Literacy program begins at Pearman
by Rory Doyle
Mar 21, 2013 | 1319 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bologna Performing Arts Center’s Arts Education Department and Pearman Elementary School are partnering to produce Family Reading Bonds, a program developed by the Mississippi Humanities Council.

The six-week program focuses on reading, discussion and storytelling and will be led by a discussion leader and storyteller who conduct weekly sessions for families with low-literacy skills.

Whitney Cummins, Arts Education coordinator at the BPAC, and Jonnie Shumpert, Pearman principal, have spent months preparing the dynamic literacy platform.

“Family Reading Bonds combines the art of storytelling, the elements of literature and the importance of family reading time to produce a well-rounded literacy program for parents and their children,” said Cummins “By incorporating elements of literature and the arts, local families will strengthen their bond and develop a lasting appreciation of literary arts and family reading time."

"Storytelling is definitely an art form and that's why the BPAC got involved," added Cummins. "We really love that this combines art with literacy."

With award-winning children’s books, the program introduces fairy tales and folk tales from around the world, stories about problems children encounter and tales from history told for children.

The selected books have been grouped into six different themes: fairness, courage, coping, greed, determination and dreams.

The course is designed to reinforce the role of family as a major social unit, train parents and children to bond around the act of reading, teach children the joy of reading and encourage parents to enter or continue their own educational programs.

Shumpert said it would hopefully motivate the students to read at home, not only individually, but also with their parents.

"Families that read together learn together," said Shumpert. "When parents get involved it promotes success for their children at school.

"Literacy is the foundation of all learning and children have such an innate love of stories."

Upon completion, the children and parents will receive a certificate and a set of gift books to begin or expand their home libraries.

Family Reading Bonds will be held at Pearman every Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m., beginning tonight and culminating on April 25.

Nearly 20 families have already enrolled and Cummins said the program would cap off at 25 families.

Interested Pearman families are encouraged to sign up for the remaining spots as soon as possible.

Robert Neill will serve as storyteller and Emily Jones will serve as discussion leader.

Nutritious snacks, community infomercials and door prizes will be provided at every session.

Childcare will be available for younger children.

"We're really excited to see how this plays out," said Cummins. "We think the entire family will benefit from the experience."

For more information about Family Reading Bonds, contact Cummins at 662-846-4844.