By TIM CLEVELAND
To help get its spring reading program off to a good start, Austintown Intermediate School had a Literacy Night on March 4. The event aimed to help promote reading among its students.
AIS Literacy Coach Kim Freisen said approximately 250 people were expected to attend the event.
“We’re trying to get kids excited about reading and we’re going to kick off our spring reading program this week and we’re just getting the kids excited about reading so they’ll participate in the program,” she said. “Then, we’ll be celebrating the reading program in May by taking the kids to Eastwood Field to see YSU play the University of Chicago as a celebration for the reading success.”
Barnes and Noble, The Supple Room and Austintown library were among the eight vendors at the event, which was run fair style. Austintown Board of Education member Kathy Mock read the Dr. Seuss book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” and Youngstown State University mascot Pete the Penguin, Scrappy of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and Clifford the Big Red Dog were also on hand to interact with the students and pose for pictures.
Austintown library had representatives at the event to bring the library to people who can’t otherwise come to it.
“The library does have a new service called Pop-Up Library,” library employee Hayley McEwing said. “What we’re doing is popping up at community events or areas of the community that can’t come to the library. Today we’re just focusing on card registration, but we do have the ability to check out books and check in books at these locations as well, because we have the technology here for that.”
Freisen explained what the vendors were offering the attendees, and she said the students needed to be accompanied by an adult.
“They offer different materials and activities that the kids could participate at home and at school, from technology to books to extra practice at reading, or we have a math station which will incorporate reading with math,” she said. “With each student we ask they bring a parent so that way they would have parental or some adult with them for support.”
One student that attended was AIS third-grader Noah Clegg. He made a purchase of a Dr. Seuss book for reasons he wasn’t sure of.
“I got the book ‘The Lorax,’” he said. “I’m not really sure [why].”
Freisensaid that she felt the students get some great lessons out of an event like Literacy Night.
“It just exposes them to many different mediums of reading, from technology – which is a big part of our life now – to reading a book, to doing some sort of practice with a game, or doing math with a book,” she said.