Kids and reading star at Family Book Night

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By Matt Miller
Williamston Post Staff Writer

The annual Family Book Night brings together reading and teaching children the value of reading.

The event took place Friday, March 14, in the Williamston Elementary School Library. There was also a used book sale which books a quarter.

In addition, all children that attended received a free book. The night also feature a series of guest readers who were members of the community. After each guest reader finished their book, a child could win an additional book and prize in a raffle.

The president of the PTSA, Michelle Eichler, emphasized the value of selling used books. Eichler said, “Kids love the used book sale, because it might be the only time when the family can afford to get books.”

Eichler also said that it was a great experience for children to gather with their families and have books read to them by their local celebrities. These celebrities included Mayor James DeForest, artist Wendy Shaft and elementary Spanish teacher Carrie Hartges. Even Williamston’s mascot, Willy the Hornet, showed up. Laughing, Eichler said, “Remember, this is a celebrity to a kindergarten to fifth grader.”

DeForest arrived wearing a tall Uncle Sam hat. DeForest is involved in the local school district, and has taught line dancing to high school students putting on the musical “Footloose.”

DeForest said that reading was absolutely everything, stating, “If you can’t read, you can’t learn anything else.” DeForest said that he bought books for all his grandchildren, and would even read to them over Skype. DeForest said he encouraged reading to children, whether the adult or the child is reading.
Wendy Shaft owns print shop in Williamston. Shaft said she has a lot of experience reading out loud, and said she likes to engage children. “Reading to young kids is exciting in that they all have different reactions.”

Elementary Spanish teacher Hartges also emphasized the importance of reading. “Well, there is one book I have that says, it’s honey for a child’s heart.” Hartges looks at at reading in a practical was.

Hartges said she read books to her students in both Spanish and English, saying it gave them a greater comfort level when dealing with the foreign language.

The children had a great time too, according to Eva DeMar, an elementary school child and raffle winner. Eva said she enjoys reading and reads every day.

Her mother, Lisa DeMar, said that reading really helps Eva in all subjects of school. DeMar said, “I think it really allows them to utilize their imagination, and reading really helps them with confidence.”

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