Teddy Bear Picnic (Make a Difference Day Literacy event)

Literacy Committee Chair Jana Ackerman tells students, toddlers,
and staff about the "Corduroy" Bear books for children

Each year, Altrusa of Montrose chooses a special project for the nationally-recognized Make a Difference Day. On October 29, 2014, Altrusa hosted a Teddy Bear Picnic at Passage Charter School, an alternative high school for pregnant and parenting teens with an on-site daycare center.

The event began with storytelling by retired teacher and librarian Jana Ackerman, who also serves as Chair for Altrusa's Literacy Committee. In keeping with the Teddy Bear theme, Jana read from several board book versions of the Corduroy bear book series.

Following storytime, Altrusa members served a picnic lunch to the students, children, and staff (catered by Straw Hat Farms).

Finally, each young parent or parent-to-be was given a box set of the Corduroy board books to take home and add to their home library of children's books.

By encouraging young parents to read to their babies and toddlers, Altrusa hopes to enhance the future language skills of these children. Researchers have found that reading bedtime stories to babies and talking to them from birth boosts their brain power and sets them up for success at school.

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