*UPDATE* The Great Pumpkin For Early Literacy

What do pumpkins have to do with Early Literacy?

What do pumpkins have to do with Early Literacy?

On Saturday, 300 elementary students from our neighborhood visited the mill with their families and we celebrated reading and family.

Older students from ten area middle schools, high schools and universities were exemplary role-models. They staffed literacy-based game tables, greeted our youngest students and facilitated their choosing six, brand new books and a pumpkin of their choice.

We’re so proud of our older students and their volunteering to support learning to read and reading! Photos

Executive Chef Victor M. Vieira from the Country Club of New Bedford served a healthy lunch. Children’s author Gretchan Pyne signed and gave her Lulu series books away.

Older students staffed a reading nook and read story after story and Miss New Bedford, Jillian Zucco spent the morning talking to individual students about how exciting reading is. All in all – it was truly a magical day – celebrating reading and family and a more caring community- it does not get better than that!

More than five-thousand, brand new children’s books were donated by our friends at the Book Outlet Store. They’ve a wonderful discount outlet in Fall River!

Among children from low-income families, a staggering 65% lag in reading. The 2013 MCAS scores show that third grade reading proficiency rates have declined four percentage points since 2012. This year, 43% of Massachusetts third grade students did not score proficient in reading. It is even worse in New Bedford. The consequences of failing to read by this age are devastating. Struggling readers are four times less likely to graduate high school on time, which in turn significantly impacts employment opportunities and lifetime earnings.

A picture is worth a thousand words – Photos from our day are here.

Our 1,200 s/f pumpkin patch

Our original 1,200 s/f pumpkin patch
along the side of our mill

“Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to. I don’t see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there’s not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.” – Linus

If you’re an adult literacy champion we could use your volunteer help. For further engagement – Join our Kindergarten Literacy Initiative.




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