I have two favorite days of the year at school where we all come together around celebrating reading. The first is Family Literacy Night and the second is the Million Minute Reading Marathon. These are the days where the readers come out of the woodwork and we celebrate our literate lives and invite others to join us.
I can't remember how many years it has been since our first Family Literacy Night, but what helped me envision it was my daughter's elementary school long, long ago. What I loved besides the different stations and workshops is that each student left with a book. That become one of my missions. I've been able to fulfill this mission for several years now thanks to donations and my work on the Amelia Elizabeth Walden committee. Teens are so excited and surprised that they get to choose a book and take one home. Our first family literacy night long, long ago was small, probably more staff than students, but it has evolved into an event. We start with Pizza on the Patio, a track for younger siblings and different sessions run by teachers and students. We've had the support of the Orange County Public Library. I have to thank my principals who have generously provided the food each year. Yes, that's one of the draws, but once you get students and families, there, the fun ensues.
It's a time when students share their talents and its been a time where teachers who aren't feeling it, especially in November that sometimes long slog before the holidays are reinvigorated by the energy from the night. Yes, so we are a little exhausted the next morning, I do try to leave the building clean with my helpers by no later than 8pm.