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Pre-kinder, kinder, and first-grade students along with their families came together at Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District’sPerforming Arts Center for a jungle-themed 3rd Annual Family Fun Night on January 19.

“Family Fun Night provides an opportunity for the children to enjoy a fun environment capable of cultivating them into life-long readers,” Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos said. “Early childhood literacy is the essential foundation needed for college and career success. By establishing the importance of reading and fluency at an early age, we are preparing our students to thrive in their future pursuits through elementary, secondary and post-secondary education. With the help of teachers, staff, administrators and board members we are continuously working to expand early childhood literacy skills in our district and to promote its importance.”

One of the primary goals of the event was to demonstrate to parents the essential role music plays in a child’s early years and how it assists in building a sustained vocabulary and high phonological awareness.

“Music is a great way to incorporate things like rhyming and vocabulary,” Early Childhood Coordinator, Carmen Alvarez said. “Children learn through mimicking sounds or making hand gestures and things of that nature and music provides them with an opportunity to learn these skills.”

The event featured music from special guest and 2016 Latin Grammy Winner for “Best Children’s Album,” 123 Andrés who kept the children and parents dancing to the beat and at times even inviting them to join him on stage to be part of the performance.

Magician Oscar Muñoz also took part in literacy night with his comedy magic show that stirred immense laughter throughout his performance.

“Literacy really takes shape in many different forms when it comes to early childhood. People tend to think that literacy is just print,” Alvarez said. “But the foundational skills that children need to have before they dive into print can be learned many different ways. It can be a child being read to, a child doing a finger play or a child singing. It is so much more than just text and that is what we are really hoping our Early Literacy Initiative helps to inform.”

The 2017 Family Fun Night-Rumble in the Jungle ended with door prizes and book giveaways.

Click here for photos of the event.

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