For The City Times
Parents can dress their kids in pajamas and take them to the Sentry Theater @1800 in Stevens Point on Wednesday, June 17, at 6:30 PM for the first-ever Portage County Pajama Party hosted by the United Way.
The pajama party event is part of the LIVE UNITED Family Experience- a series of events to promote literacy and the United Way’s involvement in Portage County.
“We want to educate people about what United Way means to our community,” said Scott Steuck, communications director of the Portage County United Way. “We’re going to do that by talking about Project Fresh Start, talk about the importance of literacy and what we’re doing to help.”
Children’s author Kevin Henkes, a Racine native who wrote and illustrated “Chrysanthemum,” “Owen” and “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” will read from his books during the program. Henkes is a Caldecott Award winner and Newbury Medal Honoree.
“People were excited when they heard we were going to bring him,” said Steuck. “He’s going to be available to talk about his books and read from his books…he’s a big deal.”
Henkes will sign books after the reading.
“We are honored to have an author of Kevin’s stature be a part of this event,” said Sue Wilcox, United Way of Portage County Executive Director. “His books have entertained and inspired children and adults for generations.”
Through sponsorship from Dennis and Sharon Peterson, Central City Credit Union, and Associated Bank, each child attending the event will receive a free Kevin Henkes book. Henkes will sign books following the event and snacks will be provided.
In addition, Wisconsin-native family entertainer Randy Peterson will perform at the event. Peterson, has performed his mix of child-friendly music and storytelling for 25 years.
Admission to the event is free through sponsorship from Worzalla Publishing, which prints Henkes’ books, and Sentry Insurance.
The event’s Facebook page already has 242 confirmed guests and Steuck said there will be more than enough books for everyone who attends even if the 600 person theater is filled.
“We are going to ask people for a totally optional donation to Project Fresh Start,” said Steuck. “That way we can collect some supplies and really make sure children go back to school prepared to learn.”
A collection area for United Way’s Project Fresh Start will be available in the lobby. Suggested donations include backpacks for older kids, wide and college rule notebooks, 2-pocket folders, 1″ to 1.5″ binders, and rulers and pencil boxes.
Project fresh start helps over 1000 Portage County students start school every year.
As part of the United Way Family experience, the United Way will be hosting a behind the scenes look at Project Fresh Start on August 13.
For more info on the pajama party and United Way, click here.