I do a Family Literacy activity one weekend a month in which I incorporate tips from Every Child Ready to Read.

I call these sessions "Read and Create". These programs have around 15 children registered in them. They are for ages 2-10, and they actually work for the age range, though they are best suited for children ages 3 and up. The wide age range was implemented to make the programs accessible for families with children of varying ages.

They last an hour and a half long each.

The general format looks like this.

First, I share an Every Child Ready to Read tip and do a demo with the kids. I present it mainly to the kids to show them how it works. Their parents are close by, and are listening to how I do it. Last week, we practiced telling a story using only the pictures as a guide.

Before the program, I create a display table with a very wide variety of books, including graphic novels (we have our young Batman fans!), wordless books and beginning readers. So, then parents and children read for twenty minutes to half an hour together.

In the second half hour, I offer some snacks, and we play games. Nothing that is very expensive--one week we played "Keep the Balloon Up" and followed it with "Musical Chairs". The first kids out got to choose their art supplies first.

During the last thirty minutes, we make a craft based on what they have read. The first week, I laid out our library's Lego, and the kids got to make pictures of what they had read, and their creations went on display in the library exhibit case. In our last session, we used modeling clay. Future sessions will focus on making books and on painting. Examples of sculptures included Garfield, the Gruffalo, and the dog "Biscuit".

These are very very easy to run and require very little prep time beyond selecting the books and purchasing the materials. The only limitation really is the seating limit in our programming room! The best part is seeing the families enjoy spending their time together.



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