Book fair promotes love of reading in preschool

 

Children at the Child and Parent Development Center on Mississippi University for Women’s campus explore the Scholastic Book Fair. Pictured are David Robertson, 3, Savannah Lewis, 2, Molly Stockton, 1, Sidney Lewis, 2, Aiden Skinner, 3, and Lee Stockton, 3. The Lewis twins’ parents are Todd and Pam Lewis of Hamilton; David’s parents are Lynn and Steven Robertson of New Hope; Aiden’s mother is Tawana Skinner of Columbus; and Lee and Molly’s parents are Phil and Amy Stockton of Columbus.

Children at the Child and Parent Development Center on Mississippi University for Women’s campus explore the Scholastic Book Fair. Pictured are David Robertson, 3, Savannah Lewis, 2, Molly Stockton, 1, Sidney Lewis, 2, Aiden Skinner, 3, and Lee Stockton, 3. The Lewis twins’ parents are Todd and Pam Lewis of Hamilton; David’s parents are Lynn and Steven Robertson of New Hope; Aiden’s mother is Tawana Skinner of Columbus; and Lee and Molly’s parents are Phil and Amy Stockton of Columbus. Photo by: Isabelle Altman/Dispatch Staff

 

Isabelle Altman

 

 

Round-faced preschoolers, some in costumes with paint on their noses, excitedly shared books at the Scholastic Book Fair at Mississippi University for Women on Monday. 

 

The event is going on through the week at MUW's Child and Parent Development Center, where children ages 1 to 5 attend preschool. It's part of a national program by the educational publishing organization Scholastic, which enhances child literacy. Schools and daycare centers choose which week to hold the fair for their students. The book fair gives students the opportunity to pick out age-appropriate books and their parents can buy those books for them. 

 

"It's just to get more books into our little ones' hands," Chandra Steele, one of the teachers at the center, said. 

 

Parents, relatives and friends are all invited to the book fair to see what preschool-age children can have read to them. Friday has even been set aside as a "Grand" day where grandparents -- or any other beloved relative -- can come to the school and read to the kids, Steele said.  

 

The book fair is open to anyone, according to Susan Kling, the center's director. 

 

Though the book fair is small -- confined to one small room in the center -- the kids seemed happy with it as they excitedly pulled their favorite books from the shelves and showed them to any adult who happened to be nearby. Both fiction and nonfiction titles sat on the shelves, covering subjects from learning the ABCs to dinosaurs. Some books featured iconic children's characters like Clifford the Big Red Dog and familiar Disney princesses.  

 

During the week, the preschoolers will also visit college students studying education in their classrooms on MUW's campus, Steele said. Normally, the education students come to the children's center. All throughout the week, the kids dress up in different costumes in celebration. 

 

The Child and Parent Development Center is also accepting donations for the All for Books program. Every year, visitors to the book fair donate money. The center uses the money to buy books for children at the center whose parents can't afford books. If there are no such families at the center, the money goes back to Scholastic. 

 

The book fair is all about promoting literacy in children, particularly young children, Steele said. The earlier kids start to love books, the more they will excel later in life, she said.

 

 

 

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