BY DANA SPECTOR / AJT //

Book FestA wise old man once told me “reading is the key to unlocking the world.”

I must have been five-years-old at the time, and yet this sentence is the only phrase I ever heard my grandfather say that has stayed in my memory.

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Why? Simple, his advice changed my life.

Reading with my grandfather unlocked countless adventures for my cousins and me. Not only did we learn efficient techniques to capture the geckos in his yard, and swim in his backyard pool, but we also developed our own code language.

Over time, our basic reading skills grew into the blueprints used to explore opportunities and adventures in mathematics, medicine and music, eventually defining our career paths.

Reading helps children and adults of all ages learn, explore, imagine, and challenge themselves in exponential ways. If you or someone you know would like to share the immeasurable joys of reading with a child, ages six months to six years, please join the Atlanta Jewish Times group at the MJCCA Family Reading Festival, on Sun., Nov.10 at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Together we’ll cheer with the Atlanta Hawks Cheerleaders, sing with Rabbi Brian Glusman and the Shabbat Dinosaur, dance with Miss Erin, flip out with the Little Sparks Gymnastics Exhibition Team and jump in the inflatables in the Blank Gym.

Families can relax and enjoy story time led by Kidzone staff in the Peace Room Kidzone.

Off the main stage, you can enjoy Shalom Baby Presents Chanukah for Little Hands, a memory-making pottery-painting program, where the first piece of pottery is free.

Other book programs will cycle a few times throughout the Reading Festival, so you and the little readers can get the most out of the experience. Tickets are $7 for each member child and $10 for community children; parents and children under the age of six months are free.

Also, the PJ Library will be giving away the book, “Welcome Song for Baby”, while supplies last.

The Family Reading Festival, part of the 22nd Annual MJCCA Book Festival, is sponsored by a group of organizations and businesses, including The Atlanta Jewish Times, MJCCA and PJ Library.

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