Reading at Neighbor to Neighbor: It’s doggone fun!

It wouldn’t have been surprising if the preschoolers at Neighbor to Neighbor Friday morning (Oct. 5) had been a little scared of Sparky the Fire Dog. After all, he’s 6 foot-4 before he puts on the huge red boots and the No. 1 fire helmet.

But there wasn’t a frightened child in the place as they vied for the big red dog’s attention, traded high fives and cuddles and even played a couple of quick games of peek-a-boo.

• • • • • •

Senior Fire Capt. Jimmy Menard

Sparky was there with Senior Fire Capt. Jimmy Menard to read the book “The Firefighters” as the second storytelling session in the new “Reading with Leaders” program After the story, the children had snacks and juice and then had a chance to try out the upstairs playroom at the center for women in downtown Concordia.

As their final treat, each child received a copy of “The Firefighters” personalized with a picture of that child with Sparky and Menard. The pictures were taken when the children arrived, and Sister Jean Befort and Cheryl Lyn Higgins personalized the books in the small office downstairs while the program was going on upstairs.

Sparky the Fire Dog

Friday morning’s session was the second of 12 planned in the “Reading with Leaders” series at Neighbor to Neighbor. The program is funded with a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation and is coordinated by Neighborhood Initiatives Inc., an office of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia.

Higgins and Lois Lervold, who make up the Neighborhood Initiatives staff, organized Friday’s event and have lined up all the readers in the series.

“Reading with Leaders” is free and open to all children ages 3, 4 and 5. All the storytimes will be at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St., Concordia. They are all scheduled on Fridays, and begin at 10 a.m.

There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents need to register in advance by calling Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215.

Here’s the schedule for the rest of the series:

  • Oct. 19 — “The Velveteen Rabbit” with Dr. Bonnie Cramer
  • Nov. 9 — “Harold and The Purple Crayon” with Cheryl Lyn Higgins
  • Nov. 30 — “Guess How Much I Love You” with Marilyn Johnston
  • Dec. 14 — “Santa’s Little Helper” with Richard Palmquist
  • Jan. 11, 2013 — “Dancing Feet” with Jason Martin
  • Feb. 15, 2013 — “Hot Rod Hamster” with Tony Miller
  • March 8, 2013 — “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day” with Sister Marcia Allen
  • March 22, 2013 — “The Giving Tree” with Dora Whitney
  • April 12, 2013 — “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” with Mike Lambert
  • May 3, 2013 —   “Green Eggs & Ham” with Police Officer Sara Heiser and McGruff the Crime Dog

2 thoughts on “Reading at Neighbor to Neighbor: It’s doggone fun!

  • October 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    What a neat report and great program for kids at N2N! These pics are great and show the joy of all present!

  • October 8, 2012 at 6:37 am

    I have a feeling if I were Sparky, I would have loved all of the attention given to me. Children of all ages L-O-V-E to be read to…entices the spirit for curling around a book to read to oneself.
    I LOVE reading to children…the starry-eyed-ness wreaks!

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