The program is open to children in kindergarten through fifth grade.
EAST PALESTINE -- If Candy Cope has her way, kids in East Palestine will get pretty wild this week.
Cope, librarian at East Palestine Elementary School, is coordinating the community's summer reading camp, a program for kindergarten through fifth-graders. The program, which starts today, gets pupils excited about a book, and this year the book is Maurice Sendak's Caldecott Medal-winning "Where the Wild Things Are."
Anyone from kindergarten to fifth grade can attend the camp, which runs from 1 to 3 p.m. each day this week. There is no charge. The program includes activities such as reading, crafts, puppetry and games.
"Where the Wild Things Are" is the classic tale of Max, a young boy sent to bed without supper. He dreams that he is in the land of the wild things, and is king. But Max misses his home, so he sails back, and finds his dinner waiting.
The book will provide a great focus for participants, Cope said.
"They're going to make their own wild things, and they'll get to roar and dance and move," Cope said. "It's an awesome book."
The Summer Reading Camp, which is sponsored by the East Palestine PTO, is open to all pupils, even those outside the school district. Last year, five districts were represented, Cope said, and about 100 children came every day. The activities are divided by grade level, so while the reading material is the same, each level does something different with it.
The program, in its sixth year, comes at exactly the right time of summer, Cope said.
"It's about this week of the summer that kids start to get antsy and bored," Cope said. "They're starting to whine. There's nothing to do. They're not ready to go back to school yet though ... so this is just perfect."
The reading camp is for every child, not just those who enjoy reading, Cope said.
"For some kids, reading is a chore," she said. "Through this camp, they can learn that reading is really fun. That's what we want to do -- bring out the fun in books."
And the fun isn't limited to the children, Cope said.
"For me, it's such a renewal," she said. "It gets me psyched up to go back to school. I just can't wait."