FLORENCE – The Dudleyville Volunteer Fire Department came out to celebrate the summer reading program’s success on the closing day. Firefighters showed the group of eastern Pinal County residents their shiny fire apparatus, answered questions and then the real fun began with a splash and blast from the fire hose. About 13 young readers ages 4 to 13 participated in this summer’s free reading program.
“We are so grateful to the Dudleyville Volunteer Fire Department for celebrating with us. Studies show that enthusiasm for reading leads to academic and professional success. We appreciate how the firefighters contributed to the fun celebration at the end of the program,” said Shirley Condit from the Pinal County Library District.
“Olivia Morales is another person who has contributed her enthusiasm and commitment to this program,” Condit said. “Olivia has been co-hosting this program for more than a decade. She’s been so valuable and such an important part of these young peoples’ lives.”
The theme this year was “One World, Many Stories.” Condit said that the participating children got a flavor for global cultures and creatures and enjoyed an introduction to geography through the reading program. Featured selections included:
- Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion by Mo Willems
- Altoona Baboona by Janie Bynum
- Everywhere the Cow Says ‘Moo’ by Ellen Slusky Weinstein
- Elephants Cannot Dance by Mo Willems
“The children were especially enchanted with the selections this year. When we had story time with the Mo Willems books, everybody joined in with the ‘elephant stomp,’” Condit said. “These were enthusiastic kids who loved to take part in the storytelling.”
Participants met on consecutive Wednesdays at the Dudleyville Multi-Generational Center at Lionel D. Ruiz Park.