Better World Fest celebrates activity and reading
Giggles rode on the cooling breeze beneath the trees at Gifford Pinchot State Park as York Economic Alliance President and CEO Kevin Schreiber read the book “Froggy Gets a Doggy” in the shade of a tent.
“Don’t forget to take your pooper scooper with you and clean up after her,” instructed Froggy’s mom.
Looking away from the book, Schreiber asked his eager audience, “Who has a pooper scooper?” Several children raised their hands.
“You have a pooper scooper?” Schreiber asked. “My mom does,” replied 5-year-old Rachel Roman, of Dillsburg, from her seat of green grass in the front row.
Froggy himself even made an appearance during the Better World Fest hosted by York Coutny Libraries and GO York! on Saturday.
“We’re celebrating all of the wonderful things that kids can do this summer through the public libraries in York County,” said York County Libraries Director of Youth Services Paula Gilbert. “All of it ties into our summer program that’s available for kids from birth to 18.”
The York County Libraries’ 2017 summer reading and physical activity program is titled “Go and Build a Better World.” The libraries have partnered with GO (Get Outdoors) York!
One portion of the program lets families find clues and search out places in local parks where kids can do rubbings in order to collect prizes.
“We have went on hikes to get these rubbings,” said Kyle Roman, 8, of Dillburg. “You get GO prizes like a blow-up globe and other stuff.”
“I do like reading. I also read a lot of chapter books, and I’m up to 640 minutes right now,” Kyle said.
Prizes are offered to children as they climb in reading minutes. For example, kids who read for 400 minute get a free ice cream card, good at all York County Chick-fil-A locations. There are more prizes at 600 minutes, 800 minutes and the most minutes read.
“I got my 200 minute prize, and I still have more prizes to go,” Kyle said.
There were other activities for children and their families, including make-and-take garden plants, making dream catchers and learning creative ways to recycle plastic water bottles. There also were performances by magician Michael Thomas and Positive Energy Arts Foundation's Illstyle & Peace Productions free summer Hip-Hop Dance Camp.
“We are a process helping kids to retain where they are from when they leave school to when they go back in the fall," Gilbert said. "We encourage kids to read and be active throughout the summer, that way they’ll be ready to go back to school in the fall.”
There are more than 800 programs available through York County Libraries this summer, and Gilbert says it’s not too late to sign up.
“We are running until Aug. 20,” she said.
Families are encouraged to sign up at any one of the 13 York County libraries.
“To me, it means giving kids the opportunity to do the best they can,” Gilbert said.