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Critters and Characters Celebrate Literacy in New Hampshire Saturday

April 11, 2008

Northfield, NH - Big Bird will be there. So will Elmo, the Cat in the Hat, Gov. John Lynch, a colony of bats, sled dogs and lots of kids. They'll all be on hand for New Hampshire's first celebration of Literacy Day Saturday at Southwick School in Northfield. Organizers say the exhibits of literary animals and more will be matched by free books about each subject.

Retired teacher Donna Ciocca, one of the Literacy Day organizers, keeps the emphasis on those books.

"We've got lots of free children's books--almost 10,000--to give away. For example, if a child goes to the sled dog exhibit and learns about the sled dogs, they get a free Iditarod book, and if they go to the bat exhibit from Squam Lake, they get a free bat book."

Jan Pendlebury with the Pew Environment Group also will be on hand, to introduce readers to a subject she calls "environmental literacy."

"It's the heart of knowledge and experience that a place offers that we can read not through words, but through the signs that nature provides for us, and how we relate to those in our own sense of place."

Details of the celebration, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon, are available online at

John Robinson/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - NH