Raising Readers, a reading festival geared towards early education and school readiness for pre-school aged children, is scheduled to take place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 1st, at the Santa Monica College Clock Tower Quad, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Admission is free.

The family festival is organized by Connections For Children, a nonprofit group celebrating its 30th year. The festival is sponsored by Santa Monica College in collaboration with North Bay Association for the Education of Young Children.

Raising Readers will focus on the importance of children’s early literacy and language development as the foundation for a child’s learning process.

Children’s entertainment, emphasizing and promoting the “joys of reading and storytelling,” will include performances by Dan Crow and the Thunderwear Band, Flights of Fantasy Story Theatre and Rhythm Child.

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,” according to the group.

Dan Crow presents what organizers call inspired musical zaniness to audiences young and old.

Flights of Fantasy Theatre Group engulfs children and their families in its world of theatrical storytelling. The group puts its spin on folk tales, fables and poetry from various world cultures, accented by masks, props and costumes.

Rhythm Child describes its mission as the advancement and promotion of positive music for the next generation. The group interacts with its audience of youngsters during its performance. The group merges contemporary grooves, primal drums and classic children’s melodies into a collection of lyrical themes geared towards kids.

Scholastic Books will bring its Clifford the Big Red Dog character to greet children at the festival.

Local early childhood education programs will offer the opportunity for young children to explore creative, literature-based activities.

Additional storytellers and theater productions will seek to promote language arts and cultural awareness.

Information, (310) 452-3325 ext. 237.