On January 29, the will be illuminated by glow sticks as middle school and elementary school children come together to read in the dark. Lighting sentences by a wand of neon light is just one-way event organizers Tina O'Neill and Cindy Sorrentino of the Branford Education Foundation are hoping students will find adventure in literacy.
“Education should be exciting,” said Sorrentino. “Light up the library, light up your mind.”
, An Evening of Adventure is the first-ever read-by-glow stick-event the town has hosted and this fun way of learning is just one small feature of an entire night that is intended to introduce not just children but families to the exciting world of reading.
For just $3 a student ($10 for families), patrons will enter the library, which will be transformed room by room into reading adventures. Students, through , will be able to tour the library with family at their leisure or partake in games, brainteasers and other interactive learning opportunities. “We want learners to be curious,” said O'Neill. “We want families to take notice of the extraordinary details of the library and make it a second home.”
“Each book is an adventure,” said O’Neill. “Exploring different types of literature is a stepping stone for children and teens to develop their interest in exploring new adventures in life.”
This two-hour evening of literature, packed with learning opportunities at every stop, was born out the success of the summer reading program. This past summer, the BEF, and the Downtown Merchants teamed up to promote reading – an event that was a huge success. Top readers in each elementary school and from Francis Walsh Intermediate School were awarded Kindles by the BEF for their efforts.
“Our whole organization wants to promote better education and more innovative ideas for Branford students,” said Sorrentino. Having donated more than $100,000 already to Branford schools, the BEF is on target to meet their goals of enriching education. In addition to making literacy important and exciting for students, Sorrentino added that the BEF is hopeful that families also find value in reading and sharing literacy together.
“When parents use their energy and enthusiasm for educational programs it has a tremendous effect on student participation,” she commented. “Parents need to be cheerleaders not only for sports and activities but for academic events.”
Glow Night will feature refreshments and activities like a music guessing game featuring the piano sty lings of Board of Education member . Students are also encouraged to bring a book for a swap. Prizes for students include t-shirts and book sets and even a Kindle give-away is on the agenda.
Books will comes to life as more than one dozen Branford High School theater students will walk the library entertaining children as famous characters from beloved volumes. Even the highest Branford school officials will be attendance – will come clad as Tigger and Assistant Superintendent Mary Peraro will make an appearance as Mary Poppins.
There will be more than 250 books on display and four themed rooms including a fantasy room for middle school students.
“Our mission with this program,” said O’Neill, “is to encourage our youth to think more and imagine more through the medium of literature and to be in the habit of reading. Reading is a key to unlocking ones future success in life. Come to the event. Explore the library. Explore the possibilities…"
After Glow Night, students of all ages can look forward to a planned summer outdoor reading event called Twilight Read, which will be held on the Branford Green or down at Branford Point. Check back for details.
What as your favorite books as a child or tween?
Glow Night is Jan. 29, 6 to 8 p.m. at the . for $3 ($10 for families) through Jan. 20.