Niagara Gazette — For parents of elementary school children in Niagara Falls, Saturday was probably a day circled on the calendar. Especially if their children are anything like Greg Lowry's.
He said his kids were so excited to come to the district's sixth annual Literacy, Math and Technology Fair, they were roaring to go early in the morning.
"My kids love it," he said. "They do an awesome job here. We all definitely look forward to it."
The sixth edition of the fair saw what organizers called a great turnout — approximately 450 attendees, with about 250 of them children. Though many visitors were Niagara Falls residents and students, other districts were also represented, including Lewiston-Porter and Starpoint.
Attendees were able to walk around the high school gymnasium, where they could participate in interactive stations with some of the area's education students – those looking to be teachers in the future.
They get to play games, make crafts, learn a little and then take it all home with easy activities parents and children can repeat together. There was even a make-your-own ice cream booth, which was popular all afternoon.
The biggest shocker for many of the parents who bring their children, though, isn't the fun the students have. It's the amount they're learning themselves, experiencing the information as their children play and create in front of them.
"It's amazing to me how many parents come up to me and tell me how much they're learning," Chris Bialik, an education professor at Niagara University, said. "And that they're all here on a Saturday when they probably have something better to do."
Bialik's university and Buffalo State College both sent classes of future educators to the fair to work with the children. They paired up in September and worked for months trying to develop hands-on activities suitable for both pre-kindergarten students and sixth-graders, the age range of the fair's target audience.