For the last year, Lucy's Book Club, part of the Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood Development, has been encouraging parents to read to their kids.
The program, which targets kids from birth to age six, also works to guide children's social and emotional growth by recommending book lists built around developmental themes such as “learning to like myself” and “welcoming a new brother or sister.” Staff at the center, which specializes in early childhood education and mental health, has worked with Wake County libraries to review books and create the lists.
For the next couple of weeks, Lucy's Book Club will be celebrating its first anniversary with Bookmarked! A Celebration of Reading with Children. It officially started over the weekend.
The festival includes a Lucy’s Book Club book fair at Quail Ridge Books on Wade Avenue in Raleigh where all of this past year's book club books will be for sale. The store will donate 20 percent of the book sale profits to the Lucy Daniels Center's family support fund.
A ballerina and a policeman are among the "celebrity heroes" who will be reading to kids at venues across Wake County. The free readings include a couple of special events with author and poet Judith Viorst on June 5 and June 6. (You might know Viorst from her very popular children's book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day").
The free readings also include a slew of activities at North Hills in Raleigh this Saturday. At 10 a.m., two members from the Hurricanes' Storm Squad will read. And at 11 a.m. Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan will share a book. The Sanford Nature Center also will be on hand with a live owl, which will go along with one of the books. In between readings, there will be live music and North Hills' Farmer's Market. (In case of rain, the readings will move to the storefront between Lens Crafters and Learning Express).
Other readings Saturday are scheduled for East Regional Library in Knightdale and Cameron Village Library in Raleigh. And next week, events are planned for Quail Ridge and West Regional Library in Cary.
At 10 a.m. June 5, Viorst will hold a special storytime at Quail Ridge Books. This is a free event. But if you'd like Viorst to sign a book for you, be sure to read the rules on events such as these at Quail Ridge before you go.
Viorst also will speak at a fundraising event at 7 p.m. June 6 at Peace College. Tickets are $50. To learn more, click here.
Proceeds will go toward Lucy’s Book Club materials for next year. They also will support Lucy Daniels Center’s Family Support Fund, which makes up the gap between what families can afford to pay and the actual cost of providing mental health services.