Waldo Peirce Reading Room goes batty

By Dawn Wilbur | Aug 18, 2012
Photo by: Dawn Wilbur Children decorate the bat houses they made during the Waldo Peirce Reading Room's summer reading program.

Bats were spotted taking over the Waldo Peirce Reading Room and Library for the 2012 Children's Reading Program this summer. Every Tuesday, beginning July 10 and ending Aug. 7, local children learned about bats and created their own unique bat houses. Children's Reading Program Director Rebecca "Reba" Stewart calculated the attendance at the reading program each week at between 28 to 39 children and adults, a new record for the library.

Jen Lewis, bat educator from the Bat Sanctuary in Auburn, delighted the group with a presentation filled with bat facts and also brought with her three live baby bats. The children were able to see the bats being fed and learned what to do in case they were to encounter a bat. The number-one rule Lewis stressed was "do not touch," followed by "get a grownup."

The children used the facts they learned during the five-week program to create their own bat stories. The overall winner for the bat story contest was Anthoney Smith, age 8, from Bucksport, with his story "Extreme Bats." There were many honorable mentions for the bat story contest, including "All About Bats, an ABC Book" by the Little Red Wagon Day Care, colorfully illustrated bat stories by Payton and Paxton, "The Bat" by Devin Sauer, "The Bat Story" by Damon Sauer, "Do Bats" by Gabe Staples, and "Fast Flying Bats" by Talon Staples. Several adults also participated in story time by reading to the children. The featured story time books were all written by Brian Lies and included "Bats at the Library," "Bats at the Beach," and "Bats at the Ballgame." The overall winner for the reading program reading contest, with a total of 27.5 hours logged reading, was Gabe Staples.

A big hit with the children this summer, according to Stewart, was the bat house craft project. In addition to making construction paper bats during week two, the children were able to use their skills to construct, paint and decorate bat houses with the assistance of many adult volunteers. All the bat houses were painted black, but the children added their own pizzazz with many colorful stickers. The last day of the program featured an outdoor pizza party with delicious desserts of cakes and cupcakes.

Several area businesses contributed to the prize giveaways featured each week during the reading program. Stewart and the Waldo Peirce Reading Room would like to thank the following contributors for their donations: Alamo Theatre in Bucksport (two movie passes); Bookstacks in Bucksport ($10 gift certificate); Discovery Museum in Bangor (two passes); Maine Jump in Bangor (two passes); On The Run in Winterport (large one-topping pizza); Mike Dyer (two free passes to Bangor State Fair); Colonial Movies in Belfast (two movie passes); Wilson's Market in Frankfort (ice cream); Pizza Gourmet in Hampden.

Stewart concluded that in her judgment this year's Children's Reading Program was a huge success.

Dawn Wilbur is the Frankfort town columnist.

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