The American Legion Hall 508 was full of the sounds of children this Friday, as they attended Imagine-a-Book Day, an event organized by the Clovis Church.
Imagine-a-Book Day was created to inspire kids to read by encouraging them to create their own books. There was concern that children were focused on devices during the pandemic, and the church felt there was a need to motivate reading within the youth of the community.
Another main focus was to increase literacy in young children by encouraging them to get involved in a creative way through “sketching, visualizing, writing, and most importantly, believing in themselves that they too can be an author,” according to Priscila Lopez, a local children’s author who was a guest speaker at the event.
“Reading is a key to learning,” said Pastor Daniel Velasquez, the pastor of the Clovis Church. “This is an opportunity for the community to rally around a great resource.”
In front of American Legion Hall 508, books were provided by the church for the kids to read and pull inspiration from for their own stories.
They would then go inside to listen to Priscila Lopez, author of All Things Purple!, to hear her speak and inspire the kids to get excited about their creations.
Priscila Lopez, Velasquez’s cousin, is a children’s author and a local 7th Grade science and history teacher. She got involved with the Clovis Church after attending services a year ago.
“It was the culture they were fostering that really impacted me,” said Lopez. “Their purpose was, and still is, to serve the community.”
Pastor Daniel Velasquez and his wife Judy started the Clovis Church after they witnessed the shut down of churches across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once the kids wrote their stories, they made physical representations of the characters they created and illustrated their books. The kids had the option of creating puppets and masks, as well as using stamps and drawing for illustration.
“They will be the adults and the leaders of our community tomorrow. It is important to invest and cultivate their futures,” said Lopez. “If we want a better community we must invest in what will truly leave a lasting legacy in the life of our children: learning to imagine a better tomorrow. The tools for that tomorrow are literacy, creativity, and imagination.”
The first Imagine-a-Book Day was held last July at Clovis West High School. A hot dog dinner and shaved ice were provided for the children and their families.
The church believes that events such as this stimulate local investment in children of the community by motivating them to love learning and fulfill a Clovis value of excellence.
The Clovis Church will be back at American Legion Post 508 on August 26 for Friday Family Fun Day. The event will take place from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the Old Town Farmers Market.