TERRE HAUTE —
Like statues holding books, a group of rustically dressed readers stood stock still in the play area of Honey Creek Mall, when suddenly, Read Across America Day was launched on Friday.
In a take-off on the flash mob phenomenon, several volunteers and staff from the Vigo County Public Library began reading in sync a portion of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”
Celebrity readers shared stories with children Friday in the play zone, and another round of readers is planned for today, beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing until 2 p.m.
Kid friendly activities are provided by the Vigo County Public Library, and some retailers in the mall are also providing treats and prizes.
The first 25 children to donate new children’s books will also be given a Cat In The Hat hat. The Friends of the Vigo County Public Library will add those donations to the books collected all year for distribution to area children.
Chris Schellenberg, community services and marketing coordinator for the VCPL, said the “flash read” idea came from library staffer Chris Bradfield, who saw the idea on the Internet. The VCPL mobbers have since performed their reading efforts at the Swope Art Museum and at the Indiana State University food court.
Kim Ingalsbe, general manager of the mall, said the Read Across America initiative is being promoted by the mall’s corporate office at all of its properties. This is the first year for Read Across America at Honey Creek Mall, she said.
Several youngsters brought their parents to the event. Preston Threlfall, age 2, gave a “high five” after putting books into the donation barrel.
His mother, Tammy, said she often takes Preston and younger sister Vella to the public library for storytime.
Elijah Cuvelier, 3, and his mother Helen, go to the library once or twice a week. He was happy to check out the free treats created by a mall retailer.
Mayor Duke Bennett also read a proclamation to kick off the 16th annual Read Across America Day, sponsored by the National Education Association. The goal of the event is to show America’s children the joy of reading and to build a national of readers.
For more information, go online to www.nea.org/readacross and www.readacrossamerica.org.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.