By Terry Rogers
In partnership with the News Journal and Nemours, Lulu M. Ross held a Literacy Festival on Wednesday, January 10. The festival was designed to promote reading among children and adults. Visitors to the festival were able to speak to local authors, get information on organizations that promote reading and listen to books read by local authors and community leaders including Milford School District Superintendent Kevin Dickerson, Director of the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club Tod Van Eyken and Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe.
“When the News Journal contacted us about this and asked if we wanted to partner with them, we, of course, jumped at the chance,” Bridget Amory, Director of Student Learning at Milford School District, said. “Anything we can do that encourages children and parents to read is beneficial. Reading at home is critical to helping children improve their reading levels in the classroom.”
At the festival, students were able to talk to authors David Teague, Tim Young and John Micklos, Jr., who had copies of their books available. They also read their books to students who gathered in the gym around organized reading areas.
The festival was part of the Nemours BrightStart Reading Readiness program whose mission is to promote reading success and prevent reading failure. The program focuses on birth to age eight and uses innovative programs, research as well as advocacy and partnerships to promote reading in families. The program began in 2005 with funding from the Nemours Foundation, a group that stresses that health and reading skills are closely connected.
The Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children was also on hand to provide information on keeping children safe. The organization was established in 2015 to continue the late Beau Biden’s commitment to protecting children, especially those who have fallen victim to abuse and neglect. The program offers a Stewards of Children training program which is a two-hour online course designed to teach adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
Tim Young, who has written and illustrated 10 children’s books, read his original story The Angry Puffin to children gathered around. Mr. Young is also a toy designer, illustrator, sculptor, puppet maker and graphic designer. David Teague, who has also written several children’s books, was another featured reader at the event. He read excerpts from his books The Red Hat and Connect the Stars.
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