County educators to host first Literacy Tea to support early childhood literacy

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A local group of educators and community organizations are coming together to promote the importance of early childhood literacy while raising funds to purchase books for children who are in foster care.

The Literacy Tea will be held 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Sept. 14, at University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Campus Center. People who purchase tickets, which cost $12 each, prior to the event will be welcome to sit at one of 20 tables decorated with themes based on children’s books. 

Some of the featured books will include “Charlotte’s Web,” the “Harry Potter” series, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Winnie the Pooh.” Those sitting at each table will be allowed time to read the featured books, or a section of the longer books, during the event.

Laura Hale, education services representative for Usborne Books & More, Wendy Ross, former UMPI special education professor, and SAD 45 educator Halina Herzog have partnered to co-host the Literacy Tea. All ticket sale proceeds will go toward the purchase of books for Aroostook County children who are in foster care.

We are purchasing these books through Usborne Books & More, which is matching all donations at 50 percent,” Hale said. “Our goal is to provide books to all 117 children in foster care in our county.”

People from Northern Maine Community College library, Walter T.A. Hansen Memorial Library in Mars Hill, Aroostook Partners in the Arts and Nordic Heritage Center will serve as volunteers during the Literacy Tea.

There will be a table of raffle items, such as children’s book-themed cookies, a basket of books and a basket of tea items. Families can take part in craft activities based on the theme of their tables as well as a group literacy activity.

Hale said that she and organizers hope to make the Literacy Tea an annual event. She encourages family members of all generations to come and celebrate their favorite books while giving back to children in their communities.

“It will be a fun time for children, parents and grandparents and people of all ages,” Hale said. “We’re looking forward to seeing this celebration come to life.”

To purchase tickets for the Literacy Tea, contact Hale at (207) 227-8476 or

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