On February 28, we joined with schools and other organizations in our community to celebrate Read Across America Day.  Read Across America Day, also known as Dr Seuss's birthday was March 2, and celebrations were seen around the community during that entire week.
Chef Limoggio and the students at the WRVC cooked up a great meal based on several Children's books.  What a delightful menu! 
Wade Blanchette (L)  Sean Butterworth (R)
During our meeting, we welcomed the children's librarians from our local libraries: Kara Reiman from Walker Library and Heidi Whelan from Baxter Library. Each told us about some of the programs they run for children. Baxter has a Baby & Me program with activities to help parents read better with their children. They also have Toddler time for slightly older children to help prepare them for entry to school.  Their biggest activity is the Summer Reading Program which provides several benefits: it helps keep kids reading at grade level over the summer, it gives children a safe place to go, and it makes reading fun by including prizes and games based on reading achievement.
Walker Library has a similar program for toddlers and babies, modeling good reading habits for parents and helping to make sure kids are ready to enter school. They also have Crafternoon activities for children and adults, to bring children and their parents into the library. They also hold a Silly Science activity for 5-10 year-olds that is fun, messy and provides a focus on STEM learning.  Kara spoke about providing school vacation programming and working closely with the school librarians so kids know there is a coordinated effort between their school and their library. They work together creating reading challenges and celebrations of achievement.
After these brief overviews of their programs, Heidi read us a story she had read that morning to a toddler group:  I Can Read With My Eyes Shut by Dr Seuss.  Heidi came equipped with the Cat In The Hat hat, to add to the fun!  Finally, each librarian was presented with three hardcover children's books with food themes. We were pleased that our District Governor, Marge Barker was able to join us for this event which was inspired by her passion for literacy.
Heidi Whelan reads I Can Read With My Eyes Shut (L)
Heidi Whelan, DG Marge Barker, Kara Reiman (R)
After our luncheon, a crate of new and gently used children's books, including some of each book that inspired our meal, were delivered to the Stroudwater Food Pantry. The food pantry distributes these books on behalf of Westbrook-Gorham Rotary to children and families who might not otherwise be able to afford to have books in their home.
President Jason Beever with our book crate ready for the Food Pantry
Finally, we want to thank the First Baptist Church (FBC) which featured Read Across America logos on its electronic sign all week. What a great way to get the word out by having a bright flashing sign right on Main St!   Thank you Scott Linscott for arranging for that.