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Dinosaurs draw kids to library

March 30, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A Dinosaur Day event at Washington County Free Library on Monday drew more than 500 children who measured, colored and took part in other activities relating to the extinct creatures.

Dinosaur tracks made out of construction paper led into the library, providing a clue that something unusual was happening inside.

Six stations in the library offered six different activities: reading, coloring, measuring, "making fossils," watching a video and listening to "the fossil guy," retired educator Joe Gambino.

Upstairs, Beth Recabo of Hagerstown watched as her children, Abigal, 7, and Katlin, 9, and others used dough to "make" fossils by making imprints of animals and leaves.

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Recabo praised the event organized by the library and Discovery Station.

"I think it is very cool to see them excited about learning," she said.

The event was so popular the library had to buy more flour and salt for the dough being used by the children, Discovery Station President B. Marie Byers said.

In the children's section, youngsters used yardsticks to measure lines on the floor. The lines represented the sizes of different dinosaurs.

Taking a break from measuring the 90-foot-long diplodocus, Darian Hose, 8, said he was enjoying the event.

"This is really cool. I really like it," said Darian, a third-grader at Fountaindale Elementary School. His 9-year-old sister, Kacie, also said she liked the event.

Mitchell Gearhart of Hagerstown, who was with the Hose children, said the event was a great way for a grandfather to spend time with his grandchildren.

"I am just along for the ride. This is very educational," he said.

The event in Hagerstown was organized by the library and the Discovery Station with help from volunteers, Byers said.

The event was scheduled for Monday because it was a professional day in the Washington County Public Schools system and there were no classes for students, Byers said.

Organizers decided to stage a dinosaur-related event because the subject captures people's imagination while providing a sense of history, Byers said.

"We knew we would capture the curiosity and imagination of our community," she said.

Josh Starliper, 10, a fourth-grade student at Potomac Heights Elementary School, said the event was great.

"You get to make your own fossils. You get to see movies about dinosaurs," he said.

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