By Tonya Saddoris, TigerHawk Connections Learning Center Site Coordinator |

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has a way of bringing families together. TCLC’s first literacy night gave families an opportunity to work together on literacy activities, including food pictionary, making a menu for the next day in Chewandswallow, and writing a fictional story! The TCLC team could tell the families were having fun from all of the laughter we heard paired with some great moments we were able to catch on camera.

The activities, designed with themes from the book, allowed students to connect aspects of the story with important literacy concepts, such as sentence building, word and image associations, and item description. Students were able to create their own story, that was much like the storyline of the book. Each child began writing their own story; then they passed it around while others would add to it; and they would continue to pass it around, allowing students to connect and engage with each other while also learning how to build a story.

The night was a great success, and many TCLC families turned out. The goal of the night was to show the families what it is like for the kids day to day at program and provide examples of the kinds of activities they do. Not only did the kids enjoy themselves doing activities, but the parents did as well. The families were able to see how to make reading and writing fun, to better understand how TCLC benefits the kids and families, and to learn how to engage kids with literacy in new ways.

Parents and kids said they had a lot of fun and really enjoyed themselves. A student the next day asked if he could re-do one of the activities from the family night because he had misplaced his, and he really thought he had planned a great menu! Activities and nights like these can bring the whole family together around learning and can engage them all in developing new skills and appreciation for reading. We had a great night, thanks to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs!

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