Nov. 21—THOMASVILLE- Harper Elementary School hosted its annual literacy night on Thursday, November 9, 2023. The theme was Harper's Eagle Literacy Cafe. Students and their families walked into the gym where tables were adorned with checkered tablecloths, bins of books with different reading levels complete with a "menu" of the books and a pianist, Mr. James Banks was playing soft music in the background. Faculty and staff members served as waiters and waitresses and provided assistance if families had questions about their orders.
Harper had a special guest and author, Dr. Shelia Thomas, who read one of her published books, "J,R.'s Biggest Fan." She engaged the audience by teaching parents the types of questions to ask their children when reading with them at home. Thomas also gave parents tips such as it's never too early to start reading with their children, create a literacy environment at home with books and words around the house and to make reading together fun and memorable.
Performances for this special event included a literacy theater performed by a group of Harper students, spoken word poetry performed by Banks and Tahj Braswell recited an original poem. There was also a cafe themed photo booth station that parents and students could use to capture the memories of this special event.
The purpose of literacy night was to teach parents reading strategies, questioning techniques, and how to engage in meaningful conversations with their children during family reading time at home. Parents also learned that literature can be presented in a variety of ways such as poetry and acting out the scenes in a book.
Several students at Harper were asked to give feedback about the literacy cafe.
Milan Gadson, a fourth grader, was really excited about what she learned. She said, "I liked the books, decorations and how parents can spend more time with their children."
Ashton Coston, another fourth grader, said he liked the books, the guest speaker and he enjoyed the music provided by Mr. Banks.
Miracle Bradley, a fifth grader, said she enjoyed the student poetry, the photo booth and the examples of affirmations that parents can use to encourage their children.
Parents and students were also given thank you bags for their participation in Harper Eagles' Literacy Cafe.