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Readers rewarded with party at library

July 23, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

When asked which activity at the clown-themed summer reading program party he liked best, Deacon Mosquito, 5, pointed his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sword made from a blue balloon at each station.

"Everything," he said.

Deacon recently moved to Mercersburg, Pa., from Washington, D.C., with his mother, Melissa Mosquito.

On Thursday, Mosquito put clown makeup on her son and took him to the party at the Lilian Besore Memorial Library in Greencastle. Deacon picked out the face paint colors, his mother said, which included a white face, one red eye and one green eye.

"It's great that they're doing this for the kids," Mosquito said.

Children's librarian Sharon Zaretskie said the slogan for the five-week reading program was Many Reads, Daring Deeds and used a circus theme. A small circus tent was set up inside the library, and pictures of circus horses colored by the youngest participants covered one wall.

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About 125 children participated in the reading program, whether they could read the books for themselves or had them read to them, Zaretskie said. If they read enough books, which varied according to their age level, they received a ticket to the party.

The oldest group had to read 1,200 pages or 75 books to complete the program, Zaretskie said. While the new Harry Potter book came out too late to be used in this year's program, children used books from the series in previous years to reach their page totals, she said.

"The Friends of the Library do the entire party," Zaretski said. "And they give their time and money."

The Friends supervised stations where children threw furry jungle animals through hoops hanging from a tree branch, shook a ball into a hole in the middle of a parachute, walked on stilts and threw bean bags.

The town's resident clown, Russ Clever, attended wearing clown makeup and a tuxedo and walking his invisible dog.

Rachel Kline, 8, of Greencastle, wore a huge polka-dot bow tie she got from her grandmother.

Daniel Kegerreis, 7, said he liked the ball toss best. Although 75 books were required for a ticket to the party, he read 109, he said, including "The Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly."

Kaylin Kinsey, 7, of Greencastle, dressed as a majorette and sat very still at the face-painting station so she could get a red nose and red eyebrows to match her costume.

Evan Maun, 5, said he got his clown costume at home, and that he read all the books himself.

More than 200 people attended the party, organizers said.

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