Family Literacy Night 2023
The School of Education Literacy Center at Aquinas College hosted the 4th annual Family Literacy Night on September 27, 2023 with the theme of Perseverance in Picture Books. Over 45 guests attended, with dozens of families represented from local Catholic schools and the community. The Aquinas Center was filled with a variety of literacy stations led by volunteers, including local Catholic school teachers (many of whom are Aquinas alumni) as well as current Aquinas teacher candidates. Catholic schools represented by leading a literacy station include St. Henry, St. Ann, St. Matthew, and St. Edward. Sister Cecilia Anne, President of Aquinas College, introduced the event, welcoming guests and participants, and recognized Sister Marie Hannah, Dean of the School of Education, who offered the opening prayer. Leaders of each literacy station described the activities available at their station.
Highlights from the activities and their tales included Yani the Yeti and the Power of Yet, Giraffes Can’t Dance, The Squire and the Scroll, Whistle for Willie, Rosie Revere Engineer, Jabari Jumps, The Tiny Seed, Owl Moon, Go Dog Go, The Rainbow Fish, as well as some STEM challenges and a “Hop to It” reading comprehension game.
Family Literacy Night is an opportunity for local families to take a break from their busy schedules and simply enjoy stories together. The families had the opportunity to rotate around the stations and engage in the various picture books and activities. A special treasure of the evening was that each child got to bring home a book from the book table. There were books available for parents to take home as well, to aid in reading to their children at home, such as You Read to Me and I’ll Read to You and The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. Parents were also able to take home resources such as tips for reading both nonfiction and fiction books with their children.
Those who attended the Family Literacy Night shared positive feedback from the evening. One parent said, “It was an awesome night you put together. We all loved it!”
Katherine Massey, Pre-K teacher at St. Henry School and leader of one of the literacy stations added:
“I love being a part of this event because as a classroom teacher I don’t often have the chance to work with children and caregivers at the same time. I love being able to share ideas and watch families work together as they create and imagine through the world of books.”
Dr. Yvonne Araujo, Assistant Principal at St. Edward School shared her reflection:
“The annual Family Literacy Night held by Aquinas College continues to be an event filled with purpose and meaning. It is such a wonderful opportunity for our children to grow their love for reading. Kudos and more power!”
The mission of the Literacy Center at Aquinas College is to engage teacher candidates in literacy instruction best practices by offering programs such as Family Literacy Night, Literacy events at local schools, and Literacy Tutoring and Assessment.