Literacy Carnival delivers on fun, encourages reading | CraigDailyPress.com

Literacy Carnival delivers on fun, encourages reading

Karen Bolton appears as Elsa from the movie "Frozen" singing "Let It Go" to youngsters during the Literacy Carnival at the Boys & Girls Club Tuesday evening. At least 250 kids turned out for the event, which offered up a gymnasium full of literacy-themed carnival games, face-painting, and a free book for each child to take home.

— The sound of hundreds of happy children poured out of the gymnasium at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig Tuesday night during the Literacy Carnival.

At least 250 kids, mostly preschool through fifth-graders, showed up to the carnival with their parents to enjoy a room full of literacy-themed games, pizza, a movie and most importantly, to take home a free book.

The event was organized by the Sagebrush Reading Council, whose membership includes teachers and principals from Moffat County's four elementary schools, with help from the Moffat County Library, Moffat County Humane Society, preschool staff and members of National Honor Society and Key Club from Moffat County High School.

"It's to involve parents in their child's reading experience, to show parents it's simple to engage in their child's reading experience," said Sue Goodenow, literacy coach for Moffat County School District.

The first hour of games and general mayhem concluded with a guest appearance by Elsa (played by Karen Bolton) from the movie "Frozen" singing "Let It Go." While the youngsters split off for more fun and movies, parents got down to business with guest speaker Eric Ursich.

Ursich grew up locally and now resides on the Front Range, but made the trek to the Craig Boys & Girls Club to hit home to parents the importance of reading to their kids.

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"If there's one thing and one thing only that you remember from what I say tonight, it is that reading is the single thing children need to be successful in life," Ursich said.

Ursich described his own journey of committing to reading to his daughter at least 10 minutes per day, a journey which is now 656 days strong.

"I'll admit 656 days ago that it was not easy to fit this into my life," Ursich said. “We all say, 'I'm too busy,' 'I'm too tired.' But there's nothing to date that has proven more significant to my life than my commitment to reading to my daughter."

Ursich and event organizers concluded the evening by offering up a challenge to Craig parents.

"Starting Feb. 3, we're challenging everybody — all parents — to read to their child every day for 30 days for 10 minutes a day," Goodenow said.

Boys & Girls Club Director Dana Duran was thrilled with the energy and turnout of the evening.

"We serve half the kids in the community. It's important we do good outreach not just for extracurricular activities but to support them in their academics as well," Duran said. "I think it was a great partnership between the school district, Boys & Girls Club and our community, showing our kids that we support their efforts in learning and reading and being the best they can be."

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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