Collin Anderson
The Panaca Elementary Library bustles with readers during the PTGhosted literacy night.

On Feb. 27 the Panaca Elementary Parent-Teacher Group held a literacy night for the community that emphasized how children can develop a love of reading.

As books lined the halls and the classrooms, groups were organized and sent to different classes. This allowed each group to have a different experience and plenty of time to enjoy the activities before moving on to the next room. One of the rooms discussed the Sora app and Overdrive, a service that the school district just picked up which helps track a child’s reading. It helps parents keep tabs on where they are in a book being read with a child so that the book can be easily picked back up. You can find the Sora app on the Apple app store, or visit soraapp.com.

In the library, the public was encouraged to check out the new books added recently thanks to a grant. With more than 13,000 books, anyone can check one out, which participants were invited to do.

The third-grade room had a madlibs style game, and it was hilarious to see people spouting complete gibberish until their eyes lit up and they shouted the phrase they were looking for at the top of their lungs.

In the first grade room, Beverly Peterson read people “That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown,” written by Cressida Cowell and illustrated by Neal Layton. The book depicts a young girl named Emily Brown as she defends her stuffed bunny from the ever-desperate attempts by a princess to take him away.

People were then invited to take turns in a group writing a story. Each member of the group, starting with the youngest, had to come up with a sentence, and tales grew more complex as each member added something. If you hadn’t finished by the time you needed to move on, you could take the story with you to continue the fun at home.

The next room was the “Rhyming Room,” in the fifth-grade classroom. Participants followed a set of handprints and footprints as they played a style of hopscotch that required people to figure out which words rhymed.

The final room was another rhyming experience where each group was given a word and then tasked with finding a book that contained a word that rhymed with the one received. This sent people searching through the fourth grade’s extensive collection of educational literature, ultimately discovering that the books near the door held most of the answers.

Participants received a piece of a puzzle depicting a scene from “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss as they progressed through each room, and once all six pieces were collected, they were good for a free root-beer float.