Salve Regina, ACE present free ‘March Into Reading’ children’s book festival March 5

For the 13th consecutive year, local children and their families are invited to participate in “March Into Reading,” a festival that celebrates literacy by bringing together children’s book authors and elementary school students on Aquidneck Island.

This year’s public event will be held Saturday, March 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Salve Regina University’s O’Hare Academic Center on Ochre Point Avenue. Presented by the Aquidneck Collaborative for Education and Salve Regina’s education department, March Into Reading each year attracts more than 600 participants.

To kick the festival off, local authors and illustrators will be visiting Aquidneck Island elementary school classrooms on Friday, March 4 to read books, demonstrate how books are illustrated and talk with children about their love of reading and writing. At Salve Regina on Saturday, they will return to participate in a variety of presentations, interactive activities, discovery rooms, performances, exhibits, book signings and more. No reservations are required to attend Saturday's public event.

Featured authors participating in this year’s festival, themed “Building Readers Book by Book,” include Shennen Bersani, Michaela MacColl, Jeff Mack, Gregory Mone, Jean Taft, Sean Fay Wolfe, Laura Backman and Bill Harley.

Harley, a two-time Grammy Award winner and author, will perform a family concert at 11 a.m. in Bazarsky Lecture Hall. Other performances will include a ballet that combines poetry reading and dance by Island Moving Co. Junior Co., and the La Familia project, which invites children and their families join the national effort to contribute their voices to a line in the epic poem.

March into Reading promotes reading as a community value. In supplying schools with quality children’s books, the program engages students in ACE preschools, elementary and middle schools in common reading. In addition, teachers and librarians in classrooms and school libraries throughout Aquidneck Island guide students in author and book studies of March Into Reading’s featured authors and illustrators.

For more information, visit ace.salvereginablogs.com or call 401-341-3157.