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Literacy Fest set for Sept. 23

COVINGTON -- In celebration of National Literacy Month, the 10th annual Literacy Festival will take place in downtown Covington from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23.

The purpose of the event is "to celebrate 10 years of commitment to literacy programs in Newton County and to provide examples of fun, creative literacy activities that families can use in their daily lives," said Mollie Melvin, director of The Learning Center, an early literacy preparation program for children ages birth to 5 years. "Families will be entertained and take home books and materials that make it easy to help our youngest students become ready to read and to help students already in school become more successful."

School groups, PTOs and clubs will be present to promote school spirit and service activities; non-profit organizations will share their programs and resources; and vendors providing a product for sale will donate a portion of proceeds to literacy organizations.

The Literacy Festival is one of only four such events in Georgia.

"For us to sustain a literacy focused event for 10 years says something about this community," Melvin added.

The Newton County Community Partnership and Main Street Covington are hosting the event in support of The Learning Center, Newton Mentoring and Newton Reads. Sponsors are Rotary Club of Covington; Liberty Mutual agent Chris Greene; Game Time; and Newton Federal.

Several authors including local children's book author Erik Oliver and representatives from East Metro Christian Writers will be available to sign their works.

A sidewalk chalk contest for children in sixth grade and above will encourage entrants to depict the theme, "Bringing Words to Life." Free chalk will be provided to the first 50 entrants, and the top prize is a gift certificate for art supplies or art lessons. Original works and depictions of a public illustration are allowed.

Entertainment will include Springfield Baptist Church's Dance Ministry; Social Circle Theater's Well Diggers; TG'Z - The Taylor Girlz; Scarden; and T Rumble at The Kidz.

There will also be giveaways including $50 Visa gift cards, backpacks, school supplies, books and crafts. Kids can get their hair done in the style of a Who from Dr. Seuss' Whoville or face painting for a donation. All other activities are free.

The Literacy Festival is geared toward families with preschool through middle school students and will include games, arts and crafts, interactive programs, a Dr. Seuss Station, story time, a giant crossword puzzle and other activities.

Vendors, sponsors and young artists are still being sought to participate. For more information, contact Melvin at mollie@leapintobooks.org or 404-314-2615.