Sunday, June 16, 2013

It's time to drop everything and head over to the Saginaw zoo

by janet i. martineau

It’s that time of year to again drop everything and head over to the zoo to read.

Home grown book featured this year
Yes, read -- at the 12th annual “D.E.A.R. at the Zoo --  Drop Everything and Read” rain or shine event, sponsored by the READ Association of Saginaw County.  

The popular day-long literacy event, which promotes and encourages summer and family reading, takes place from 10am to 3pm Wednesday, June 19, at the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square, 1730 S. Washington in Saginaw. 

All children attending will receive a new book to take home as well as participate in literacy activities at booths occupied by Barnes and Noble Booksellers, The Black Box Photo Booth, Boy Scout Troop 342, CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region, the Castle Museum of Saginaw County History, the Children's Book Company, Great Lakes Bay Publishing,  Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, Mid Michigan Waste Authority, Public Libraries of Saginaw, ROR at Covenant HealthCare,  Saginaw Community Foundation's FORCE Youth Advisory Committee,  Saginaw County Birth to 5 Program,  St. Mary’s of Michigan, Target, Thomas Orthodontics PC and Wildfire Credit Union.  

This year’s featured authors are Saginaw Township residents Maryann Czolgosz and Nancy Owens, co-authors of the newly published “Z to A in the Great Lakes Bay book.”

The colorful oversized paperback book takes readers of all ages on an alphabet reading adventure through the Saginaw, Midland, Bay City and Mount Pleasant communities.

Normally priced at $12, during “D.E.A.R.” it will sell at $20 for two books, with the authors on hand to sign from 10am to 2pm.

New this year,  children and their families will have an opportunity to get their photo taken and make a photo bookmark,  The day also will include  animal presentations, book readings and storytelling in the zoo amphitheater, and appearances by costumed characters and puppets.  

The amphitheatre schedule is as follows:  

-- 10:30am, “I'm in Love with a Big  Blue Frog,” words by Leslie Braustein. Read by  Dr. Robert Tuttle, associate professor mechanical engineering at Saginaw Valley State University 

-- 11:15am, “Open Very Carefully: A Book with a Bite” by Nick Bromley. Read by Angela Barris, CEO of the Mid Michigan Children's Museum

-- Noon, “Z to A in the Great Lakes Bay,”  featuring Saginaw  co-authors Maryann Czolgosz and Nancy Owens

-- 1:15pm, “It's A Tiger!”  by David LaRochelle. Read by  Sabrina Beeman Jackson, program director of Saginaw Intermediate School District Head Start

-- 2:15pm, “That Is Not A Good Idea!”  by Mo Willems. Read by  Rhonda Farrell-Butler, Kristine Swanson and  Jennie Tuttle, children's staff  at the Public Libraries of Saginaw. 

Admission is  $7 for adults and children (infants through 11 months are free). Carousel and train rides are $2 per person per ride. 

The READ Association of Saginaw County is a grassroots volunteer initiative with a simple mission:  to help students improve their reading skills and discover the joy of reading.  

Sponsoring “D.E.A.R.” are the  Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation and  the Saginaw Celebrates Summer program, sponsored in part by Hemlock Semiconductor and coordinated by the Saginaw Arts and Enrichment Commission.  

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