Students, teachers, artists, future educators and education boosters alike representing every elementary, secondary and college district serving Santa Clarita are partnering on an innovative “lesson plan.” Using a kaleidoscope of enchanting entertainment and interactive activities, their mission is to captivate the minds, spark the imaginations and ignite a passion for reading, science, and the fine and performing arts in local youngsters and their families.
Volunteers from Santa Clarita Valley’s four elementary school districts, Wm. S. Hart High School District, College of the Canyons and Sequoia Charter School are joining with the SCV Education Foundation and the City of Santa Clarita for the 4th annual Literacy & Arts Festival.
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A multitude of stories, theatrical productions, songs, dance and crafts will be presented by area school groups as well as by professional artists, authors and entertainers. The free family festival takes place Saturday, December 4, from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Newhall Park in Santa Clarita.
According to Ann Unger, executive director for the SCV Education Foundation, the fun-filled day underscores important educational statistics. Studies show that children who are strong readers and have music in their lives score higher on tests throughout their school lives. And they do better socially as well as academically.
“Arts and Literature enhance our ability to effectively communicate, interpret and appreciate,” Unger explained. “They can be windows to ourselves, others and the world around us. Festival activities and performances are designed to demonstrate how literacy and the arts connect and enrich our children’s everyday lives.”
Several new entertainers and adventures are planned as part of the Festival’s fourth year. Singer/songwriter Jeff MacDougall shares his musical talents by teaching the art of songwriting. Children of all ages will come up with a melody, write lyrics and sing along with their own new hit song. MacDougall will also perform songs from his newly-released children's CD, "Stand Up."
New interactive activities include “Read a Painting,” an interpretive expedition designed to get kids (and parents, too) to begin looking at photos and paintings in a deeper way. The answers reflect how personal thoughts and impressions come into play in an individual’s interpretations. A Gigantic Jigsaw Mosaic from the City of Santa Clarita will reveal a surprise illustration and The Signal will host “Journalist for a Day” a writing activity giving youngsters a press pass to write and report news of the Festival.
Favorite activities and stage performances from past festivals such as Once Upon An Opera and the popular Story Village reading tents where teachers, community leaders, authors, librarians and friends read favorite stories from four story genres return this year.
A synopsis of this year’s attractions includes:
♦ Once Upon An Opera presents "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Emperor’s New Clothes"
♦ The Art of Songwriting and Music from singer/songwriter Jeff MacDougall
♦ CanUnDrum – percussion street drumming
♦ Leona Cox Elementary school chorus,
♦ Placerita Junior High Drama Department presents an adaptation of The Brothers Grimm classic, “Into The Woods, Jr.”
♦ “Three Billy Goats Gruff – The Musical” by Andrew Boligitz and Friends
♦ The Great Shoe Hunt! From the ARTree Community Arts Center
♦ Life-Sized Art Blocks with artist Bob Hernandez
♦ Gigantic Mystery Jigsaw – sponsored by the City of Santa Clarita
♦ Rock Balancing with Fidel Garcia from Sequoia Charter School
♦ Giant Ice Sculptures
♦ Read-a-Painting – visual arts interpretation
Hands-on Craft Activities
♦ Story puppet making and “Now it’s Liquid, Now it’s Solid” Oobleck with College of the Canyon’s TEACH Club
♦ Science and art projects from Castaic School District
♦ Art block painting from Newhall School District
♦ Storybook crafts from Valencia High School
♦ Characters in clay from Arroyo Seco and LaMesa Junior High Schools
♦ Theatrical mask making with Sequoia Charter School
♦ Drawing activity with artist Michael Powell
♦ Story-telling Wonderlands showcase books of four different genres:
Adventure; Science Fiction/Fantasy; Humor/Poetry; All-Time Favorites
♦ Storybook characters, wandering mistrals, magicians
♦ Western roping and Cowboy Poetry
♦ Field Painters
♦ Children (pre-school through 6th grade) can bring a gently used book to trade for one they have not read.
As a prelude to the festival, The Education Foundation and the City sponsored separate Art and Writing Contests in local schools. Students were invited to illustrate or pen their visions of Santa Clarita’s future. Winners in each of four grade divisions will be introduced at the festival and their submissions will be featured in the event program.
For more information on Santa Clarita’s Literacy & Arts Festival or the SCV Education Foundation, please visit www.scveducationfoundation.org  or contact email@example.com  or 661-414-4465. You can also find information on facebook – Santa Clarita’s Literacy & Arts Festival.