X marks the spot!
After a month long treasure hunt in which children have been challenged to visit various locations around town – libraries and family eateries – and partake different activities to gain stamps on their “treasure maps,” the Children’s Museum will host “Love of Literary,” a free admission day devoted to cultivating a love of books.
“I think it’s going to be a fun big day that we’re going to have,” said Daniela Siqueiros, marketing and membership manager of the Children’s Museum.
The Love of Literacy event on Saturday, Sept. 28 features a variety of activities – giveaways, book readings, characters and performances – and an opportunity to tour the Children’s Museum free of charge. And for each of the stamps collected by those kids who have participated in the treasure hunt provided by the Literacy Connects Coalition and Bear Essential News for Kids, a ticket will be entered in a raffle for cool prizes.
“It’s a literacy festival!” Siqueiros said. “We’re really excited about it.”
This year is the third annual Love of Literacy event. Sixteen different organizations, such as Bookman’s and Pima County Library, will be providing activities. Local talent and Arizona Daily Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons also agreed to participate.
“I decided to get involved because reading enriched my life and I want to encourage kids to read,” Fitzsimmons said. “As a dad and a grandpa I’m a sucker for a good children’s book.”
Fitzsimmons has been collecting kids’ submissions for a cartooning contest. He will choose five winners to invite to the Love of Literacy event where he will draw each winner and host a drawing clinic to teach children to draw their favorite cartoon heroes.
“I believe that for kids the act of drawing is an intellectual endeavor that uses and develops a range of skills that contribute to a meaningful life, whether it’s learning how to express oneself creatively, communicate concepts, or simply record one’s visions,” Fitzsimmons added. “And it’s flippin’ fun!”
The Love of Literacy event comes just in time for the opening of the new exhibit at the Children’s Museum. Their new “Wee World” will provide a larger area for the youngsters to play while the “Art Studio” will provide children a place to really let their creative energies flow.
“We’re really excited about this room. It’s really going to allow to be unique creative space for kids,” Siqueiros said. “The main thing is to learn through play but you want the kids to have fun, and to really learn that learning is fun!”
The Children’s Museum has a great lineup of upcoming events too. “Evening of Play” will be a fundraiser night – adults only! – on Oct. 12 and “Fame” – Family Arts Music Experience – will be another free admission day on Oct. 27.
The Love of Literacy event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 28 at the Tucson Children’s Museum located at 200 S. 6th Ave. Free admission all day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information visit ChildrenMuseumTucson.org.