Editor’s Note: Last October, the Family Reading Partnership of Owego-Apalachin was recognized by the community as a local American Graduate Champion. The organization strives to create a culture of literacy for the community it serves. Family Reading Partnership of Owego-Apalachin is about to host its annual Kids’ Book Fest event and we sat down to talk with Kristin Barton, coalition President.
Can you provide an overview of the event and talk logistics?
Our fourth Kids’ Book Fest “Fairy Tales Do Come True” will be on Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 10am-2pm and it will be held at Owego Elementary School 2 Sheldon Guile Blvd. in Owego, New York. It will be the first event open to the public in our brand new, state of the art elementary school!
What can attendees expect and who are the special guests at this year’s Book Fest?
We have so many events planned for the day! Our featured author and illustrator is Iza Trapani. She has written many children books such as “Itsey, Bitsy Spider” and “The Bear Went Over the Mountain”. Attendees will be able to meet Iza and she will read her favorite story and discuss the importance of reading. She will also talk about her books and Illustrations! Come early and receive one of Iza’s books free at the door. She will be having a book signing at 11:30.
Animal Adventure will be bringing the “Zoo To YOU” including many animals for the public to look at and even a few to pet. Animal Adventure is an interactive educational animal park; designed to promote up close and hands-on animal encounters!
Johnny Only will be in concert at 1:00pm. Come listen and plan on laughing and dancing! Johnny Only is a children’s musical entertainer and recording artist with a style that is similar to Ralph’s World meets Laurie Berkner at a Wiggles concert. Combining acoustic guitar charisma and kid magnet vocals with a splash of puppetry, juggling and bubble machines, Johnny Only delivers a high energy show.
Come visit our Scholastic Book Fair and purchase books to read with your children. You can also get your picture taken with Clifford the Big Red Dog.
Our School Cafeteria will be open selling lunch, snacks and drink at a low cost. Fairy Tale Face Painting will be available to children for free during the entire event. Fairy Tale land is arts & crafts, games and puzzles! Free to all the children and families! We also have volunteers who will be reading Fairy Tales to the children throughout the day. Make your own Fairy Tale book!
In addition, we have many partners from all over the area joining us! They will have fun, free activities for the children to actively participate in.
How many years has this event been held and how has it grown?
This is our fourth event and we have had around 600 people in attendance from babies to grandparents. We are expecting more participants since moving back to Owego in our new elementary school. Our school has been displaced since 2011 when Tropical Storm Lee destroyed our school.
What ages is this event most appropriate for?
Birth to Fifth Grade — all are welcome!
What do you hope families attain from this event?
We hope to celebrate reading and promote early reading to children, especially babies at birth!
Any parting words or advice for incorporating literacy at home?
Read 15 minutes a night to your babies and children Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere!
Many thanks to Kristin Barton for taking time to share information about this free family event! WSKG’s Youth Focused team will also be at the event highlighting our Good to Know math project. We hope to see you there! Here’s a parting gift to get your little ones excited from the upcoming event’s guest of honor, Iza Trapani: