Family Literacy Night kicks off summer reading

Family Literacy Night kicks off summer reading photo
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Family Literacy Night kicks off summer reading photo 3
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Hundreds of Freeport School District students and their families arrived at Atkinson, excited to participate in Family Literacy Night, a teacher-led initiative to promote the district's Summer Reading Program.

“This exciting event is the culminating activity that highlights the district’s focus on reading and the importance of becoming lifelong readers,” said superintendent of schools Dr. Kishore Kuncham. “It demonstrates the commitment of our staff, students and parents to #FreeportReads and is a great kick off to our summer reading program.”

“Students who continue to read during the summer grow exponentially in their literacy,” said Mary Lamotta, a literary coach in the district. And those who don't, she noted, could fall behind. To set the stage for the children's continued engagement in literacy during the summer, students had the opportunity in May and June to participate in numerous activities and events such as a scavenger hunt for book posters hung outside the Freeport schools, watching a nightly video read aloud by a Freeport education team member on, receiving free books handed out during the Peace Walk and book “tastings” in the schools’ libraries.

“We distributed 1,000 books at the Peace March and we have 10,000 views of our videos on YouTube and over 14,000 minutes streamed,” said Glori Engle, director of English Language Arts for the district. “We hope that the enthusiasm we see here carries over to summer reading.”

During Family Literacy Night, families participated in a variety of interactive activities designed to promote the importance of reading, including games and raffles, bookmaking and learning how to draw the characters in the books. Representatives from the Freeport Memorial Library were on hand, as well, to promote its summer reading program. The teachers in attendance promoted the slogan “Together is Better” and the hashtag #FreeportReads.

In addition, Mrs. Engle and Dr. Mary Anne DeVivio, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, paired up to read an Elephant and Piggie book titled, "I Am Invited to a Party" to the families gathered for the assembly. A highlight of the evening was when two main characters from the books, Gerald the Elephant and Piggie made an in-person appearance on stage. Elephant and Piggie, a book series for early readers by author Mo Willems, debuted in 2007, is done in a comic book style, and features Gerald the Elephant and Piggie in a variety of life situations.

The district's YouTube channel can be found here: