May 28

Family Reading Night

Recently St. John’s PTO hosted a Family Reading Night event, and thanks to our friends at PTO Today, it was a huge success.  Our goal was to promote family reading, and we used the free PTO Today Family Reading Night Planning Kit to guide our event preparations.  They provided posters and tons of great ideas about structuring the night, snacks and activities.  They even sent us a free book to give away.  So with all those great ideas, we were off and running!  Here’s a look at how the night went.

First stop for the evening was our registration table, where each person grabbed a reading passport which they filled with stickers at every stop they made throughout the evening.  They also registered for door prizes

and had family pictures made with Dr. Seuss!

Everyone was divided into three groups and they rotated through our three reading spots.  Special guest readers shared stories including –

Then it was time for snacks.  We enjoyed literary treats including

  • Miss Spider’s Tea Party delicacies – cookies and brownies
  • Hop on Popcorn – popcorn
  • Green Eggs and Ham – pretzels with a dollop of white chocolate and a green M&M
  • Giving Trees – broccoli and cauliflower
  • A Cheese Tree – a foam cutout of a tree with tooth-picked cheese cubes
  • Pink Ink Yink Drink – pink lemonade

Next everyone scattered out to visit the three fun events we had set up.   We had an I Spy table, complete with our own homemade I Spy board and riddles.

There was a make your own “My Family” book spot

and a huge book exchange.  Our friends at Barnes and Noble donated bags and everyone loaded up on tons of books.  Each family brought gently used books to contribute to the exchange, and the school teachers also cleared their shelves of some older titles that were no longer needed.  Free bookmarks and family reading idea sheets were available as well.

We ended the evening with door prizes of … you guessed it, BOOKS!  We gave away copies of the teacher’s favorite books, several book lights, for the parents a copy of Jim Trelease’s The Read Aloud Handbook, and a hardcover copy of the recent Shel Silverstein release, Every Thing On It (thanks again PTO Today for that donation!!).

Then it was time for lights out and bedtime stories.  We shared a couple of classics – Goodnight Moon and Time For Bed – and a modern twist video of one – Goodnight iPad …

A very fun night of reading was enjoyed by all, and we hope it will encourage families to spend many more nights together sharing great books!

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