The School of Education Literacy Center at Aquinas College recently hosted a Family Literacy Night with the theme, “Folk Tales, Fairy Tales, and Fables.”
Family Literacy Night was an opportunity for local families to take a break from their busy schedules and simply enjoy stories together, according to organizers of the event.
Fifteen literacy stations and a music station were set up throughout Aquinas Center, led by 39 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 included St. Henry, St. Ann, St. Matthew, Christ the King, St. Edward, Overbrook and St. Cecilia. Metro Nashville Public Schools were also represented with a literacy station.
Among the stations were: “The Three Little Pigs” retelling bracelet; John Henry folk tale; “The Three Bears” read-aloud; “The Three Little Pigs” STEM challenge; Fairy Tale Readers Theater; “The Wolf, The Duck and the Mouse” sequencing activity; “Jack and the Beanstalk” make and take activity; “The Hare and the Tortoise,” “The Fox and the Crane,” “Little Red Riding Hood” comparing different versions; “The Clown of God” kinesthetic activities; Make your own fairy tale; “The Lion and the Mouse,” “Cinderella,” and “The Princess and the Frog” origami craft.
The families had the opportunity to rotate around the stations and engage in the various picture books and activities.
“The Literacy Night was a huge success,” said St. Edward teacher Lisa Rippy. “Lots of enthusiasm especially for ‘The Three Little Pigs’ STEM project. I love seeing books come alive for the kids.”
“Sharing the children’s joy of finding delight and wonder in a book is a beautiful experience,” said Sister Laura Immaculata, OP, a teacher candidate at Aquinas College. “Family Literacy Night provides so many of these opportunities, inspiring and encouraging future and veteran teachers to promote literacy in the classroom and in the family.”
“As a teacher candidate, I was so inspired to see the dedication of teachers from around the area at Literacy Night, truly giving of themselves outside of school hours for a love of literacy,” added Sister Hannah Rose, OP, another teacher candidate. “It was wonderful to see the children so excited and engaged by the literacy activities and happy to just sit down and enjoy listening to the fairy tales we all love.”
Each child got to bring home a book, such as “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis, “You Are Special” by Max Lucado, and “The BFG” by Roald Dahl.
There also were books available for parents 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.
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 and Literacy Tutoring and Assessment. Literacy Tutoring and Assessment will begin again in Spring 2023.