Book Fest Encourages Early Literacy

By Lorne Fultonberg

November 11, 2012 Updated Nov 12, 2012 at 11:03 AM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) -- A wide variety of interactive and educational activities greeted kids at the Owego Free Academy Saturday, a push to encourage early literacy.

"Just like brushing their teeth, we want families to read every single day to their kids," said Kristin Barton, President of the Family Reading Partnership of Owego-Apalachin.

The more parents read to their children, the better they will likely do in school and the higher their test scores will be, Barton said.

"Sometimes we get really busy as parents and I totally understand that as a mom," she said. "But it's so important if we just read 15 minutes a day every single day we would start a revolution" educationally.

Children's entertainers like musician Johnny Only and author Liz Rosenberg made appearances, Face painting, arts and crafts, and plenty of books were there for enjoyment as well.

Cyndi Herrick of Richford brought her twin girls to the Book Fest for the second year in a row. Her kids enjoy it, and she enjoys the early exposure to literature, she said.

"It's really important because it opens whole worlds to them," she said. "It's also important to pre-reading so they will be able to explore books on their own when they're older."

Just 15 minutes of reading each night can make all the difference in the world, Barton said, and the importance of reading can't be overstated.

"Reading is power," said Barton. "I tell my students if they can read there's not anything they can't do in this world."