by Lori Cothrun
Photographs by Denise Gary and Lori Cothrun

Kids Need to Read is honored to be a partner of Mesa Arts Center’s “Literacy through the Arts” program for the third year. Mesa Arts Center provides a professional teaching artist for the kindergarten through third grade classes at Lowell Elementary School. Each grade level focuses on a specific book, which is contributed by Kids Need to Read to each student in the program. The program utilizes these books to develop critical literacy skills, while engaging students in interactive storytelling, creative movement, collaborative conversations, and independent exploration. This past Thursday, staff from Kids Need to Read enjoyed a day of exploration with participating kindergarten students.


Three kindergarten classrooms at Lowell Elementary have spent the last five weeks with Professional Teacher Artist Ashley Laverty. The students even went to Mesa Arts Center to see a live stage production of The Cat in the Hat!

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The students listen quietly as Ashley finishes up the story. Students were asked to act out the scenario, “What did you do today?” to study the theme behind the story.


Then we created a Seuss-styled train where we followed our leaders and cleaned up the classroom as we went along!


Finally the big reveal! Everyone received a brand new copy of The Cat in the Hat to call their own! The students happily wrote their names in the books.  Their patience and experience paid off.


Room Six at Lowell Elementary School proudly shows off their new books with KNTR Executive Directory Denise Gary and Teaching Artist Ashley.


Room Seven at Lowell Elementary School with Teaching Artist Ashley and KNTR Operations Director Lori Cothrun.


It was a fun and exciting day to celebrate with the students as they finished up their first year participating in Literacy through the Arts. We are so proud of these young minds and hope that this experience will inspire their fondness for reading and imagination!



2 Responses to “Literacy through the Arts at Lowell Elementary School”

  1. Mrs. Aiken-Woods on October 10th, 2015 3:58 pm

    Awesome! Literacy through the arts is a great way to expose and motivate students to read!

    Do you know of any programs to help our pre-k students experience art and literacy in Philadelphia? I wrote proposals for local art programs to volunteer their time once a week.

    Please share suggestions!

    Thanks in Advance
    Tanisha Woods

  2. Lori Cothrun on October 10th, 2015 4:21 pm

    Mrs. Aiken-Woods,

    First off, you are more than welcome to fill out an application for a Kids Need to Read book donation. I spent a little time on the internet and found a few local resources in Philadelphia. We certainly recognize what a precious program we have in partnership with the Mesa Arts Center. 🙂

    Feel free to e-mail me anytime at if you have any questions or want to talk about ideas.

    Best of luck!

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