GONZALES — Students and their families had the opportunity to learn about reading and the literary resources available to them during La Gloria Elementary School’s Literacy Night on Jan. 22.
The evening event featured several stations in the school multipurpose room with reading-centric themes that families could participate in together.
“Literacy Night is a night for the teachers to interact with parents to give them not only reading strategies, but to help them to discover the different resources that are out there to help them interact with their children revolving around literature,” said Stephanie Boerlin, district librarian with the Gonzales Unified School District.
“I find that a lot of parents want to do more, but oftentimes they don’t really know what to do,” Boerlin added. “By coming to literacy night and things like this, they learn new activities that they can do.”
The night was a chance for the schools to not only educate children, but also to educate families with the goal of improving literacy. Together, families learned about resources available to them through the school and city libraries, and were also presented with new ideas in how to tell stories and interact with words.
The school does host book fairs, which are focused on selling books rather than being about resource education. There are also library nights strictly for youth at La Gloria, where Boerlin said she reads stories with a theme to them followed by a craft.
The Gonzales Public Library was present, sharing information about its website as well as making sure parents could get a library card.
Boerlin herself had information about the La Gloria website and demonstrated the links at the site for families to use at home.
One table featured wordless books.
“To help parents who maybe can’t read in English or possibly can’t even read at all,” said Boerlin of the books with pages that featured sequences of images.
Another table had higher-order thinking questions that parents could ask to their children about books they’re reading.
“Oftentimes parents run out after asking, ‘Do you like the book?’ or ‘What’s good?’ So this is deeper level questioning,” Boerlin said.
One table had a puppet demonstration, where families could learn how to tell stories with Popsicle puppets.
“We help children come up with a story and help them come up with a theme with a sequence of events,” said Boerlin of the table.
There were two opportunities for keepsakes from the event. One was a table where children could make and color their own bookmarks. The other was an ongoing raffle where winners could choose from a table of children’s books of all age ranges.
About two-dozen people had turned out for the event within the first hour.
“It’s a beginning turnout, and we’re hoping to see these things pick up more and more as we hold these more often,” Boerlin said. “It’s a great first start.”