Trenton Christian School hosted an inaugural book fair and literacy day, providing an opportunity to promote reading in the community and engage with supporters.
Grade 3 and 4 teacher Stacey Siebenga says the idea came from wanting to get children excited about reading and boost reading in her classroom. She notes some students have great reading skills but struggle with the desire to read.
The event was also intended to create a community spirit, says Siebenga, through having a lot of people come to the school and celebrate literacy and books in the community.
Principal Allen Bron echoes the event being a chance for literacy-focused fun with activities to inspire a love of reading amongst the students, staff and community.
“From a Biblical perspective, we were able to celebrate God’s gift of reading and writing stories and books, so it fits into our whole curriculum and development,” he says.
Activities included a book fair with books for sale from Scholastic Books and the local Hearts To God Bookstore. School proceeds from the sales went towards buying books for the classrooms and school library.
The main literacy day event was scheduled to coincide with Family Literacy Day on Jan. 27, but due to a snow day the activities were rescheduled to Jan. 30.
Bron notes the excitement for the event was evident as it was one of the first times students were disappointed to have a Friday snow day.
“You could just feel the excitement,” he says.
Literacy day included a kick-start assembly, book exchange, Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) time, and eight activity stations in the afternoon for students to visit.
In addition to the primary benefit of promoting literacy in the school community, Bron says the event was a chance to foster connections with the Trenton and Quinte west community through involving the library, businesses and local authors.
Local children authors Rene Schmidt and Peggy Dymond Leavey attended, and though author Peggy Collins couldn’t make the rescheduled date there was a workshop held on her books.
Lowe’s in Belleville donated small fire truck kits for the children to build, and approximately 20 grandparents and parents helped students with the task and reading the instructions.
Other activities included a session hosted by the Quinte library, a book bag making station, as well as stories and cookies celebrating author Robert Munsch.
The school is considering making the book fair and literacy day an annual event.