PDT Staff Writer
Spartan Stadium was filled with more than 200 people Friday for CAO Head Start’s third annual Laps for Books event.
Kim Johnson, Parent Involvement Manager of Scioto County Head Start said they look forward to hosting the event each year.
“Today is our third annual Laps for Books, for each lap that they take around they can get one book up to five laps,” Johnson said.
Mayor David Malone opened Laps for Books, welcoming the parents and encouraged them to continue to read with their children.
Johnson said the purpose of the event is to promote healthy lifestyles.
“We have the opportunity show parents different gross motor activities that they can do with their children, to keep their bodies strong and healthy,” Johnson said.
Johnson also said the purpose of Laps for Books is to promote literacy.
“We want to get a book in every child’s hand every chance we get. We start with books to help our students to acquire a love for reading, so that it will carry on with them throughout their lives,” Johnson said.
Local agencies were present, such as the Health Department, SOLACE, Care Source, the Portsmouth Public Library and the OSU Extension Office.
The agencies brought resources and information for the parents to review.
The teaching staff of Scioto County Head Start setup activity stations for the students to engage in.
Another component of the Laps for Books event was the discussion of bullying.
According to Sharon Sherman, an Education Manager for the Scioto County Head Start, the program received a grant.
“We attended a workshop that taught us how to prepare grants and it was all based on domestic violence. There were different components that we could choose from to do our grant, and we chose bullying” Sherman said.
Sherman said they chose to work with bullying because it is becoming so prevalent.
“We are hoping that starting at an early age, we can make a real impact on the children as the grow up. We also want to make an impact upon the parents because they are the first role models,” Sherman said.
Carla Womack, an Educator of Scioto County Head Start, lead the parents in a chant about bullying.
“Take a stand, lend a hand, stop bullying now,” Womack said.
The crowd chanted these words as they walked around the track, and held up anti-bullying signs.
Free lunch was also provided for the attendees, consisting of fried chicken, green beans, potatoes and cole slaw.
The event also included a balloon launch.
Portia Williamsmay be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Portia on Twitter @ PortiaWillPDT