Literacy unleashed

The Northeast Family Reading Extravaganza celebrated literacy with book giveaways, interactive workshops and live performances.

Turn the page: Abraham Lincoln High School hosted the Northeast Family Reading Extravaganza, an event meant to build literacy amongst families last week. LOGAN KRUM / TIMES PHOTO

Students and their families, a world-renowned literacy expert, and Clifford the Big Red Dog all gathered at Abraham Lincoln High School last week to celebrate literacy.

The school hosted the Northeast Family Reading Extravaganza, an event meant to build literacy amongst families. Guests were treated to free food and activities, and the youngest in attendance got to pick out free books given out by Scholastic.

This is the second year the planning committee ran the event. Last year saw a turnout of between 400 and 500 people. This year, the turnout is estimated between 350 and 400.

“The event is meant to have parents, guardians and their children enjoy literacy activities at the same time,” said Kathleen Tomczuk, a member of the planning committee.


Interactive demonstrations were meant to bolster the entire family’s involvement with literacy. Some workshops were learning to perform a story in a reader’s theater, learning to perform poetry and listening to readings from principals of local schools. Those who attended readings got to keep the books. There was also a performance from StoryOp, an improvisational group that interacts with the crowd to create stories.

“It’s really about the families being here and doing literacy activities together, and learning how to take it and do the same things at home,” Tomczuk said.

Pam Allyn, a world renowned literacy expert, also visited the school. Allyn is the founder of LitWorld, a worldwide literacy initiative, and has been featured on Good Morning America and in the New York Times. She spoke about how families can strengthen their bond through literacy.

Some community groups present were Eat Right Now and the Philadelphia Insectarium. Band and theater performances were also given. ••