On Nov. 12, families from the Rexburg community gathered in the Gordon B. Hinkley Building gym to experience the last Books and Buddies activity of the semester.
Books and Buddies is a community family literacy event that was promoted and organized by BYU-Idaho students in Professor Trevor Rowe’s Program Administration class.
The event occurs every semester and is a five-week program that includes a free book for each child participant. Books and Buddies is geared toward toddlers and preschool-age children.
Rowe said that the turnout was the biggest they had seen since beginning the event last fall. Over 50 children attended the event with their parents and guardians.
For the last session of the semester, the students planned four activities:
Each child received a piece of untoasted bread that they painted. The “paint” recipe included milk and food dye. When each child finished their masterpiece, the student helpers toasted the bread in a small toaster oven.
The book, Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, accompanied the activity.
Being the most popular activity of the morning, this table included rolling pins, cut-outs and various colors of homemade play dough. Each child had the freedom to create alongside their parents and the student helpers.
The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle represented this exercise.
At the slime table, children learned from student volunteers how to make slime out of a few key ingredients.
The book, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, complemented this activity.
A two-foot circular racetrack with a collection of wheeled cars, trains and planes made up the last event. Children of all ages gathered to play with the toys.
My Car by Byron Barton represented this station.
A reading space was also set up in the gym, complete with blankets, stuffed animals, pillows and a stack of books. Children enjoyed listening to their parents or a student read to them as they played.
“I’ve loved it,” said Rachel Johnson, a BYU-I student who helped run the event. “A couple of weeks ago, several of the parents came up and told us that it was nice to have something free and fun to do with their kids.”
Whitney Price, a mom attending the event with her two kids for the first time, said that she is looking forward to bringing her kids again next semester.
“I liked playing with all the toys and painting,” said Conrad Lillywhite, a preschooler who attended the event.