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In an effort to promote education, literacy and community fellowship, the Fort Detrick Library is hosting a summer reading series for children and their families from 10:30 a.m. to noon, August 7 and 14, at the Balfour Beatty Community Center, Building 6000.

Throughout the summer months, weekly group readings take place; each reading with a different guest reader and each story with a new theme. Past theme topics have included marine mammals, birds, farm animals and horses.

“The groups are fun and educational,” said Jocelyn Sarvaideo, library event coordinator. “We want to really build our audience and be able to bring kids in for interactive events.”

On July 24, guest reader Michelle Hewitt, program manager for the Exceptional Family Member Program read, “We’ll Paint the Octopus Red” by Stephanie Stuve-Boden, to tie in the week’s marine mammal theme to coping with a family member with special needs.

“This is a great event for parents to bring their children to. By reading books [with a clear message] it is a fun, non-threatening way for children to be educated on these very serious and important topics,” Hewitt said.

Following Hewitt’s reading, Sarvaideo assisted children and families with an arts and crafts project.

“The crafts are fun and they offer a great opportunity for the kids and families to learn more about the topic covered in the story. For this week’s craft, kids could choose from a dolphin or a whale. The tissue paper on the animal creates a really nice mosaic look when they are hung in sunlight,” Sarvaideo said.

During the next meeting, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Director Lisa Hamlin will read “The Pigeon Needs a Bath.” Garrison Commander Col. Steven Middlecamp will read “Farm Animals” during the August 14 series.

“I’m really looking forward to this. It’s never too early to begin a lifetime habit of reading. I am hoping the community comes out for this event and supports our local library,” said Middlecamp.

The series is free and is open to the Fort Detrick community; no prior registration is required. Children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate. For more information call (301) 619-2839.