Imagine a place where you can meet characters like Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz,” Smokey the Bear and Eastern Washington University mascot Swoop while acquiring new books at the same time.
Students and their parents experienced that at Snowdon Elementary School’s “Camp Read-a-Lot” literacy night, April 14, presented by the school’s Curriculum Night Committee.
Once students received their stamp card and bag containing two books, they went around to several rooms that housed a variety of activities. Some activities such as knot tying, charades, sewing and beading bookmarks played off the evening’s camping theme. Other activities like book bag decorating, fishing for books and the book fair focused more on the literacy aspect of the event.
Principal Shawna Fraser said the event was a way for families to come together at the school and connect with teachers, organizations and volunteers.
“It’s also a good way to get books into kids’ hands,” she added.
Organizations such as Spokane County Fire District 3, along with Sparky the Fire Dog, Smokey the Bear and the American Red Cross presented information to families about safety.
Students also met with personnel from Spokane Tribal Fisheries, who demonstrated how their research vessels work and presented information on its sturgeon research project. Program manager Brent Nichols said the organization came to Snowdon’s science night last year and the school invited them to the literacy event.
“We love doing stuff like this,” Nichols said. “We’ll do some events each year and go wherever we are invited. We give people an idea of what we do and the importance of our research at Lake Roosevelt and ancient sturgeon.”
Stacey Smith, whose daughter Chloe met Dorothy and her dog Toto, said the event also gave her child a chance to “mix learning, reading and fun, and integrate it with everyday life.”
“And she got to enjoy it with her friends,” Smith added.
Update Sept. 21, 2017 – It’s always fun to attend and cover events like this. A literacy fair is a great way to get children excited to read books, especially in an age where the Internet dominates everything. I like video games, but I’ll read a book as well.