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Literacy and arts on parade

Posted: December 6, 2008 9:13 p.m.
Updated: December 7, 2008 4:59 a.m.

Claire Stein-Wendt, 5, helps Girl Scout Troop 705 paint a "Christmukah" display in the window of Cookbooks Plus in Newhall Friday. Winners of the art competition were announced Saturday during the Literacy and Arts Festival.

Cool breezes and clear skies accompanied music, theatrical performances and book readings at the Santa Clarita Literacy and Arts Festival Saturday.

Several hundred people strolled past more than 30 vendors who lined a midway set up at William S. Hart Park in Newhall.

"It's all about promoting the arts," said Kris Hough, Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation board member.

The Literary and Arts Festival began in 2007, said Ann Unger, event coordinator. The program is designed
to pique children's interest in performing arts and literature in light of the cuts in those program in schools, she said.

"The goal is to provide another avenue for kids to enjoys arts and literature," she said.

The festival featured vendors hawking books and educational materials and performances aimed at families and children. The Signal pitched in to teach a group of young journalists the importance of the printed word.

The Education Foundation is funding a student newspaper at Canyon Springs Elementary School through a student enrichment grant. The newspaper will launch in January, said Jane D'Anna, assistant principal. Ten students sat with a Signal reporter and learned how to report and write short news stories.

The students raced around the park with note pads asking questions and scribbling down notes. The exercise was capped with a 20-minute writing session and critique.

"This was a great learning opportunity for students," D'Anna said.

The turnout at Saturday's festival is encouraging, Unger said. "It's a bigger crowd than last year and we expect it to continue to grow," she said.


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