The ninth annual Connections For Children’s Raising Readers — A Literacy Festival will take place at the Clock Tower Quad on the Santa Monica College campus from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 9th, and will once again feature a special visit from Clifford The Big Red Dog.

The event is sponsored by the college in collaboration with the North Bay Association for the Education of Young Children.

Connections For Children, a childcare resource and referral agency, focuses on child development, advocacy for quality early learning experiences for children, and providing community resources for families, teachers and caregivers.

Raising Readers — A Literacy Festival focuses on the importance of children’s early literacy and language development as the foundation for all children’s learning.

Entertainment emphasizing the joys of reading and storytelling will once again include a visit from Clifford The Big Red Dog and performances by José-Luis Orozco, Flights of Fantasy Story Theatre, Parker Bent and Rhythm Child.

The popular red canine from the children’s book and television series will greet children at a book fair sponsored by Scholastic Books. Local early childhood education programs will offer the opportunity for young children to explore a variety of creative, literacy-based activities.

Orozco, who has performed before millions of children, has a loyal following of parents, teachers and pre-school and elementary-aged children. His presentations offer a musical journey through Latin American history, language and culture.

Flights of Fantasy Story Theatre is a group of performers who put a contemporary spin on folk tales, fables and poetry, from around the world, making favorite stories spring to life in a lively display of masks, props and costumes.

Through its music, Rhythm Child merges various styles of contemporary grooves, primal drums, and classic children’s melodies into a collection of fresh lyrical themes that offer an alternate approach to entertaining children.

The free family event is made possible with the support of local individuals and businesses such as Barnes & Noble, ICG Advisors, LLC, Adri Butler, The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, Metropolitan West Asset Management, LLC, and Santa Monica City TV.

For more information about Raising Readers — A Literacy Festival, Catherine Griffin at (310) 452-3325, extension 237.

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