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Belmont Celebrates Literacy Week With Acclaimed Writers Faye Gibbons, Dana Gioia

Series of events to culminate in 11th Annual Family Literacy Day ‘Read With Me’ Event Sat., April 9
Belmont University’s 11th Annual Family Literacy Day “Read With Me” event will take place on Sat., April 9 from 1-4 p.m. in the Easley Center at Rose Park in the Edgehill community. Family Literacy Day represents the culmination of a week-long celebration of literacy efforts that will include guest lectures on Belmont’s campus from acclaimed and award-winning children’s author Faye Gibbons and award-winning poet and former head of the National Endowment for the Arts Dana Gioia. (Gioia will offer a free public lecture on “Reading and Civic Engagement” Thursday evening, April 8, from 8-9 p.m. in the Belmont Heights Baptist Church sanctuary on the campus of Belmont University. A book signing will follow his talk.)
The Family Literacy Day “Read With Me” event is aimed at children from pre-K through grade 6 and their families and is designed to celebrate the joys of reading with a free afternoon of interactive story times, crafts and games. The primary focus of the event is Reading Circles, hosted by various campus groups such as the Student Government Association, the English Club, fraternities and sororities, the Black Student Alliance and the Student Athlete Council. Each group picks a different theme and offers a variety of books for all ages.


In addition to the many activities that have been enjoyed in previous years, this year’s Family Literacy Day will also hold a “Favorite Character” Children’s Poetry Contest. As part of the contest, 128 students representing 14 different Metro Public Elementary schools submitted poems about their favorite literary characters. The Belmont English Club selected the top five submissions, and the finalists worked with local songwriters, including three with No. 1 hits, to set their poems to music. The finalists will be honored at the event, and all poets in attendance will be recognized.
“We’re excited to be moving into our second decade of providing this event to the community and appreciate all of the groups and individuals both on and off campus who help make it happen. We look forward to seeing everyone again this year!” said Tim Stewart, Director of Service-Learning and advisor to Belmont Volunteers for Literacy.
Belmont’s Family Literacy Day is only one of many components of the Belmont Volunteers for Literacy program, which includes ongoing tutoring programs at Carter-Lawrence School and relationships with Book’em, PENCIL Foundation, the YMCA Literacy program and the Nashville Adult Literacy Council, among others, to promote student involvement in literacy efforts throughout the city. Family Literacy Day is designed to serve as a celebration of the year’s activities, giving the children and student participants of the ongoing programs a chance to have fun and reflect on their accomplishments. It also serves as a way of encouraging additional Belmont students, faculty and staff to get involved in the literacy effort in the community. For additional information about Belmont’s Family Literacy Day, contact Tim Stewart at 615-460-5431.

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