Exploring literacy through music, magic

HARLINGEN — Follow the Yellow Brick Road.

There are no cowardly lions or tin men on this journey.

It’s a trip to literacy, and that voyage of discovery will be celebrated Jan. 18 at the Harlingen school district’s “Family Fun Night.” The evening will feature music and magic to encourage children in classes pre-kindergarten to first grade to explore literacy. The theme for the event is “Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Reading.”

“We want children to have different experiences that they haven’t experienced before,” said Mary Alvarez, early childhood specialist.

“Children learn a lot of vocabulary through music,” she said.

That’s why she’s bringing back “1, 2, 3 Andres,” who performed last year. The winner of the 2016 Latin Grammy for his children’s album brought the house down last year with music that was at once playful and educational.

“Amarillo is the sun,” sang the Bogota native.

“Verde is what?” he sang as he played his guitar.

“Grass!” tiny voices shouted. Then Andres continued singing, “Verde is the color of grass.”

The children and their parents were captivated.

“We had such great community response,” Alvarez said. “He’s an outstanding musician and he really understands children’s music.”

A new magician named John O’Bryant will also entertain the kids and their parents this year.

Last year’s event had a jungle theme complete with cutouts of a lion, gorilla and a giraffe. Let’s see what the entertainers manage to pull out of a hat this year with the “Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Reading” theme.

If You Go

WHAT: Family Fun Night Theme: “Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Reading”

WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 18

TIME: 6:30 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: Harlingen Performing Arts Center

3217 W. Wilson Rd.

HOW: For more information, call 956-427-3571.