We joined Literacy Connexus . . .
Leaders of the First Baptist Church of Blanco ESL program knew that an important way to meet the needs of their adult students was to make sure they had books at home for themselves and their families. What better way to make that happen than to host an end-of- school year Books for the Border and Beyondfamily reading fair. They began planning before Christmas, inviting church-wide participation with a letter sent out explaining the project.
Children led the way, rising to the challenge of filling advent money banks to help purchase materials, and by donating books. The lumber for the bookcases was prepared by men in the church who cut the plywood and assembled kits. They wrapped the pieces in plastic, attached Ziploc bags with screws and nails, and then invited the congregation to watch a step-by step building demonstration.
"We really wanted to have the whole church involved," ESL Director Mary Park said. After the demonstration, families checked out the kits, promising to assemble and paint the bookcases by a specified date.
The results were stunning, with some of the bookcases ornately finished and some painted and stained in solid colors. At the family reading fair, families could enter a drawing for the elaborately finished bookcases, or opt for one of the simpler versions and the fun of applying their own decorative touches.
Families were treated to Cinco de Mayo-themed finger foods, face painting, bubble blowing, and stories. Each one received a new bookcase and about 20 books to begin their home library collection. Some of the ESL students were not able to attend with their families, but they, too, received books and bookcases in the following weeks.
"The students were so grateful and so excited," Mary said. "They really felt loved."
For literacy program administrators, volunteers, board members, and supporters.
See you in San Marcos!
Click to register
(Registration closes Aug. 1)
We'll be at the conference to share how adult literacy programs can make a big impact on family literacy as a whole.
Look for our display, and plan to attend our
Books for the Border and Beyondworkshop at 1:45 pm on Tuesday.
Lester Meriwether, Executive Director
4802 Highway 377 S., Suite 14
Fort Worth, TX 76116
Pam Moore, Editor