The first-ever Colton Joint Unified School District Family Reading Con literacy festival takes place on Saturday, March 17 at the Gonzales Community Center in Colton.
This special event, the first of its kind in the Inland Empire, will be held from 10 AM -2 PM and is free and open to all. It is co-sponsored by the non-profit Inlandia Institute, the Colton Public Library, City of Colton Community Services Department, and the San Bernardino County Library.
“We are proud to offer our community this unique and special opportunity to celebrate the joy of reading at a fun, family-friendly event that we hope will engage and inspire all who attend,” noted CJUSD Superintendent Jerry Almendarez. “With support from our schools, the county, city and non-profit sector, this event truly embodies collective impact.”
“Reading is the cornerstone to success. Studies show that children who are read to at home have higher success rates in school, and yet only about half of all young children are read to daily, “ said Cati Porter, Executive Director of Inlandia Institute. “All of us are stakeholders in our children’s success because they are our future. An event like this, where families have access to a multitude of reading-related activities in a fun setting not tied to academics, is one way that we can all support the future of our communities.”
The CJUSD Family Reading Con – the first event of its kind in the Inland Empire — will offer families an opportunity to hear from and meet numerous award-winning and well-known children’s authors, including New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes, award-winning authors Isabel Quintero and Marsha L. Ceniceros, children’s authors James Luna, Julianna Cruz, Cindi LoOo, poet Jose Chavez and award-winning storyteller Karen Rae Kraut.
The event will also include many opportunities for students to explore their own creative writing talents. Poets Michael Robinson and Jasmine Smith, both of whom are University of California, Riverside Gluck Fellows, will help students to write their own fun poems. Ms. Ceniceros, meanwhile, will help young adult and teen writers learn about what it takes to write and publish science fiction novels.
Puppeteers and artists Nicole Cloeren and Pam Atkinson will help students to explore puppeteering and even create their own puppets, scripts and shows.
Students also will enjoy literary-themed activity booths sponsored by CJUSD schools and community organizations. Many will have fun activities such as crafts and stories to share.
Those who would like an autograph or selfie with a famous author are welcome to stop by our Author’s Walk throughout the day. You can even get a photo with a superhero at the County Library photo booth.
Need some books for home? The CJUSD Student Services Department and our District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) will offer book giveaways. Our guest authors also will be offering books for sale.
Visitors also have a chance to win one of several donated gift baskets!
We look forward to seeing our community at this event!