendships and feelings. They will show their friends how they feel about them by writing them a letter or note. The Drama Play area will be transformed into a post office. The children will write, read and send letters to other classmates and even their teachers. In the writing area the students will be provided with note cards, envelopes, stamps and writing tools and materials. The Family Liaison also will raffle a reading basket for families that provides information on reading tips at home and free books to the family. Local library visits will take place and the children will be able to sign up for a library card.
Rainbow Child Development in recognition of “Love a Book Month” will be doing the following:
- Rainbow’s Family Child Care Educators will read to children daily, invite parents to read books to children, and conduct follow up activities including making puppets that coincide with the characters in the book.
- Michael Barth, Coordinator of Curriculum and Assessment, at Seven Hills Charter School, will visit each of Rainbow’s 4 preschool classrooms and read to the children. Teachers will follow up activities that connect with the book.
- The Center expects to work with Worcester Public Library to participate in its Library without Walls Program during February vacation. A special book will be selected to read and illustrate.
- Many students in the after school program will be participating in the Worcester Bravehearts Program “Exercise Your Mind.” Children will be keeping their individual reading logs. Once their reading log is completed and submitted, students will receive complimentary tickets to Bravehearts baseball games. This program has motivated students to extend the time they read each day.
Broad Meadow Brook will have their staff recommendations of books out on display in their program room if people want to drop in to read a nature based story or say hello to Clem the turtle or hike the trails. They will have a scavenger hunt available including a Worcester Reads Scavenger hunt available at our front desk. In addition, they will also be hosting their regular monthly preschool story hours on Feb 15, 16 and 19 from 10-11 AM. The story this month is Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit. The Story hour includes a story, craft and hike on the sanctuary.
The Guild of St. Agnes pre-school center will collaborate with student volunteers from area colleges to be celebrity readers each week in February. The volunteers will unwrap a book hoping to stir the interest of children with a book and at the end of the month the children will choose their favorite book, make a book jacket and express their thoughts in a roundtable discussion.
The Worcester Historic Museum will conduct their annual Valentine writing contest in partnership with Worcester Reads and the Worcester Public Library…
Our Worcester Public Library will have a host of activities throughout the month of February and the public is encouraged to call the library for information. I believe that our Worcester Public Library is the best bargain for all its citizens in Worcester and plays a major role to literacy in this community. Some of the events during the February vacation starting on February 21th are as follows:
Kahbahbloom Afternoons - Ed Emberley’s Book Week
The Worcester Public Library is proud to join the Worcester Art Museum to help celebrate more than 60 years of imaginative picture book illustration in the exhibition. The Library will feature the following children’s programs during their nation-wide book week celebration.
Recommended for school age children (6-12).
Tuesday, Feb 21 at 2:00 p.m.: Kahbahbloom Afternoons with artist & WAM Faculty Member Jaime Buckmaster. She will conduct a workshop on Ed Emberley’s many artistic forms.
Wednesday, Feb 22 from 2 - 5 p.m.: Art Cart: Flip book art.
Thursday, Feb 23 at 2:00 p.m.: Kahbahbloom Afternoons with crafter Carmen Barbosa. She will offer a program on fingerprint art and recycling.
Thursday, Feb 23 from 3 - 5 p.m.: Art Cart: Thumbprint art.
Friday, Feb 24 from 2 - 5 p.m.: Art Cart: Flip book art.
Saturday, Feb 25 at 2:30 p.m.: Kahbahbloom Afternoons with local artist & WAM Faculty Member Bayda Asbridge.
Participants will view a short video interview of author and illustrator Ed Emberley and friends. Children are then invited to recreate his artwork as the finale of our week long celebration.
Programs take place at the Worcester Public Library - Main Branch
3 Salem Square, Worcester, MA - 508-799-1671 …
In addition, all the branch libraries will be highlighting special reading activities and everyone is encouraged to call their neighborhood branch library for more information.
Other groups participating in reading activities for “Love a Book Month” are Worcester Reads, Edwards Street Children’s Services, Plumbley Village, Boys and Girls Club, South Worcester Neighborhood Center, Girls Incorporated, Webster Care Day Center, JCC, Belmont Zion Church, the YMCA, Boys Scouts, Adult Literary and the Worcester Housing Authority.
Remember, we all have a stake in motivating children to read. Perhaps Dr. Perri Klass, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of medicine said it best, “Growing up without books is growing up deprived and with a deprivation that puts one at risk for failure.” Please join with us and support “Love a Book Month” with activities that will motivate our children to read. Let’s do it for the children.”
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