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Wakefield literacy fair brings students, parents together
Two boys play food bingo at one of the 32 activity booths at the literacy fair held at Wakefield Elementary on Friday. - photo by MAEGAN MARTENS / The Journal
Reading and writing are what school is all about. However, the administration and staff at Wakefield Elementary want reading and writing to go beyond the school house walls for their students. To achieve those goals, the school hosted their sixth annual “A Family Affair for Literacy” on Friday.
The school’s front lawn was converted into a variety of stations where about 400 children and their families were taught strategies to keep learning fun.
There were also about 32 community agencies at the fair, said Judy Huerta, coordinator of the school’s readiness program. Some agencies in attendance were the Turlock Adult School, Lowe’s, United Way, CSU Stanislaus, the Turlock Police Department and the Girl Scouts.
“I think it is great to get everyone together,” said Linda Meadows, parent of a Wakefield student. “Parents need to be more involved.”  
Sixth grader Daniela Flores was part of the group of older students who were reading to the younger students.
“It is fun here because there are so many activities and I don’t have this at home,” Flores said.    
All of the stations had some sort of hands-on activities for the children. Every year there is a survey that is offered to the parents for suggestions to help improve the literacy fair and the biggest suggestion from last year was to offer more activities for the children, Huerta said.      
“They are playing and learning at the same time,” she said. “They are using all of their senses to learn.”  
Some activities that were at the fair included: Mask making, necklace making and matching up letters. For every activity, there were educational lessons written down to let parents know what the students should be learning from each activity.  
“We are trying to send out the message to parents to read to the kids,” Huerta said. “It is important for the parents to be involved in their child’s education.”   
Health and fitness information was provided at the fair as well. In-Shape was there to teach children about exercising, along with eating healthy.   
The literacy fair is part of a school readiness program called project Grow and Read that is at Osborn, Wakefield and Cunningham elementary schools. The project is funded by the Stanislaus County Children and Families Commission.
Money for the literacy fair, which is put on by the GROW program, is provided by the $6.5 million that the Stanislaus County Children and Families Commission receives from Proposition 10, the tobacco tax. In 1998, California voters passed Proposition 10 which is an additional tax of 50 cents added to cigarettes to help support early childhood development programs for children up to the age of five.  
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.