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Step Forward celebrates "Friendship through Reading Fall Festival"

Cuyahoga County – Dozens of families braved the cold Friday and attended Step Forward’s “Friendship Through Reading Fall Festival.”

The festival was a celebration for Early Head Start and Head Start families and an opportunity for the public to connect with resources, learn about early childhood education and hiring opportunities within the agency.

Children played games, had their faces painted, visited the petting zoo, met Mickey and Minnie Mouse, danced and more. Cleveland Police’s Motorcycle Patrol Unit, K9 unit and Mounted Police attended as well.

While at Luke Easter Park, Step Forward relaunched its nationally recognized program, “Friendship Through Reading.” The partnership was established in 2016 as a way for Cleveland Police to build a stronger, more positive relationship with children and families in the community. For years, Cleveland police officers visited Head Start classrooms to read to students and answer questions about being in law enforcement. However, the program paused amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Step Forward would like to extend a special thank you to The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, the Kids Book Bank, Literacy Cooperative, the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Department of Water, the Cleveland Metroparks, the Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative, Bright Beginnings, Passionate House of Change and Project Saves, and of course all of our Early Head Start and Head Start families, for attending.

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