Literacy is such an important skill, but not every child loves to read or even has access to books. #MacombReads aims to change that.
This fourth annual event was created through a partnership with Macomb County’s Department of Planning and Economic Development, County Executive Mark Hackel, all 21 of the county’s school districts and select local entities, including the Anton Art Center, United Shore Professional Baseball League at Jimmy Johns Field, All the World’s A Stage, the Clinton-Macomb Public Library, the Detroit Zoo, and Detroit Public Television, with the sole purpose of inspiring kids to read.
“We have children in the county who don’t have home libraries or many books in the home and this event provides an opportunity not only for students to engage with illustrators and authors, but it also gives them an opportunity to get free books to add to or begin building their home libraries,” says Dr. Alesia Flye, the assistant superintendent for instruction and chief academic officer for the Macomb Intermediate School District. “We know the more opportunity that students get to read, it impacts them. It can be life changing.”
The #MacombReads event, which happens on Nov. 5, 2022, is aimed at Pre-k through elementary students. The event, which has been virtual and drive-thru only the past couple of years, is back in person and boasts tons of fun for families.
Starting at 10 a.m. and going until 2 p.m., this year’s event, which is themed “Reading Carnival,” features free children’s books, art activities with the Anton Art Center, hands-on STEM activities and STEM demos with representatives from Lawrence Technological University.
In addition, families will score some delicious Michigan cider and doughnuts — and learn how to make cider, too. They’ll also get the chance to see authors Johnathan Rand and Amy Young. Rand is the author of the Michigan Chillers series, while Young is the author of the A Unicorn Named Sparkle series. Rand was a hit with families last year, Flye notes, so he’s back again to interact with the kids. Young will be hosting an illustration session for children, and both authors will be signing copies of their books for event guests, as well.
Costumed characters, like Roary, the Detroit Lion’s mascot, will be there to interact with the kids, too. And, Flye says, a special new character from Detroit Public Television will be unveiled at this year’s event!
Face painting, a selfie station and literacy Bingo are also part of the festivities. Most of the fun takes place indoors, but you’ll find games — like giant Jenga and cornhole — along with a DJ playing music outside.
#MacombReads is a free event open to all kids including those outside of Macomb County. Registration is required for the event. You can register at misd.net/MacombReads.
“When we talk about literacy, we know that it sets the early foundation,” Flye says. “The earlier we can get students engaged with reading, it just benefits them and sets them up for more successful lifelong learning.”
For more information on #MacombReads, visit the MISD website. To learn more about life in Macomb County, please visit MakeMacombYourHome.com.
This post was originally published in 2020 and has been updated for 2022.