More than 100 parents, many of them bringing along their children, gathered in the cafeteria at Salazar Elementary School Thursday evening to hear information on the Launch Me to Literacy grant during the school’s “Reading Safari” family literacy meeting.

Launch Me to Literacy is a grant program designed for students in pre-kindergarten through third grade for the improvement of school libraries, professional development and parental involvement to help improve reading achievement in rural school districts in South Texas.

Alice ISD was awarded the $500,000 grant in partnership with Beeville ISD and San Diego ISD in September last year. The district received about $250,000 in the grant to use in its six elementary campuses.

Parents and students first gathered in the school’s cafeteria where they received a sack lunch consisting of a hot dog, chips and soft drink.

After receiving information about the grant, parents were dismissed to various classrooms to attend sessions on different programs covered in the grant, including technology implementation through the Tumblebooks reading program and Britannica and World Books online resources, as well as offered information to help enhance their children’s reading skills.

To help alleviate overcrowding the sessions, children were allowed to stay in the cafeteria with some of the teachers to watch a film while their parents attended the sessions.

Parents were also given a survey to fill out regarding the literacy meeting. If the parents returned the survey before they left, their child received a free dress day pass bracelet they can use this Monday.