Thousands of children and their parents will go “Wild about Reading” March 5 at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 1600 Gendy St. in Fort Worth. The free public event is an opportunity for children to explore the museum while obtaining free children’s books (for newborns through age 12) to create a new home library and develop a love of reading. It will take place from 12 to 4 p.m.
Free tickets are required and are available (while they last) online at unitedwaytarrant.org/WildAboutReading. Free parking will be available at Farrington Field. There is a fee for other parking.
NBC 5 News Anchor Deborah Ferguson and other celebrity readers will read stories, and there will be a cooking demonstration by The Step Stool Chef, a 9-year-old who already has published his own cookbook. Other free happenings will include:
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) activities
- An appearance by Sister Cat (Cat in the Hat’s sister)
- Balloon animal artists
- Stilt walkers
- Booths where families can sign up for free library cards or free home-delivered books through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
- Raffle prizes
- Free children’s book backpacks (while supply lasts)
- Photo booth
Launched by United Way in 2012, “Wild about Reading” previously was held for families of area youth-serving organizations, but additional underwriting is making the event open to the public for the first time this year. Atmos Energy is the title sponsor. United Way is hosting the event, and event sponsors are the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Capital One, Holman, Facebook and Educational First Steps.
Event partners are the Arlington Public Library, Big Brothers Big Sisters, BridgesWork, Camp Fire First Texas, Clayton YES!, Everman ISD, Fort Worth ISD, Foundation Communities, Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Morningside Children’s Partnership, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County, and the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth.
“Wild about Reading” was established by United Way as part of its 10-year LEARN WELL education initiative. Reading on grade level by the end of third grade is the most significant predictor of high school graduation. Children who have not learned to read cannot “read to learn.”