Reading is the reason to celebrate this Feb. 4
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Family Reading Festival, an event that welcomes families to the Akron-Summit County Public Library (ASCPL) in early February to enjoy literacy-themed activities with other community members. Because reading can open doors to increased opportunities for learning, particularly for children, focusing on the importance of literacy among families benefits the community and the futures of its residents.
“A student’s reading skills at the end of third grade strongly predict his or her future success in school,” says Derran Wimer, executive director of Summit Education Initiative (SEI). He refers to one of the six critical transition points along the Cradle to Career continuum that drive SEI’s work in Summit County.
“We value our partnership with the library and its events such as the Family Reading Festival, which helps families better understand the importance of reading at all ages,” Wimer adds.
Back by popular demand, author, musician and child development specialist Jim Gill will headline the event with a special performance that not only celebrates books but also emphasizes active participation and family play. The goal? “To create an event where adults and children experience the joy of reading together in a playful manner in the hopes they will continue to playfully read together at home.”
The Miller South Show Choir will also perform during the festival. Paddington Bear, Minion look-alikes and the Ice Princess – who will help with face painting – are set to make special visits during the event.
The festival will also feature several activity stations, thanks to the following community organizations: Akron Area YMCA, Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron Racers, Akron-Summit County Public Library, Beechbrook, Blick Clinic, Buckeye Health Plan, Child Care Connection, Child Guidance and Family Solutions, Children and Books, Color Our Rainbow, First United Methodist Church, Guardians Advocating Child Safety and Protection (GASP), Head Start, Help Me Grow, Rubber City Book Posse, Summit Academy Schools, Summit County Children Services, Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK), The University of Akron Center for Literacy and This City Reads!
The ASCPL will host the 10th Annual Family Reading Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4. All children who attend the event will receive a free book from Children and Books.