Literacy Workshop Is For Children, Families

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Pat Oso grew up "letting the dog out and bringing the paper in" then arguing with her siblings over who was able to read the Sunday comics first.

But, in some cases, a child never sees the adults in their home read.

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Head Start pupils Aubree Warren and Matthew Knight are counting horses in The Rim Review.

"Children get excited about reading the newspaper because it is something grown-ups do," Pat Oso, statewide newspapers in education coordinator for the Arizona Newspapers Association, said.

"Fewer than 30 percent of families in Arizona subscribe to any periodical in the home," she added.

Arizona Press Women, Arizona Newspapers Association and Rim Country Literacy are sponsoring a free workshop for low-income families Feb. 9.

"When APW did this workshop in Phoenix in the 1990s, many families told us they had never subscribed to a newspaper because they did not see how it related to their lives," APW member Carol Osman-Brown said.

The workshop aims to introduce newspapers to families who may not read or use them regularly, if at all.

Because reading a newspaper is also a tactile experience, pre-school-age children will use newspapers for fun crafts at the workshop.

Newspapers bridge the gap between theory taught in the classroom, and what is going on in the community and the world, Oso said.

Kindergarten through eighth grade children will participate in educational games and activities at the workshop.

Teens and adults will learn to use newspapers as a way to find bargains in the classifieds and save money by shopping with advertisements.

They will also learn how to locate local event and health information, plus sports and family-oriented entertainment.

The Arizona Republic, Payson Patriot and Payson Roundup newspapers are providing newspapers to participants.

The families and newspapers workshop is from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9, in the Community Room at the Payson Public Library. A free lunch is included.

Parents must accompany children under 6 years old. Please do not bring infants, since there is no way to care for them at the event.

Contact Arizona Press Women at (928) 468-9269 or e-mail bcbrown@theriver.com by Feb. 1 for reservations, as space is limited.

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