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Family fun night commences with a gift of reading

Article Date: 
30 November, 2012 (All day)

Monday evening many gathered at the library for “The Gift of Reading” family fun night. 
Patrons came into the center of the library where chairs had been arranged for attendees to listen to storytellers and view skits.  Each person was given a ballot so they could vote for the act they liked best.
Storytellers shared their “gift of reading,” as they each selected a unique story and told it in their own special way.
Morgan Elementary School Librarian Melissa Carter told the story “Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude,” written and illustrated by Kevin O’Malley. As Carter told the story, she altered her voice when speaking for the different characters in the story.
Morgan High School Home Economics teacher Chris Carrigan told the story “Bad Kitty Christmas,” by Nick Bruel.  Carrigan encouraged audience participation. One half of the audience would say “bad kitty” and the other half would say “meow” when directed by Carrigan. The story revealed that this bad kitty wasn’t so bad after all.
Morgan County Clerk Stacy Lafitte told the Dr. Seuss story, “The Foot Book” with help from a Dr. Seuss stuffed toy character and a little boy from the audience who demonstrated various ways to move their feet. The audience stomped their feet when they heard “feet, feet, feet.” Lafitte explained that her last name was French for “the foot.”
Morgan County Assistant Treasurer Shirley Wilkerson told the story “If You Give A Pig A Party,” by Laura Numeroff. This story tells of the humorous consequences when you give a pig a party.
Morgan High School drama students had a captive audience as they performed improvised or improv skits and monologues. Drama students that participated included Wisper Pentz, Jaycee Cook, Alina Cannon, Brandon and Jeremy Wheelwright, Capra Johnson, Megan Hiltgen, and Bailee Johansen.
One skit was titled “Called Bad Advice.” One of the students performed as the emcee and introduced the actors by the character they portrayed. Tiffany, popular girl; Meredith, shy girl; Tarzan, ape boy; Ariel, mermaid.  This panel of characters answered questions asked by the audience, in character for the role they were portraying. Another improv skit was called “Rotation.” Four different characters in multiple situations frequently rotated positions. The last improv skit was called “Freeze” where the actors would do their role playing and stop and switch when someone said “freeze.”
The monologues were stories shared by individual students. Jaycee Cook shared her story about her cat, a fly and a pooper scooper. Wisper Pentz shared her story about an infatuation she had with a grocery boy, in her very small town.
The children colored service coupons. Staying with theme of “Gift of Reading,” the coupons entitle the recipient to have a story read to them, read a story to someone else, or to read a story together.  Two blank coupons we also offered. 
As they were leaving everyone was offered a bag of popcorn.  Patrons were also offered the opportunity to bring in canned goods in exchange for a reduction in their overdue book fines.
Morgan County Librarian Valerie Hancock said that the votes were tallied and the favorite act of the evening was storyteller Melissa Carter.  The winner was notified Tuesday morning and will receive a prize.
Hancock said next year she would like to have this activity at the beginning of the quarter instead of the end of it. The Library Board is planning on the next family fun night to be held toward the end of January.