Community children and parents attend literacy event

Ashley Hunter
ECB Publishing, Inc.

Saturday, Aug. 24 was a hot, summer day. With no threat of rain for the afternoon and a bright sunny sky, the day was perfect for a session of summer fun at the Jefferson County Literary Alliance (JCLA)'s 2019 kick-off party.
Hosted at the Monticello Woman's Club, families from Jefferson County gathered for an event filled with free storytelling, face-painting, arts and crafts, book giveaways, a balloon artist and a visiting Sno-Cone truck!
The event was held to develop a love of reading and learning within the younger citizens of the county, while also providing caretakers and parents with an opportunity to learn more about the resources in Jefferson County that promote children's health, safety and education.
Studies from literacy and child education researchers have proven that children who have access to books in their homes are more likely to develop a love for reading, have an improved reading performance and express an interest in learning.
JCLA's event was especially marked by its book giveaway session, with some of the event's attending children and parents randomly being selected to win a book of their choosing.
By the end of the event, several children proudly clutched go-bags filled with their craft item, as well as a book of their own – a book that they could keep and bring home.
In addition to this yearly kick-off party, the JCLA also promotes the growth of young readers through Read With Your Baby welcome bags that are distributed through the Jefferson County R.J. Bailar Public Library and contain a special baby's-first-book and information about the library. JCLA also hosts family reading nights to promote the values of reading as a family, training programs to create reading mentors and preschool curriculum to boost early literacy.
To learn more about the Jefferson County Literacy Alliance, contact the Jefferson County library at (850) 342-0205 or by visiting the library in person at 375 S. Water St.