Staff Report

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Students at the Jack and Jill Early Learning Center received a royal visit from Princess Reads-A-Lot from the Broward Center for the Performing Arts as part of an 11-year-old holiday book drive tradition.

Marin Sori, portraying the royal ambassador of the Broward Center’s educational programs, visited two classes and, after reading The Class Trip with Peppa the Pig and Guide to Being a Friend, she gave each child copies of the books as a holiday gift to take home and read with their parents or guardians.

The Broward Center donated 1,000 books this year to four-year-old Head Start and VPK students who participate in the Broward Center’s Reading Readiness Through the Theater Program throughout the school year.

Reading Readiness Through the Theater, created by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the Broward County Public Schools, is a multi-disciplinary program using live theater performance in combination with literature and reading strategies to address literacy in the classroom, the home and the theater as students and their families participate in activities specifically designed to reinforce reading readiness skills.

These multi-sensory experiences profoundly impact the child’s desire to read, to interpret, to articulate understanding and to build self-esteem. The focus of the program is on four-year-old children who need help developing solid learning skills before entering kindergarten. It also concentrates on the families and caregivers of the children and their own literacy and family communication.

Students in the program receive books to begin a home library, free admission to stage adaptations of children’s books for themselves and their parents or caregivers, free transportation to performances and activity sheets. Parents and caregivers also attend reading workshops in English and Spanish to learn about the importance of reading aloud and communicating with children. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at 201 SW Fifth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.