Snacks, games, and a whole bunch of books await young readers at the Haliburton Lions’ Stories in the Park Fun Fair.

On Friday, Aug. 27 from noon to 2 p.m, the Haliburton and District Lions Club is inviting kids to celebrate the joy of reading at Head Lake Park.

“You cannot really underestimate the value of literacy, and early literacy for children,” said Lion Gail Stelter.

Every kid will get to choose a free book to take home. They’ll also be invited to listen to a story read aloud at the “story tree.”

Hotdogs, popcorn and juice boxes will be free to munch and sip on while playing games such as bean bag toss, fish pond and more.

“It’s a fun, low-key, delightful event,” Stelter said. It’s the second year of the event, first prompted by COVID-19 safety concerns. By inviting kids to the park, they can have safety protocols in place in a physically-distanced setting.

“It was a huge success,” Stelter said. “Having had such a wonderful event for the kids, we decided, why not make this an annual event? Not knowing COVID would be lasting into this year!”

And providing a safe way to connect kids with books fits right in with the Haliburton Lions’ passion for connecting kids with great books. “Every now and then it’s nice for a child to say ‘this is my book and I own it completely,” Stelter said.

Apart from Stories in the Park, Stelter said the Lions want to help kids dive into reading all year.

They have a reading action committee which visits schools to distribute books across the County in schools and mini outdoor libraries. They also plan to join up with the Blue Spruce program, a reading challenge prompting kids to read books and vote on which should receive the Blue Spruce award.

“Our goal is to put books in the hands of children,” she said.

She also mentioned how this event is made possible with volunteers and community sponsors.

The Lions are looking for volunteers for the afternoon too. To volunteer, contact Stelter at gatesstelter@gmail. com.

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