Friday, October 12, 2007

Book Fest

To make sure elementary-aged children are interested in reading, one local organization is holding its annual Book Fest next weekend, where children and parents take an interactive approach to reading.

The event is organized by the local chapter of United Way Success by 6, the nation’s largest network of early childhood coalitions. Success by 6 works to improve education through community change.

Book Fest will take place at Webster Elementary School in Syracuse on Saturday, October 20th. The event begins at ten o'clock in the morning and runs through three o'clock in the afternoon. The event is sponsored by the United Way of Central New York and Read Ahead, a Syracuse-based grantmaking organization that funds programs that work to increase literacy rates.

Book Fest will give children the opportunity to experience stories in an engaging way. Author Regi Carpenter, an Upstate New York native, will read aloud several stories, Milk and Cookies, a singing duo comprised of two moms, will perform children's songs, and Moreland the Magician will do magic tricks. Two popular children's books characters, Maisy the Mouse and Clifford the Big Red Dog, will be there in costume.

The day isn't just about reading. NewsChannel 9 reporters and anchors will host "Kids in the Newsroom," where anchors and reporters interview children on camera. Children who participate will receive a DVD of their interview.

Safety is also part of the day's activities. The Syracuse Police Department will be on hand to register children in the Operation Safe Child program. Children will have their photographs, fingerprints, and height and weight measurements taken for an ID card. The information on the ID card will be stored in a database that law enforcement officials can use in the search should the child ever go missing.

For lunch, the parent faculty organization will be selling food in the cafeteria as a fundraiser. The menu includes pizza and sodas and healthier options like fruit and low-fat milk.

Last year, Book Fest drew over 1100 people, and organizers say they expect even more people to come this year.


Karin Davenport said...


I think this was a really interesting topic! At first, I thought- okay, a book fest... not that interesting... happens at all the local libraries/schools at some point.

But the flyer you linked to (for Book Fest) got my attention because it mentioned that Children's Authors/Illustrators would be there... I thought that was impressive!

The rest of your links really surprised me... I had never heard of the United Way Success by 6 program before, and I was excited to learn that there's a division right here in Syracuse. I just wondered... didn't find this info on the link you have here... what exactly does the Success by 6 do? Any specific things they've done here in Syracuse?

The Read Ahead site was really interesting, too. It sounded a lot like The Learning Place (on Genesee Street) to me... do you know if they've done any work together? It was really interesting with your article learning about all the programs locally that are working on our city's literacy problems.

Finally, the NewsChannel 9 thing sounds really interesting... sounds like the Book Fest is a lot more than just a BOOK fest... I think you did a really good job getting into the details of the event and what makes it different from the library events that usually take place. Good job!

Chelsea Pizzi said...


I think you did a great job covering all of the topics about the Book Fest--very thorough!

You definitely kept my attention by answering almost every one of the questions I would have asked about the event. However, I would have liked to know more about the Success By 6, because the link was lacking information.

You created an interesting story out of a topic that (if not written well) could have been rather dull. Nice work!


Tracy Kracker said...

So, I have seen the United Way before, but I never really thought to learn that much more about it. I went to the site and followed a few more links. I noticed that they have a Women's Leadership Council. It was pretty cool to see that the group is trying to women out there to help the community. And, they had a summit on women in philanthropy. They actually try to teach women effective ways of improving their communities. I just thought that was pretty cool.+

Joyce Ogirri said...

I think this story is very well written. The Book Fest hits on an important subject that you need to show children that reading is fun. I didn't know about the Success by 6 program. But I think you should of added what steps they have taken to change community to improve the education.

I think Operation Safe Child is something that they should have at all children events. It seems like in the past few years there has been a increase in kidnappings.

I think the United Way of Central New is a good website to see what kind of programs they are doing within the community. When you go to the site map and click on United Way agencies, they have contact information from the agencies that support them. This list can be very helpful especially if you're writing a story about children.