Ashland Elementary School hosts literacy celebration

ASHLAND — Ashland Elementary School recently hosted a Children’s Literacy Foundation Literacy Celebration for AES students and parents. The featured guest was David Martin, children’s author, educator, and speaker. Martin is the author of several children’s books as well as a series of children’s beginning readers. Some of his well-known titles include "We’ve All Got Belly Buttons," "Piggy and Dad Go Fishing" and "Let’s Have a Tree Party." A former teacher, he now presents writing workshops for elementary students, as well as literacy workshops for parents, teachers, and librarians.

The evening began with a celebratory dinner for attending families, with food by the Common Man. Throughout dinner, students and families enjoy a cello performance by Kari Jukka-Pekka Vainio. Mr. Vainio grew up in Finland and studied cello at the Helsinki Conservatory. Following dinner, parents attended a seminar focused on reading with children with guest author David Martin. Students participated in a variety of craft activities during this time. Storytelling by David Martin and a CLiF book give away rounded out the evening. The giveaway featured two free books for each child in the family, from birth through 12th grade.

CLiF’s Year of the Book sponsorship supplements school literacy curricula to create a pro-literacy culture within the school and greater community, inspires students to read and write for pleasure, increases access to reading materials in school and at home, and encourages community-wide engagement in literacy. CLiF programming for Ashland Elementary School is sponsored by the Cricenti Family Trust, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Saul O. Sidore Memorial Foundation, an Anonymous Foundation, and an Anonymous donor. CLiF is a non-profit organization founded in 1998. Its mission it to nurture a love of reading and writing among low-income, at-risk, and rural children in New Hampshire and Vermont. For over 19 years, CLiF has inspired nearly 200,000 young readers and writers through literacy program grants and has given away almost $5 million in new, high-quality children’s books. For more information, visit

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Top: Kindergarten student Brecken Reynolds and family enjoy dinner during the Family Literacy Night; Bottom left: Kari Jukka-Pekka Vainio performs for families; Bottom right: Storyteller David Martin entertains the crowd. (Courtesy photos)

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Students and families enjoyed selecting books during the AES Family Literacy Night. (Courtesy photo)