Connecticut celebrates 'Take Your Child to the Library Day'

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Mon., Feb. 3, 2014
RHAM student Josh Prior talks about motor bikes and dirt bikes at the Douglas Library during Hebron's Take Your Child to the Library Day observance on Feb. 1. Photos by Melanie Savage.
RHAM student Josh Prior talks about motor bikes and dirt bikes at the Douglas Library during Hebron's Take Your Child to the Library Day observance on Feb. 1. Photos by Melanie Savage.

RHAM student Josh Prior needed some community service credit for school, so he contacted Hebron’s Douglas Library to see if he could lend a hand. The library personnel asked what he was interested in. That was a no-brainer. Prior is a top pro-am motocross racer, recently finishing 25th in an important competition at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. “That means that I’m within the top 25 racers in my category in the country,” said Prior. Library personnel felt that dirt bikes/motocross would be an interesting topic for a children’s program. “So they gave me the opportunity to do this,” said Prior.

Prior appeared at the Douglas Library on Saturday, Feb. 1, during "Take Your Child to the Library Day," an event founded by Nadine Lipman, a children's librarian in Waterford, Conn. Take Your Child to the Library Day takes place the first Saturday of February annually, and celebrates its third anniversary in 2014. According to the event’s website, there are more than 470 libraries in three countries and two Caribbean islands participating, including 42 states, one province and two school libraries.

In Hebron, the day involved Prior’s visit, followed by a musical program for younger kids, according to library assistant Chris Walz. Prior’s presentation, geared toward fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, consisted of some reading selections from motocross and dirt bike-themed books, the sharing of some of his personal experiences and a bike-themed art project.

Prior showed off some of his gear, and talked about his experiences on the pro-am circuit. He’d offered to bring an actual bike, but that idea was nixed by library personnel for liability reasons. “That would have been pretty cool, though,” he said. Prior said that he got his first bike when he was 4, and has been riding ever since. His dad, Jamie, and sister, Casey (also a RHAM student) ride as well. Mom, said Prior, “goes for moral support.”

“I try to ride at least three times per week,” said Prior, adding that he also runs and goes to the gym every other day to stay in shape. Prior plans to study business management in college and possibly open a motocross-related business after graduation.

There were numerous Take Your Child to the Library events planned throughout the local area including offerings in Lebanon and Willimantic. For more information about the annual event, go to http://takeyourchildtothelibrary.blogspot.com/.


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