Beginning on March 21st and culminating on May 2nd, The Bologna Performing Arts Center’s Arts Education Department and Pearman Elementary School participated in a collaborative reading series entitled Family Reading Bonds, a program developed by the Mississippi Humanities Council. For 6 weeks, students and parents from Pearman Elementary School gathered together on Thursday evenings to enjoy a family bonding time filled with reading, discussion, and storytelling. Each week, storyteller Robert “Uncle Bob” Neill and discussion leader Emily Jones facilitated conversation, fun, and laughter through award-winning children’s books. The award winning children’s books were grouped into six different themes: fairness, courage, coping, greed, determination and dreams. Families were encouraged to read the books together before each weekly session.
Whitney Cummins, Arts Education Coordinator at the Bologna Performing Arts Center, and Jonnie Shumpert, principal at Pearman Elementary School, served as site coordinators for the program. Staff members from the Bologna Performing Arts Center and Pearman Elementary School teachers served as weekly volunteers for the program.
The final installment of Family Reading Bonds was held on Thursday, May 2nd. After the stories for the final session were read and discussed, an informal graduation ceremony was held. Each participant was awarded with a certificate of completion, and each family received a Dr. Seuss gift book. Nutritious snacks, community infomercials, and door prizes were provided for all families at every session. Funding for snacks and door prizes was provided by Abraham’s Men’s Shoppe, Kroger, and Delta State University Greek Organizations.
For more information about Family Reading Bonds please contact David Morgan, Special Projects Director for the Mississippi Humanities Council, at (601) 432-6752.