Literacy Day in the Park is slated for this weekend, and organizers hope the event will provide more than just school supplies.
Ardmore Literacy Leadership, a co-op of different literacy organizations in the Ardmore area, has held the school supply giveaway event for the last five years. ALL Board President Leslie Kutz said this year they are giving away supplies for roughly 500 students, along with free haircuts and vision screenings.
“Every year it gets bigger,” Kutz said. “As you can imagine, word gets out.”
Kutz said her organization teams up with local nonprofit Restoring Lives to sponsor Literacy Day in the Park. Restoring Lives has co-sponsored the event for the last two years. After
registering, visitors go through the line and collect stamps from each organization’s booth, learning a bit about what each one offers as they go.
“It’s just a day for folks to get the various supplies they need, learn about the various support organizations in town,” Kutz said.
Kids can roam the playground and bounce houses at Ardmore Central Park while parents go through the line and learn about the literacy support agencies in town. Kutz said the term “literacy” refers to much more than reading ability in this context.
“‘Literacy’ is just knowing a specific subject and being knowledgeable enough to operate in it,” Kutz said. “We’re pretty broad and comprehensive.”
Financial literacy is available through the Grace Center as well as other organizations, computer literacy is through Kutz’s organization, and other organizations offer opportunities for physical and mental health literacy.
“I think the common misconception is that people somehow look around, themselves, and learn that,” Kutz said. “Someone really does have to show you.”
Cities in Schools, Gloria Ainsworth, Grace Center, Ardmore Public Library, Ardmore Family Literacy, The Children’s Shelter, Heroes with Hope, Good Shepard Clinic, The Light House, Big Five, HFV Wilson Community Center, Hickory Creek, Mercy Hospital, Carter County Health Department and other organizations will participate. Ardmore Fire Department and Carter County Sheriff’s Department will attend for the second year in a row and First Bank & Trust will be serving hotdogs.
 “It’s a great community event,” Kutz said. “Every year you have kids out playing in the park.”
The event is funded by Proliteracy, a nationwide organization that develops literacy programs and trains educators, and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The event will last from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on August 11 at Ardmore Central Park.