Photo album: 2017 Winter Wonderland
Spring ISD Education Foundation directors Gloria Marshall, from left, and Barbara Sherman hand out brand new books to children attending Winter Wonderland.
HOUSTON – Dec. 11, 2017 – There was plenty of action at Spring ISD’s Winter Wonderland Around the World literacy event on Friday, designed to help kids make the connection between reading and enjoyment through hands-on activities and crafts.
The event hit its mark with Shukella Price, who brought her young son Cameron because she wanted to introduce him to new experiences, as well as literacy concepts. “Reading is so important, and building that foundation for the kiddos where it is associated with something that is fun and exciting, it’s like second nature,” she said. “They don’t even realize they are learning and that is what this is.”
In keeping with the around-the-world theme, each child in attendance received a paper passport to help guide them through the different events. Those who got at least seven stamps, were able to exchange their passports for a free, wrapped book, donated by the Spring ISD Education Foundation in support of the district’s campaign to improve literacy.
“It is exciting to sit over here and see the kids enjoying it,” said the foundation’s Bruce Bentley. “And I’ve seen it grow in three years.”
This year, more than 1,000 elementary and middle school students turned out to Dekaney High School for the event, which featured everything from read-alouds to making ornaments. One highlight of the event was a special ride to represent the popular children’s classic, “The Polar Express.”
“This year we were very careful and deliberate in making sure we had lots of hands-on literacy activities for our families,” said Tranita Carroll, parent engagement coordinator.
In all, children and their parents had the opportunity to visit up to 15 activity stations, manned by Spring ISD employees, who came dressed as book characters – Elsa, Olaf and the Cat in the Hat were all there, as well as numerous elves and Santa himself, who rode in on a motorcycle.
“We could not have provided all the craft tables and centers without support from our departments,” said Leticia Grounds, Family and Community Engagement executive director. “We are very grateful to everyone who helped to create a festive experience for our families.”
Fred Walker, director of building operations, spent the evening dressed as a conductor while leading “The Polar Express” train past entertainment that included choirs, dancers and a jazz band provided by Dekaney High School and Wells Middle School.
“It is cool,” said Adam Rincon, a 10th-grader who plays the cymbals in the Dekaney jazz band. “I feel good about it. We worked hard. We are a big part of this thing. I love every part of it. I love every part of doing it.”