The Children Literacy Network Celebrates 30 Years of Providing Reading Resources to the Community

The theme for “A Night for the Books” will make adults reminisce all the way back to their elementary school years.

childrens literacy network
“A Night for the Books” will be filled with upscale food and entertainment for supporters of CLN to enjoy. Image courtesy of Cathy Gendron.

The Children’s Literacy Network (CLN) has been serving Washtenaw County for the last 30 years with the mission to provide equitable opportunities for children to develop a love of reading and books. This year, they ask the community to join them in celebrating their 30th anniversary with a ticketed event for adults on September 9, from 5:30 to 8:30pm.

Children’s Literacy Network

CLN has created various programs throughout the area that encourage children to engage with literature. The organization has helped 400,000 low-income children and has distributed more than a million dollars in new books to families who otherwise may not be able to afford high-quality books.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, CLN would send volunteers to schools to read and interact with kids. This is one of CLN’s programs that was forced to pivot to accommodate safety precautions. CLN was resilient in following its mission and found ways to continue serving its community. Instead of meeting in person, students were sent new high-quality books to read with a volunteer over zoom. During sessions, students learn to read and understand the message of the story.

Celebrate the last 30 years of work at “A Night for the Books” which will take place in the Ann Arbor Farmers Market on September 9. This downtown venue will provide an open and airy space for the event. As you stroll through “A Night for the Books,” you may feel like you have been transported back to your elementary school days. The playful fantasy theme and primary-colored decorations add a unique spin to the night. 

“The idea is to do sort of an adult party with a childlike theme,” said Marsha Chamberlin, CLN board member and co-chair of the event.

What to Expect

Even the food was creatively named and chosen to fit the childlike theme of the night. Skosh Catering will provide upscale adult interpretations of children’s food. For example, the “milk and cereal shooters” are actually strawberry goat cheese panna cotta with a fruity pebble topping, and the “peanut butter and jelly pushups” are blackberry fig jam, peanut butter, and sourdough bread. Smoked gouda mac and cheese and desserts will also be served. Everyday Wine and Rasin River Distillery will be serving alcoholic beverages, which are available for purchase by party-goers.

In addition to the strolling supper, Mr. B, the boogie-woogie pianist will be entertaining the event. Attendees will also get the chance to get an inside look at what it takes to illustrate a book. There will be seven illustrators at the event that specializes in children’s books. Among these illustrators will be Rebecca Green. Green created the artwork for the New York Times bestseller “Becoming a Good Creature.”

Tickets for “A Night for the Books” can be purchased online here.