Here's some big news for more than a few preschoolers and young grade schoolers around here: Letterland is coming!
Pullen Park will turn into the imaginary place, home to all the letters of the alphabet, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 16.
I was vaguely aware of the program, which is used to teach young children, ages 3 to 8, reading, writing and spelling, until this year when my younger daughter's preschool used it as part of their classroom work.
The phonics-based approach turns regular old letters into actual characters, who live in a place called Letterland. Each character has their own personality and story that goes along with their sound. So the letter "C," for instance, is Clever Cat. "T" is Talking Tess. My five-year-old, who can read well already, has come home many weeks, talking excitedly about the letter character of the week.
Wake County Public School System, WAKE Up and Read Collaborative and Wake Education Partnership will bring the Letterland characters and activities to Pullen Park for Letterland Adventure Day. The day includes opportunities to meet with characters such as Firefighter Fred and see his fire engine; Clever Cat for a ride on the carousel; and Bouncy Ben and his boats. Pullen's train will turn into Talking Tess's train; and Impy Ink will be face painting at Golden Girl's gaenbo.
There will be other games and activities; photo opportunities; local school group's singing Letterland songs; and a chance to meet Lyn Wendon, the author and originator of Letterland, from England. Wendon created the system as a teacher to help reluctant readers, according to a press release. Letterland is now in more than 100 countries to help English speaking children and to teach English as a second language.
Letterland Days also has been a very popular event at Tweestie Railroad in western North Carolina, a few hours from the Triangle. It will be there in early to mid-May for several days.
Pullen Park is at 408 Ashe Ave., Raleigh.