Cruella, Tiana, and Spiderman Collaborate to Promote Literacy in Pike County

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Disney princesses—and villains, Marvel superheroes, storm troopers, Darth Vader, and even Captain Jack Sparrow recently worked together to promote literacy in Pike County at the Pike County Chamber of Commerce Family Literacy Night on the Square. All children at the event received a book centered on the theme of princesses and superheroes thanks to a Literacy for Learning, Living, and Leading (L4GA) grant.

“Our Chamber of Commerce created a magical event for families and our community,” said Michael Powell, Pike Family Connection Collaborative executive director. “Meeting Disney princesses and superheroes may spark a child’s wonder of what they can be. And taking home a book, excited to read or have a parent read to them, may lay a foundation for our children to dream big and be excited to learn.”

Pike Family Connection Collaborative, an event sponsor, partners with the Pike County School District, which received the L4GA grant. The Pike County School District is in year four of the L4GA Grant, a unique approach to improving literacy that pairs community-driven action with research-proven instruction.

The goals of the L4GA grant in the county, according to Powell, are to:

  • lay a foundation within the community and school system for educational success;
  • support Pike County educators with resources, professional development, and family engagement; and
  • engage children and families in the community with literacy activities to lay a foundation toward educational preparedness to be successful in school right from the start.

“Our Chamber, when it developed the idea for a Family Literacy Night two years ago, reached out to our Collaborative to brainstorm the idea,” said Powell. “The Chamber viewed it as an event that tied into our annual operating plan literacy strategy. Community engagement experienced through events like this feature true collaboration involving our school district, Chamber, local businesses, and our Collaborative—which also serves on the Chamber’s board.”

Family Literacy Night on the Square is just one of several community-based educational activities in the county. Pike County School District L4GA Literacy Team leaders, for instance, provided parent training on literacy at Life Springs Pre-K in August, where the Pike Family Connection Collaborative Literacy Project Team provided breakfast.

Pike County Primary School offers a literacy night for families in the spring, where parents are provided with training sessions that focus on topics parents suggest through surveys. These literacy nights are designed around a theme based on books students are reading in the library or classroom.

More than 1,000 adults and children also attended a recent literacy night sponsored by Pike Family Connection Collaborative and community partners Amerigroup and Brightmoor Hospice. Plans are underway for the Collaborative to partner with local businesses and students to develop a story walk at a local park or walking track.

“We’re always looking for creative ways to join with all sectors to provide creative, fun events that tie into our Literacy Project Team’s mission,” said Powell.


Bill Valladares
GaFCP Communications Director

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