Reading is Power

November 23, 2011

Girls reading story at Family Literacy eventGirl reading at StoryWalk

How do you get children excited about learning?  What learning activities are fun and engaging for families? The answers were revealed during Reading is Power: Leer es Poder, a family literacy event that was held at the Children's Museum in downtown Holyoke on Saturday, November 12.

A colorful StoryWalk was hung in the museum, allowing children and parents to read from life-sized pages of a book and discuss the story, while walking from page to page. The Holyoke Fire Department provided a bright red fire truck for children to climb on and explore, while learning about fire safety. Free books were available to take home, courtesy of Link to Libraries, the MA Parent Information Resource Center and Reader to Reader.

"Getting children excited about new words, basic math concepts and exploring their world with all five senses are the foundations of literacy. The Children's Museum at Holyoke was the perfect venue to demonstrate a variety of ways to engage children and their parents in these kinds of activities" said Jody Spitz, the Family Literacy Coordinator for the Holyoke Public Schools.

Events such as this foster family involvement and support efforts to improve literacy in the Pioneer Valley. "This regional event, targeting families from up and down the Pioneer Valley, supports the Springfield and Holyoke early literacy initiatives to get children reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade" said Sally Fuller, of the Davis Foundation's Reading Success by 4th grade campaign.

Mary Curro, chair of the Early Literacy Initiative of the Holyoke Public Schools, agreed. "To meet this goal, we must align the work of families, community organizations, the school system and community education providers toward this common goal. Together we will create a community of readers!"

Sponsored by the Holyoke Rotary Club, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, Poland Springs, and Food Should Taste Good, the event was created by Holyoke Community College, HCC's Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center, Holyoke Public Schools, Pathways to Family Success, Holyoke-Springfield-Chicopee Head Start, Northampton Public Schools, and Greater Holyoke Coordinated Family and Community Engagement as part of Family Literacy Month, spearheaded by the Massachusetts Family Literacy Consortium (MFLC).


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040