by Madison Marko – Photographer
Culinary students catered Grass Lake’s Prime Time Family Reading, a six-week program held at the Covington Library that is worked to promote literacy skills in economically and educationally vulnerable families. Starting on Jan. 9, 25 Grass Lake families were invited to meet weekly at the for the event.
The culinary students prepared a variety of meals, including chicken soft tacos, chili, baked potatoes, and cheese raviolis. Mario Molinero Villagomez (11), a culinary student who helped, said, “I like collaborating with other people, and cooking for them. It is fun to see their reactions toward the food and hear the different opinions. Hearing people critique the work we have done helps us improve in the future.”
Maddie Gwynne (11) said, “My favorite part has been getting to see all the kids and interact with them. It is fun to serve them—they either love salad, or they hate salad, they all have their own preferences.”
The first half-hour of Prime Time is dedicated to enjoying the meal, and the rest is for books. At every session, three books are sent home with the families to read, and then these books are discussed in the following meet-up. Alison Fraiman, a Grass Lake teacher, facilitates the discussions. Fraiman said, “Each week there is a theme, and we do not come right out and tell the families what the theme is, so the questions I ask help them find that connecting idea between the books. We are trying to encourage parents to read with their children, and be able to ask questions that make them think deeper about the stories.”
Noelia Lozano-Sanchez, a fourth-grader at Grass Lake, said, “I like when Mrs. Fraiman asks questions about the reading. They help me to imagine the themes we are discussing and experience the book in a new way.”
While the students and parents are involved in discussion, the siblings are invited into the Storytime Room to do an activity relating to a book they read.
Monica Sands, the Children’s Librarian at the Covington Library, said, “Families are reading together, and as more people are getting involved it is reaching beyond even just the families that are here. There is so much room for growth in this setting.”