Literacy Festival returns to Covington for 5th year

COVINGTON - The Learning Center and Main Street Covington want families to know that learning can be fun.

This weekend, the two organizations will co-sponsor an event that can bring families together, all in the name of education.

From 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Saturday on the Downtown Square in Covington, families with school-age children are invited to the fifth annual Literacy Festival. It is free and open to the public; more than 20 organizations will offer activities for children in strollers up to students in high school.

Mollie Melvin, executive director of the Learning Center, said Covington should be proud to offer this festival for its families.

"It's an opportunity for families to learn about the number of agencies in the community that support literacy for children and adults," she said about the festival. "Also, parents will see methods and techniques that they can use for their young children to improve their school work."

Since the event began five years ago, it has grown every year; last year it attracted upwards of 600 students, Melvin said.

"There's always a huge amount of excitement," she said. "Families come and spend a good amount of time, several hours, especially if they have children in various age groups. It really is a family outing."

During the festival, families and their children can enjoy arts and crafts, dance and musical performances and a book walk, among other activities. A concert by Seth Decker and the Missing Piece band will begin at noon.

The second annual Sidewalk Chalk Art competition will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., when judging begins. It's open to middle and high school students, who can register ahead of time or at the event, if space is available, as an individual or in a group. Students who register get a 12-pack of art chalk while supplies last, or they can bring their own palette of chalk.

To register ahead of time for the art competition, students can call the Learning Center at 770-787-2778 or get a registration form from their art teacher.

Any organization interested in sponsoring a booth at the festival is asked to contact Melvin at 770-787-2778 or at info@leapintobooks.org.

Parking for the festival is available on the streets surrounding the Square and neighboring blocks. The 2008 Fuzz Run and Fuzz Run Business Expo are also occurring Saturday from 7 a.m. until the race ends.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: If you go

· What: Fifth Annual Literacy Festival

· When: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday; concert at noon, Sidewalk Chalk Art from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

· Where: Downtown Covington Square

· Cost: Free

· More Information: The Learning Center, 770-787-2778 or www.leapintobooks.org