MHCF was one of many sponsors for this literacy event.
Amy Teed-Acres is the teacher who, along with 15 GBSS students, put together and ran the event. The Born to Read group at GBSS is in its 10th year. The goal of the group is to encourage and promote early childhood literacy. The GBSS students work in local elementary schools (MCS, BVCS and SVE) with JK – SK classes and are partnered with Keystone Child, Youth & Family Services to ensure that families who are facing socioeconomic issues are supported in early childhood literacy efforts with free, new books and literacy resources. The GBSS Born to Read group was able to give a free book to every one of the 600 children who attended the school portion of the May 20th literacy event, which was open to children from JK to Grade 5.
The initial goal of the event was to host, for free, a well-known author at Meaford Hall. The event evolved into an Open House from 5-7 pm, at which community partners, (Keystone, Early Years, Meaford Recreation, Meaford Library and Meaford Museum), provided free literacy resources and activities. The Open House featured a ‘meet and greet’ with Franklin the Turtle and a session with Werner Zimmerman (our guest author) who read from his own books. MHCF had canvassed local businesses to sponsor a basket of books that could be given away at the Open House. The level of support from the business community was such that were 20 gift baskets (over 200 books) to give away! Over 220 people attended the Open House at the Hall.
The response to this literacy event was extremely positive. Several elementary teachers and principals emailed after the event to say that it was the best presentation they had ever attended, that it was well organized, interactive and fun and the Meaford Hall venue was amazing. Parents and community members have emailed and phoned to express their thanks and gratitude for the event and the free books.
Higher literacy skills correlate to greater success in school and beyond and this event got all the students who attended, excited to read. One particular student, who was a slow and reluctant reader, was inspired to work harder when he learned that Werner had been the slowest reader in his elementary school class. This story alone made the literacy event a huge success!