From the number of cars in the Moffat County High School parking lot and the din in the hallways, it seemed as if school still was in session Thursday night.
Students were learning, but they were a much different -- and likely more enthusiastic -- group than the high school usually serves.
Although many parents wore dazed expressions, their children rushed from booth to booth at the sixth annual Sagebrush Reading Council Literacy Fair.
"My kids brought me," Stac--ey Kincade said, as she sat back with juice and popcorn while her 7-year-old son collected prizes for reading. "I've been every year for eight years. It feels like eight years."
More than 60 volunteers manned booths, where activities included identifying letters to demonstrating the difference between nouns and adjectives. The fair provides reading activities for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. This is the first year two math activities were offered at the fair.
"I like it because it's fun to be playing games," fourth-grader Kelly Knez said. "It's fun to learn different things in different ways."
Thursday's event was a first for Ashley Daigle and her 3- and 5-year-old sons. She said it wouldn't be the last.
"This is amazing," Daigle said. "It's wonderful. The kids are educationally inspired and get prizes for learning."
Reading and math weren't the only lessons learned. Daigle said her sons were learning to wait in line patiently.
Organizer Sue Goodenow said she doesn't have a final attendance tally, but she estimated that about 300 children attended.
"It was awesome," she said.
Educators, parent advisory group members and representatives from the Boys & Girls Club of Craig and Humane Society of Moffat County volunteered their time at the fair.
The 80-member Sagebrush Reading Council promotes literacy in Moffat County.
The concept of an annual fair sprang from the group's attempts to get parents more involved in reading with their children at home.
"We tried to do literacy activities with parents of kids who can't read very well," Goodenow said. "Title I teachers worked to get kids involved in reading outside of school, but parent nights weren't successful."
But the idea of a literacy fair was successful.
"We are always amazed," Goodenow said. "It doesn't matter what the weather or what the conditions, we always have a good a turnout."
The Sagebrush Reading Council will host a literacy scavenger hunt in the spring.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or firstname.lastname@example.org.