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Literary festival returns to Covington

COVINGTON - For the sixth year, families are invited to the Covington Square for the annual literacy festival.

From 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, families can participate in activities, visit literacy booths and watch performances from local groups.

"It's going to be very festive," said Mollie Melvin, executive director of The Learning Center, a sponsor of the event with Main Street Covington. "We'll have activities that help families learn more about the community ... It's a wonderful family opportunity."

She said families should expect to spend at least a couple of hours at the free event. Children from preschool to middle school would most enjoy the event, Melvin said.

From 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., various groups and schools will hold special performances on the Square. At least 20 booths will have stations for arts and crafts, games and a book walk. Also throughout the event, groups can tour the Historic Courthouse to learn about its restoration and preservation, and on the lawn of the Square, guests can identify where they live on a map and learn about character areas of the county.

At 9:30 a.m., the sidewalk chalk art competition will open - this year's theme is "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words." It's free, and a 12-pack of art chalk will be provided to the first 30 individual participants. The drawing will end at 12:30 p.m., and the winners will be announced at 1 p.m.

At 11 a.m., a sign will be unveiled declaring Newton County a certified literate community. The state awards this honor to cities who achieve a 10-year goal to promote literacy, but Newton County achieved it in eight years by helping 6,000 adults become more literate with various community programs.

Melvin said the festival is still looking for high school students to volunteer, and also spaces still are available for organizations to promote literacy at a booth.

More information is available by calling The Learning Center at 404-314-2615 or e-mailing info@leapintobooks.org.

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

SideBar: If You Go

What: Newton County Literacy Festival

When: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Downtown Covington Square

Cost: Free

More Information: The Learning Center - 404-314-2615 or info@leapintobooks.org

Schedule:

· 9:30 a.m. - Sidewalk chalk art competition begins

· 10 a.m. - Event opens

· 10 a.m. - Heavenly DanceSteps

· 11 a.m. - Certified Literate Community announcement and proclamation of September as literacy month

· 11:10 a.m. - Announcement of accelerated reader program for NCPS

· 11:15 a.m. - Oak Hill Elementary Chorus

· 11:30 a.m. - Children's performer BB Fuzz

· Noon - Children's character parade

· 12:15 p.m. - Montessori School of Covington

· 12:30 p.m. - Sidewalk chalk art competition closed

· 12:30 p.m. - Cousins Middle School Band

· 1 p.m. - Sidewalk chalk art winners announced

· 1:30 p.m. - Event closes