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(Image by: George H. Young) The Sacramento Reads! Festival returned to Land Park’s Fairytale Town for it’s 2nd Annual Celebration of Literacy this Thursday. Scheduled on the eve of the 1st anniversary for Sacramento Reads: The Third Grade Literacy Campaign , it celebrated the initiative launched by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson last year. If the long lines waiting entrance were any indicator of this family event’s excitement, then the enthusiasm of the attendees inside confirmed it.
(Image by: George H. Young) This free community event provided resources for families in preparation for the new school year. Free books were available from several vendors throughout Fairytale Town, as well as information about literacy, health, and community resources. Art and craft activities drew the children to each table, and volunteers provided free information to the parents that accompanied them.
(Image by: George H. Young) Parents were given strategies to help their children with reading, as well as connections with many local resources. Agencies such as the Sacramento Public Libraries provided library card applications and information about their Read-to-Me service. Local school districts gave guidance to parents preparing their youngsters for the upcoming year. Various organizations recruited volunteers to help improve literacy in Sacramento by tutoring in local schools in Elk Grove, Twin Rivers, Sacramento City, Robla, or Natomas school districts. Raffle tickets were given for visiting several of the resource stations.
(Image by: George H. Young) Event attendees were surprised at every turn in Fairytale Town, as information tables and vendors were found throughout the park. Many tables was manned by volunteers and all had stickers, coloring pages, books, and free information. Parents and children earned prizes by getting their Passports stamped by these stops:
• Assemblyman Dr. Pan
• Attendance Works
• Barnes and Noble
• Crocker Art Museum
• Elk Grove USD Pre-Kindergarten
• KVIE/PBS Kids
• PBM Plus/Sacramento County Office of Education
• PBS Kids
• Reach out and Read
• Sacramento County Office of Education/PBM
• Sacramento Public Library
• Sacramento START
• Scholarshare College Savings
• Scholastic Storia
• Sacramento City USD CAC for Special Education
• SETA Head Start
• Stand Up for Sacramento
• Students First
• Summer Matters
• Teacher Created Materials
• UC Davis, Children’s Hospital
• UC Davis Summer Matters
• University of Phoenix
• Univision and Telfutura
• Wells Fargo
• YMCA of Superior California
(Image by: George H. Young) Besides full access to the wonders of Fairytale Town, the families were offered free food and entertainment. Clifford, the Big Red Dog was kept busy posing with hundreds of eager children. Families had opportunities to participate in bookmaking, block making, letter stamping, and interact with dozens of community literacy resources.
(Image by: George H. Young) At the end of the evening, the attending families were greeted at the Mering Family Mother Goose Stage by school district administrators, sponsor representatives, and Mayor Kevin Johnson. The Mayor enthusiastically thanked the crowd for being part of this event, and called for their support for promoting literacy for Sacramento children. After his presentation, there was a rush of supporters and fans to the stage, anxious for photos. Several raffle prized were given away at the culmination of this fun event, including some Amazon Kindle e-readers.
(Image by: George H. Young) The Celebration of Literacy Fair drew a large and enthusiastic crowd. Fairytale Town provided the venue. Many local organizations and vendors provided the information and giveaways. But the true measure of success came from the smiles of the many children who followed the yellow brick road to this family event.
(Image by: George H. Young) Sacramento Reads! Literacy by 3rd Grade, is a 10-year initiative with the goal of having every third grader reading on grade level by the end of third grade. The project hopes to use community involvement that the networking of schools, parents, and available resources to achieve this end. The program is sponsored by The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading; First 5 Sacramento, Child action, Inc.; KVIE/PBS Kids; and SETA Head Start. Further information can be found at their website: http://www.sacramentoreads.com.
(Image by: George H. Young)
Fairytale Town is a 2.5 acre children’s park located within William Land Park. Established in 1959, this beloved family destination hosts year-round special events, theater performances and educational programming. You can learn more about Fairytale Town at http://www.fairytaletown.org.