Monfredo: Love a Book Month - A tradition in Worcester
Thursday, February 15, 2018
“Worcester: the City that Reads” will be sponsoring its annual “Love a Book Month” during the month of February. 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. It is our hope that schools, social agencies, and businesses will encourage reading activities throughout the month and that reading will continue in the ensuing months to be encouraged by all. 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 already given to children at many schools to read and to bring home. School nurses will wear “I Love Reading” buttons as will many school administrators. Posters, thanks to Elizabeth Vechio of the Worcester Public Schools, 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. The director of WRTA, Jonathan Church, has agreed to have buses display electronic signs, “February… Read a Book Month.”
All the elementary schools will be having a variety of activities. Mc Grath Elementary will be giving out “Curious George Valentine Books” for best attendance, Chandler Magnet primary teachers will write a classroom book and share it with others and the intermediate grade teachers will have students write about their favorite book and then create a display. Other schools will have book character days, advertising” their favorite books over morning announcements and have a variety of literacy activities planned that center around Valentine’s Day and literacy.
Head Start - Books will be provided to families through the lending libraries to read at home. In addition, a number of activities are being planned that will center on Valentine’s Day reading.
The Worcester Public Library, which is the best bargain for Worcester families will hold several events and I would urge you to call the library and branch libraries to find out more about their activities…On Tuesday, February 13th from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. they will have a special program on African Folktales. There will be the sounds of African instruments, storytelling, audience interactions, sing-along, and much more. Recommended ages are 5-11.
During the February vacation and all month every Saturday in February from 9:30 to 11:00 there will be LEGO and CONSTRUCTION PLAY… it includes developing literacy and critical skills with hands-on activities. There will be a program support for STEM ( science, technology, engineering, math). The program is for students ages 12 to 17.
Other programs on February 17th include Around the World Adventure from 11:00 -12:00… recommended for students ages 4-7.
Tuesday North American Birds of Prey from 11:00 to 12:00 and Engineering Spacesuits with David Clark Company from 2:00 to 3:00 … a scientist from the company will talk about the space suit made in Worcester and about their work with astronauts.
On Wednesday there will be a Movie Matinee from 2:00 to 3:00 ( PG) for the family. .. Thursday – Paws to Read from 11:00 – 12:00 with therapy dog, Bridget and Scrumptious Science from 2:30 to 3:30 … on Friday end the week with a Hot Cocoa and fun toppings from 2:30 to 3:30…
At the YWCA Director, Darlene Belliveau stated that many activities are planned and the focus will be on friendships and feelings. Children will show their friends how they feel about them by writing them a letter or note. Local library visits will take place and the children will be able to sign up for a library card. In addition, a raffle reading basket for the children will take place and parents will receive handouts on reading tips.
The Northboro Junior Woman’s Club will continue their relationship with Chandler Magnet School and will present the school with additional books as requested by teachers.
The Worcester Historic Museum will conduct their 40th annual Valentine Contest open to children grades 3-6 contest in partnership with Worcester Reads and the Worcester Public Library. The winners will be honored at a ceremony on Monday, February 12th at 4:00 p.m at the Worcester Historical Museum. In addition to being recognized as a winner, they will receive books from “Worcester: the City that Reads.” The winning Valentines will be on display at the Museum during the month.
Girls Inc. will create a literacy calendar. Each girl will receive a calendar to take home that has different literacy activities the girls can do with their families as a follow up to activities they will participate in at Girls Inc. One day they will focus on rhyming words, another day focuses on writing their own stories using story cubes, and another day focuses on sounding out words. The group will also include a scrabble day during the month.
Other groups participating in reading activities for “Love a Book Month” are Worcester Reads, Edwards Street Children’s Services, Boys and Girls Club, South Worcester Neighborhood Center, Plumbley Village, Webster Care Day Center, JCC, Belmont Zion Church, the YMCA, Boys Scouts, Broad Meadow Brook, ACE, St. Agnes Guild, Rainbow Child Development and the Worcester Housing Authority.
Remember, we all have a stake in motivating children to read. 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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