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Family Reading Night Themes

12 years 4 months ago #159808 by Rose H
annk---Great tips on how to set up the evening and keep things moving. Thanks for sharing that, Rose
12 years 4 months ago #159781 by annk
Replied by annk on topic Re:Family Reading Night Themes
I have enjoyed reading about the different reading night themes and will probably use some of them.

This year, we created ours around the Scholastic Book Fair with the theme "Reading is out of this world". We decorated the cafeteria with star balloons on each table with books set up to where parents and students could sit and read after going through the book fair. We served lemonade in the cafeteria before the actual event. At 6pm, we announced the order of where everyone would go for the "Progressive Reading" portion of the evening. When the parents registered, they received a survey with a color which indicated where they would begin their evening. We had three rooms with a different host per room. For every book, we had a food related to the book to serve. Pickles to Pittsburgh - served TCBY yogurt, Amelia Bedelia makes an Apple Pie - served McD's apples and caramel, and Tops and Bottoms - served carrots and dip. Every 20 minutes we rotated to the next room and in an hour's time we were done. We had 200 people come and transitions were beautifully smooth. Everyone loved it and even the youngest of children were attentive the whole night. So much fun!!!
12 years 4 months ago #159598 by Rose H
Hi lanielanie,

How are you making out with your family reading night? Are you still going with the Dr. Seuss theme? I just happened upon an item online that said March 2 is Dr. Seuss's birthday. There are a lot of online sites with ideas for celebrating this birthday that could be incorporated into a reading night. Just one example -- (we have no affiliation!) Also, did you happen to see our family reading night planning kits? You can download one for free -- it might be helpful.

Good luck with all you are doing!

12 years 5 months ago #159346 by lanielanie
Replied by lanielanie on topic HELP
I think I may have bitten off more than I could chew. My daughter is in kindergarten and came home with the monthly newsletter seeking volunteers to put together a family reading night. If no one volunteered it was going to be cancelled.
Please help me out here and let me know if I am going in the right direction or not!? I guess there may not really be a wrong way?
I am going with the theme "Oh, the places you'll go" Dr. Seuss
I was thinking our guest reader could read this book a half an hour before the event ended.
Then I was thinking about making book marks and having goodies set up. This is being run along with the book fair so I don't want too much madness.
Is it wrong to ask parents to bring a book to read to their children?
Then I was wanting to have some of the other Dr. Seuss books set up with local businesses? Like maybe a dentist handing out toothbrushes with the Tooth Book?
Looking for more ideas! Any and all would be appreciated! Please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. unless there is a way to reply here!? :)
Thanks much!
12 years 5 months ago #159288 by Karen Ceradsky
Replied by Karen Ceradsky on topic Re:Family Reading Night Themes
I have been coordinator for Family Reading Night for nine years now. I have had many themes, but the most successful was last years theme. The slogan was "Reading Rocks" and the theme was rock and roll 50's & 60's style. I had a local DJ come and be our guest reader. Following refreshments, the DJ then played rock and roll music while we had an old fashioned sock hop. The students were encouraged to dress 50's style. The parents gave very good reviews. Now I just need to come up with something exciting this year. Open to ideas.
12 years 6 months ago #159154 by rachelmattison
We just had our first K-2 Family Reading Night last night and it was a big success. We didn't have a theme aside from come in your pj's with your family to read books on a chilly December night! We did it from 6:30-8 on a Thursday so people had time to eat dinner and come over in pj's. We were all cleaned up and out of there by 8:10.

2 weeks before: I asked the 3rd-6th graders to donate gently used books for a book swap table. They filled 3 boxes for us!

I lined up 3 adult readers (the principal and two teachers) and 3 5th grade girls who read in pairs. They chose their own books to read so there was a lot of variety.

We set up the elmo projector in the gym and borrowed a rocking chair from a Kindergarten teacher. We used a lapel mike to help project. I had a spare copy of each book from the library and projected the pictures while the reader read.

After the readers, kids were encouraged to visit the book swap table and swap a book that they had brought. (If they didn't bring a book, we had enough so that each child could take one home).

We had simple snacks (cookies, brownies, pretzels, lemonade) in the cafeteria along with an easy bookmark craft laid out on the tables.

Fortunately, I brought a Scholastic video collection of books that I put on for the families that showed up 30 minutes early and we were still setting up.

We estimated that at least 150 people came and we are just thrilled. Thanks so much to ptotoday for your kit and advice!
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