Lanier County’s Recipe for Family Literacy: Warm Cookies, Hot Cocoa, Snugly PJs, and a Good StoryPrint This Post
A steady stream of families clad in vibrant pajamas—blankets, stuffed animals, and family-favorite storybooks in tow—recently flowed into the Lanier County Primary School Gym to participate in the second annual Books and Pajamas Family Literacy Fun Night.
“The purpose of this event is for families to enjoy an evening together with literacy as the focus,” said Amy Lollis, Lanier County Family Connection coordinator. “We treated them to hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies, and families that didn’t bring a book from home got to select one from our collection.”
After the families got cozy on the gym floor, Lollis, a Lanier County Certified Literate Community Program member, discussed family literacy and activities families can do together to make reading a fun experience for both parents and children. Parent volunteer Nicole Lee further prompted families to continue to explore books together by reading Read All About It, by Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna. As Lee read, each page of the book was projected on the gym wall so everyone could enjoy the colorful illustrations.
Families spent the rest of the evening reading together while Disney instrumentals played softly in the background. “Not only was it a beautiful sight to see,” said Lollis, “but it was also music to our ears to hear the families reading aloud. We could see smiles on the faces of parents, grandparents, children, and volunteers as the stories came to life.”
According to Lollis, Collaborative Chair Tara Terrell, who also serves as the school Parent Involvement coordinator, hatched the idea for the Books and Pajamas Family Fun Night. She said the event, which began last year as a concerted effort between the Family Connection Collaborative, Lanier County Schools, and Lanier County Certified Literate Community Participants, drew the largest turnout for a parent event she has ever had, and that event grew in popularity this year.
One parent with four children in the school system commented on the evaluation form, “Thank you for the opportunity to spend more time with my kids.” Another said, “It was a fun family night. The story was wonderful, and the snacks were great.” Other parents remarked on how much they enjoyed having a book read aloud and projected on the wall.
“Books and Pajamas Family Night is the ideal conduit to promote literacy and the positive impact of reading together as a family,” said Lollis. “I think any community would benefit from a Family Literacy Fun Night.”
If you have questions or suggestions, or if you would like to visit the Parent Resource Center at the Lanier County Board of Education, which checks out books, games, and other resources, send an email to [email protected] or call 229-482-3966.
GaFCP Communications Director
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