Children’s book lovers of all ages will have a brand new event to enjoy—complete with themed and decorated tables, crafts, and snacks—when The Literacy Tea takes place on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to Noon in the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Campus Center. Tickets are $12 per person and event proceeds will go toward the purchase of books for children in foster care in Aroostook County.
Organized by UMPI alumna Laura Hale with help from retired UMPI faculty member Wendy Ross and local educator Halina Herzog, and sponsored by UMPI, the Literacy Tea is designed to be a celebration of children’s literature perfect for kids, parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, and all book lovers. Participants will enjoy snacks, crafts, and reading fun, all centered around favorite children’s books.
“Imagine an Alice in Wonderland table decorated to look like a Mad Hatter’s tea party, with sweets including ‘Eat Me’ and ‘Drink Me’ cookies, and a talking door knob craft. That’s exactly the kind of thing you should expect at this event—each table will be a like a small party for each book,” Hale explained. “We’re aiming to promoting literacy and get children excited about classic books as well as some new favorite books. We want to show children that reading is fun and how books can come alive with your imagination.”
The event will feature 20 different tables hosted by volunteers and themed around a specific children’s book or author. Books/series/authors include: Harry Potter, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Miss Rumphius, Madeline, Alice in Wonderland, Charlotte’s Web, Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee, Hatchet, Nancy Drew, Skippyjon Jones, Dr. Seuss, Big Heroes DC Super Friends, The Secret Garden, If You Give a Moose a Muffin and other various Laura Numeroff books, Linnea in Monet’s Garden, Winnie-the-Pooh, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Nibbles, Magic Beach, and Anne of Green Gables.
Each table will spend time reading the featured book, or a portion of it, and enjoying snacks, crafts, and other activities centered around the book theme. The event will also include a large group literature activity, and a table of raffle items including cookies decorated by Baked by Olivia B, a basket of books, and a basket of tea items.
Hale said the goal of the event is to provide a fun community activity that promotes literacy while at the same time creating a way to provide quality books to children in foster care. Organizers hope to provide books to all 117 children currently in foster care in Aroostook County. Books will be purchased through Usborne Books & More, which is matching all donations at 50 percent.
“This event is 100 percent run by people in our local community,” Hale said. “All table volunteers are parents, grandparents, and children from our community who are excited to share their favorite books with others. We also have local libraries, including Northern Maine Community College and Walter T.A. Hansen Memorial Library in Mars Hill, and organizations such as The Aroostook Partners in the Arts and The Nordic Heritage Center who are assisting with this event.”
Hale said organizers and volunteers are looking forward to seeing the event—and the books—come to life on Sept. 14.
“It will be amazing to see so many beloved books celebrated in one room, as well as people of all ages enjoying the event and all the activities!” she said.