EAST PALESTINE Volunteers prepare for reading camp

Last year's camp had 130 participants.
EAST PALESTINE -- East Palestine PTO volunteers are gearing up for the second annual communitywide reading camp, 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the city park community center.
Kindergarten through fifth-grade pupils are eligible to participate. Registration is under way now at the city park pool, and will also take place each day of the program at 12:30 p.m. at the community center.
History: Lisa Mahoney and Candy Cope approached the PTO two years ago about starting the summer program in the park. Both work in the pool ticket counter, and Cope is also a librarian at East Palestine Elementary.
"The library has a summer reading program, but we noticed there was quite a number of kids in the park each day," said Mahoney. "We thought this would be a good activity for those kids and an opportunity to show them reading doesn't have to be a chore."
Mahoney said this year's camp is "Race to Read" and will have an Olympic theme. Mayor Raymond Hull will conduct the opening ceremonies at 1 p.m. Monday. Some city officials, high school athletes and others are among a list of guest readers scheduled throughout the week.
"It's a lot of work, but the rewards are well worth the effort," Mahoney concluded.
Other activities: Besides reading in groups and with "buddy readers," students in sixth grade or higher who volunteer throughout the week, there will be crafts, games and prizes, Mahoney said.
About 130 children participated last year. Mahoney said the program was successful because of community support, especially from the school system and the library.
Youth volunteers who complete the program earn credit toward their schools' community service requirement, Mahoney said.
For more information about the program, contact Mahoney at 330-426-6138 or Cope at 330-426-9242.

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