More literacy events
• Feb. 28-March 4: Scholastic Book Fair
• March 1: Family puppet show
• April 13: Detailed literacy kit workshop for parents
The Liberty County Pre-K Center makes reading a priority. On Thursday, the center hosted its first of four literacy series sessions, which are designed to encourage parents to help their children to become better readers.
Sixty-five parents and guardians — many still wearing work clothing — attended the session to obtain information on literacy and tips for boosting children’s reading habits.
Parents split into two groups and rotated between a workshop and a make-and-take craft session. The Military Child Education Coalition presented a workshop, titled Reading 101, for parents while their children sat in with babysitters and read books, played with toys and interacted with one another.
Audrey Bivins brought her 3-year-old daughter Camllie to the event so she could work with her on literacy-building projects.
Bivins said her daughter, who is a twin, started school not too long ago and has had issues with speech therapy. The workshop gave her an opportunity to pick up suggestions and assist Camllie in literacy activities.
"She’s made a huge step. She wasn’t even able to speak," Bivins said. "Of course I’m interested in anything that will help her get better."
Camllie looked at her mom expectantly as she attempted to use scissors on her own, fussing a bit when Bivins tried to take them away to help.
"She’s being interested and getting excited. It’s great to see her interact and be interested in stuff," Bivins said.
The program was funded with a $500 grant from Parent to Parent of Georgia, which allowed the center to buy almost 450 books for the series, said parent mentor Lisa Vaughn, who applied for and received the grant for the school. The rest of the books will be distributed throughout the remaining three literacy series sessions, which run through April 13.
"We were really excited about the turnout," said Melissa McCallar, transition coach at the center. "We try to build up anticipation and participation to get the most attendees for the end of the year [literacy kit workshop] event."
Tory Baker, a media specialist at Button Gwinett and the parent of a pre-K student, presented a story to parents and students to wrap up the evening’s festivities. Baker brought props to go along with her story and keep students engaged.
She said the fair was a way to remind parents how important it is to expose children to reading.
"I just wanted to thank the pre-K center for this opportunity," Baker said. "Storytelling is one of the favorite parts of my job."
Overall, McCallar said, students and parents seemed to enjoy themselves, especially since it was a fun, educational event.
"Several people said they looked forward to the upcoming events," she said. "I think they enjoyed getting their information in the session, and I think the biggest hit of the night was the free books."