Haverhill Promise, the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, is partnering with Haverhill Public Schools and a number of community organizations to present a 10-week series of free family literacy events at summer meal sites.
“Literacy Lunches” take place every Friday at noon, from June 25 through Aug. 27. Three Literacy Lunches will run simultaneously at the summer meal sites Albert B. Consentino School, 685 Washington St.; Caleb Dustin Hunking School, 480 S. Main St.; and Haverhill YMCA, 81 Winter St. Families may choose to drop in to any of the three sites, which will each have their own unique program. Consentino and Hunking Schools are outdoor programs, while the YMCA offers an indoor program.
“One of Haverhill Promise’s goals for this year was to increase the number of summer programs for families with young children.” says Jenny Arndt, campaign director for Haverhill Promise. “With the help of so many incredible community partners, we are adding 30 programs that not only provide free meals and books, but also create opportunities for little ones who may not have received any in-person preschool during the Pandemic to socialize and practice school readiness skills like sitting and listening.”
All Literacy Lunches are geared toward families with children ages 0-10, and include a read-aloud of a children’s book in both English and Spanish, whenever possible, followed by an interactive craft project, movement game or other coordinating activity. For the YMCA program, families have the option to use the indoor pool or gymnastics facility following the Literacy Lunch program. Each family that attends a Literacy Lunch receive their own copy of the book read that day to add to their home libraries. Parents must stay to supervise their children.
The Friday Literacy Lunches will be led by staff and volunteers from community programs including the Haverhill YMCA, Community Action’s Family and Community Connection, Haverhill Promise, Haverhill Public Library, Creative Haverhill and Ruth’s House, as well as children’s book authors Maggie Van Galen and Dr. Amy Wheadon, and local watercolor artist Pixie Yates.
There’s more information at haverhillpromise.com/summer-events.