WestGate@Crane Academy is preparing for its inaugural Reading Rocks at WestGate event on May 10.
The event, according to Director of Business Operations for STIMULUS Engineering Kimberly Frazier, will be broken up into staggered two hour sessions.
“We have 357 students from kindergarten through second grade attending,” Frazier said. “During these sessions, they will be participating in literacy and book themed activities such as reading with ‘Lewis the Duck’ from Homewood Suites.”
The featured book this year, “Lewis the Duck Saves the Day,” includes first responders.
“We took the opportunity to incorporate them into the event. We will have an officer from the Indiana State Police and firefighters from NSA Crane, along with Eric Stidman from WTHI to do sessions,” Frazier said.
Students taking part in Reading Rocks at WestGate will make their own books, construct their own ducks, work with Legos for the Build a Better World project and have a chance to play with Edwin the Duck.
According to Frazier, the event as a whole came about nearly by accident.
“As STIMULUS and the Battery Innovation Center (BIC) were making plans for Crane Community Christmas, we began discussing the activities that should be included,” she said. “It was suggested that we find a way to promote literacy, resulting in the Reading Corner at the event.
“However, as plans progressed, we couldn’t help but feel that the promotion of literacy is important enough to warrant its own event. By chance, representatives from Homewood Suites were visiting the Academy just before CCC, struck up a conversation with us, during which their books series on Lewis the Duck came up. From there we teamed up with Cook Group and Author Solutions and started outlining event details.”
Frazier also noted the purpose of the event is to promote the importance of literacy during the first three years of education.
“Studies have shown these years to be critical in the development of vocabulary and basic skills needed to tackle reading,” she said. “Through the advocacy of literacy, we hope to raise awareness, as well as provide the children in attendance with an extra boost before the summer, when students are at risk of losing reading ability.”
The event already has a maximum number of attendees, though Frazier noted volunteers are still welcomed. Those interested in volunteering should contact her at 812-863-2756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.