On February 24, Chillicothe Intermediate School (CIS) held a literary night, combined with parent-teacher conferences, where families learned tips to help their children improve upon their reading skills. Almost 350 people attended the joint event, which included a free meal for attendees and a raffle drawing. The theme of the event invited families to “Take a Trek Through Literacy.”
During the event, students created take-home activities that were developed to help them summarize books and guide families in literary discussions. Students were also able to explore two rooms with STEM activities, set up to allow families to witness firsthand some of the lessons their students participate in at school. Three guest authors attended the event to share insights on how they became authors. The authors also each read one of their favorite books to students in attendance. Students and their siblings were given the opportunity to participate in an art activity related to the theme of the event. CIS gave away a new book to every child and offered additional books at a gently used book table. In addition, the Scholastic Book Fair was available in the library for students to buy books of their choice.
One of the biggest attractions of the evening was the nature room. A district parent and employee of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources brought in her rat snake and bearded dragon to educate students about the species. To pique students’ interest in animals and the environment, hopefully enticing them to read more on these topics, students also made pinecone bird feeders that they were able to take home.
Community businesses and agencies attended the event to support our students and families. The Chillicothe-Ross County Public Library signed up families for new library cards, while the Pickaway-Ross Career and Technology Center shared information with families about class offerings for high schoolers and adults. The American Academy of Pediatrics shared literature about how to keep infants and children safe at home.
CIS teacher Brenda Southworth, who facilitated the event, shared that it was a much-needed opportunity for families to come back into the schools. “We have missed being able to fully open up our doors to have parents and other family members feel a part of the building and their children’s education,” said Southworth. “The event highlighted the importance of literacy and learning, but more importantly, it was a celebration of coming together as partners in our CIS students’ education and lives.”