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It was a Saturday, and snow was falling, but children were learning inside of John Hardin High School.
The Lincoln Heritage Council, the local chapter of the Kentucky Reading Association and the International Reading Association, hosted its annual Literacy Festival on Saturday at John Hardin High School.
The festival offered a book fair for children between preschool and middle-school ages and their parents, along with sessions with authors, illustrators and activities for kids.
The festival tries to reach to children and their parents to begin a love affair with books early, which is important, Council President Brenda Colonna said.
“Parents are the first teachers,” she said, so they want to assist them in that effort. It also helps them in school if they’ve “come from language-rich environments,” she said.
Colonna said the council is also looking for more partners with the festival.
“We want it to be a community event,” she said.
One new partner this year was Barnes and Noble, which had brought the books of the authors and illustrators who were in attendance, as well as the Cat in the Hat to greet children.
Judy Dawson with community relations from Barnes and Noble was selling books outside the book fair. Dawson said the company likes to be involved in these events and, as a retired teacher, she does as well.
“I want children to grow up to be readers,” she said.
Nancy Allen, an author from Kentucky, has a similar goal. Teachers teach children to read, and she wants “to teach kids to love to read,” she said, and both are important tasks. Allen is herself a former teacher and librarian.
At these kinds of events, she also likes to tell children that writers don’t have to be from “somewhere else,” even they can grow up to be authors.
It “doesn’t matter where they’re from, they can achieve their dreams,” she said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.