TRI CITY — The gymnasium at Tri City Elementary School was transformed into a campground for Friday’s literacy event Camp Learn-a-Lot.

Trees, campfires, tents, logs and a fishing pond created a camping atmosphere, while hot dogs were barbecued outside in the covered play area.

“The whole theme of camping could relate to the kids and got them excited,” Tri City Elementary Principal Lori Dilbeck said.

When students first walked in they registered in the hallway and received a s’mores packet and name tag. More than 120 people participated in the event.

“We are so excited to continue this tradition of literacy night,” Dilbeck said. “The biggest thing is we want to expose kids to literacy, but we also want to give families activities they can do at home to promote literacy to the kids.”

Reading specialist Kami Wright spearheaded the event and presented it at a staff meeting earlier in the year.

Before fishing in Lake Wanna Read, students had to make a fishing license and decorate a bucket. They would then get into the canoe and cast their lines, all students caught a book that they could take home to read.

A kiddie pool filled with books allowed children to exchange if necessary.

Students could also read books with a flashlight inside one of three tents set up in the gymnasium, listen to a story being told by the campfire, make a bookmark and send a postcard.

While the event was focused on literacy, students could also learn how to weave a basket and take pictures in the photo booth.

“Basket weaving was a huge hit for all families,” Dilbeck said. “I feel like the kids and the parents, I just loved to see the interaction there that they were both doing that together.”

Dilbeck did add the event may move to the fall and adjust the time frame, because the two hour event felt rushed.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter


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