By Nel Lampe (Fort Carson)June 23, 2016
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Grant Library's summer reading program kicked off June 16, 2016, with a library crowded with potential readers. More than 200 children wearing green T-shirts overflowed the provided chairs and spilled onto the floor of the library for the event.
Over 250 readers were signed up for the summer reading program before the kickoff. Another 61 people signed up during the event.
Cassandra Osuji, supervisory library technician, said she was "ecstatic" because there had never been this many participants at a kickoff event.
"I feel honored to bring these things to the kids; it's a pleasure for me to do it," said Osuji, who has worked at Grant Library for 23 years.
Eager Families began arriving a half hour before the scheduled start time. Stacks of green T-shirts emblazoned with "Read for the Win!" were handed out to participants, who then gathered in the library.
"Who likes to win?" Osuji asked the crowd, as lots of hands went up. "Everybody likes to win, and you can win with books."
Sgt. Ryan McIntosh, U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program liaison for track and field with the Paralympics, read Dr. Seuss' book, "Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!"
Omoyemen Eyekhobelo, library technician, read "Froggy Goes to the Library," by Jonathan London, to the gathered crowd. Participants then moved on to the room set up for crafts, and each child was given a book bag containing a bookmark, reading log, pencil, foam finger and eraser. Each child made a picture frame to take home and was served cookies and juice.
Reading program participants will turn in reading logs every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the library, where they will receive a new book bag, prize, snacks and hear a book being read.
It's not too late to sign up for the summer reading program, just stop by the library, building 1528 on Flint Street, between Wetzel and Specker avenues. The library is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The reading program is open to anyone with a DOD identification card.
The reading program ends July 21, 2016, and a free skate party for participants is set for July 23, 2016, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the William "Bill" Reed Special Events Center and includes food, face painting, balloon artists and jump houses.