HOUSTON – Dec. 18, 2018 – The cafeteria inside of Dekaney High School overflowed last Friday night with excited Spring ISD students and families who were there for the district’s fourth annual Winter Wonderland literacy event.
The free event serves to help kids make the connection between reading and enjoyment through storytelling, entertainment, hands-on activities and crafts. Sticking with the around-the-world theme, each child received a passport upon arrival to help guide them through a series of literacy-themed activity and craft stations. Those who received at least seven stamps were able to exchange their passports for an age-appropriate, holiday-wrapped book, donated by the Spring ISD Education Foundation in support of the district’s literacy campaign.
Spring ISD parent Elizabeth Garcia, who brought her fourth- and fifth-graders to the event, said she enjoys the literacy concept behind Winter Wonderland.
“I come each year and bring out my kids,” said Garcia. “The books are great, and I like how they are for kids of all ages.”
One popular activity station – “Whoville” from the Dr. Seuss book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” – was manned by the Spring ISD Police Department. Students were able to take a walk through the popular children’s classic and finish up by decorating cookies at the activity station.
“We all love the Grinch and it’s such a popular story from our childhood until now,” said Captain Vanessa Garza of the Spring ISD Police Department. “My favorite part of Winter Wonderland is to see the joy on the kids’ faces.”
Over 1,200 elementary and middle school students turned out to Dekaney High School for the event, which featured everything from read-aloud activities to holiday face painting. Throughout the evening, students were also treated to “sleigh rides” around the school, and many also took time to visit the always-popular snow field out back, where children made snowballs, snow angels and snowmen.
“This year’s event was a huge success and our families thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Tranita Carroll, Spring ISD’s parent engagement director. “Each activity station was engaging and enjoyable for our students, and I am grateful for all the volunteers who greeted our families, handed out school supplies, and helped make this a warm, welcoming and fun evening for all.”
Out on the campus’ front lawn, families were also able to step inside of a giant snow globe for holiday selfie photos, a new feature this year. Spring ISD teachers and staff members who came dressed as beloved characters – including Elsa and Olaf from “Frozen,” Tigger, The Grinch and Santa himself – helped ensure that children and their parents walked away with an experience full of holiday memories.
“Once again, we were able to have an amazing event thanks to the support from our campuses and our departments,” said Leticia Grounds, the district’s executive director of family and community engagement. “We are grateful to everyone who helped to create such an enjoyable event for our families and share the love of reading with our students.”