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September 26, 2018

OCO Head Start hosts Family Literacy Night


FULTON, NY – Oswego County Opportunities Head Start program is treating parents and children participating in Head Start to a series of Family Literacy Nights.

OCO Head Start Family Literacy Nights are filled with fun activities based on well-known children’s books.

Dante McBurnie (center) and his family Lia (left), mom Jennifer and Nicholas enjoy an activity during the OCO Head Start Family Literacy Night in Phoenix. Open to participants in the OCO Head Start program, Family Literacy Nights are filled with fun activities based on well-known children’s books.

Dante McBurnie (center) and his family Lia (left), mom Jennifer and Nicholas enjoy an activity during the OCO Head Start Family Literacy Night in Phoenix. Open to participants in the OCO Head Start program, Family Literacy Nights are filled with fun activities based on well-known children’s books.

Most currently the theme for the nights is based on the works of acclaimed author Eric Carle, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Grouchy Ladybug and The Very Busy Spider, to name a few.

The creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children; Carle is best known for his book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  The book has been translated into more than 50 languages and has sold more than 33 million copies.

Since the book’s publication in 1969, Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 110 million copies of his books have sold around the world.

Beth Kazel, director of OCO Education Services, said that the uniqueness of Carle’s books make them a real treat for the children.

“Mr. Carle’s works are much more than just books. Many have added dimensions such as die-cut pages and lifelike sounds. While they are interesting and fun to read they are much like a toy that can be played with and enjoyed,” said Kazel.

According to Carle, the appeal of his books lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.

“With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates – will they be friendly?” he said.

“I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun,” Carle added.

Kazel said some of the activities for the Family Literacy Nights include: Grouchy Lady Bug math, making spider webs, caterpillars, puffy paint, and snacking on pancakes, while parents take turns reading Eric Carle books to the children.

“We have had excellent feedback from both parents and children that have attended our Literacy Nights in Fulton and Phoenix.  We are looking forward to our upcoming Literacy Nights in Oswego, on April 9, and in Cleveland April 10.  Families will have fun while engaging in early reading skills with their children,” Kazel said.

For more information on the OCO Head Start program, contact Kazel at (315) 598-4711 or visit www.oco.org

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