OSWEGO, NY – Hundreds of readers, young and old, descended on the Oswego YMCA Armory over the weekend to celebrate “One World – Many Stories.”
The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County hosted the free event.
“It’s a wonderful turnout. I’m so glad that so many people have come to help us celebrate the joy of reading,” said Jeanne Cieszeski, event planning team chairperson. “Everything is going well, considering this is the first time we’ve done this.”
Several education providers had stations around the Armory to reinforce the One World – Many Stories theme.
Staff members from organization such as Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County, Oswego County Opportunities Headstart, Oswego County Library Council, ARISE, Cayuga Community College, Assemblyman Will Barclay and others represented different countries.
When youngsters entered the Armory, they received ‘passports’ that they got stamped at each booth; that made them eligible to win some of the many door prizes.
There were 14 booths where people could learn about countries such as Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Switzerland, Italy, Morocco, Colombia and others.
Nick Canale, of Canale’s Restaurant, demonstrated how he makes homemade gnocchi for the restaurant. Several youngsters had the opportunity to make their own dough. They could cook it right at his table or take it home to cook and serve their families later.
At the start of the demonstration, Canale stressed the importance of literacy. “If you can’t read the recipe, you won’t be able to make the gnocchi,” he pointed out.
The event offered something for all ages from pre-school through adults, according to Cieszeski.
Inside were several activities for children including a bounce house, face painting, balloon creations, craft projects by CNY ARTS and more.
There was also a ‘Paws For Reading’ area where people had the opportunity to read to dogs.
In the same room was the Author’s Corner where people could meet several local authors and pickup copies of their works.
Food was provided by several local eateries.
A popular table was the free book giveaway station.
Laura Ryder, director of literacy for the Oswego City School District, was sorting through the myriad books to be placed on the table. Visitors were encouraged to find their favorite author or discover a new one – all for free.
“The books were among the thousands that were donated earlier this year to stock the bookmobile,” she explained.
“We had so many that we decided to bring them here. This way adults as well as children can pick up a book, or two, to read.”
The Driving Books Home Bookmobile was open for tours outside.
Children from around the county have been participating in local summer reading programs and the top 10 from each program were entered in a contest to win prizes at this weekend’s event.
The winners were: Melissa Fox, Jersey Hutchins and Payton Ellingwood. They received an ebook reader donated by Chirello Advertising for first and $50 and $25 gift certificates from river’s end bookstore for second and third place, respectively.
The goal of the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County is to empower the community to build literacy in a collaborative, inclusive and comprehensive manner.
For more information about The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County, visit www.oswegocounty.com and click on the literacy coalition link.