Decas Elementary's literacy night fosters love of reading

By Matthew Bernat | Jun 01, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Decas Elementary School teachers Macee Doyle, left, and Sarah Greene dress up for Thursday night's literacy night held at the school. Doyle is Dr. Seuss's Thing 1 and Greene has her thinking cap on.

According to John Cardinal, being an illustrator means he’s “super good at drawing stick figures.”

A professional designer, children’s author and Wareham resident, Cardinal spoke at Decas Elementary School’s first literacy night, held Thursday evening.

Cardinal’s joke kicked off a lighthearted presentation on the relationship between words and pictures. Cardinal said people have been using pictures to convey information – from early cave paintings to Egyptian hieroglyphics – long before the written word.

As a children’s author, he said picture books assist kids who are just learning to read.

“Pictures help us understand what words mean,” he said.

Cardinal’s talk was the highlight of literacy night. The event included a book sale and plenty of reading-related activities.

The idea for the event came from the school’s literacy teacher, Cheryl Wood. In past years, Wood said literacy nights were more focused on giving parents tips for getting their children interested in reading. This year, she wanted to try something different and fun.

Teachers, dressed as characters from books, led families in a variety of activities set up in the cafeteria.

Decas teacher Melissa Dionne wore rabbit ears and headphones to portray El Deafo, a character from the graphic novel by the same name written by Cece Bell.

“It’s about this deaf bunny who takes on a secret identity to help cope with the fact that she’s different,” said Dionne.

Wood said events such as literacy night, with its costumed teachers and activities, instill a love of reading in students.

“We are so glad to see so many kids showed up to be part of literacy night,” she said.

For more information on Cardinal, visit his website:

Children's author and illustrator John Cardinal draws Spiderman during his presentation on pictures and language. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Makenna, 3, left, and Madden Diede, 6, take a break from a literacy activity for a photograph. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Decas teacher Melissa Dionne dressed as graphic novel character El Deafo for literacy night. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Comments (1)
Posted by: cranapple | Jun 02, 2017 06:14

It was a great event for our families. Let's keep this up. Positively Wareham. Thanks Matt

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