During the program, participants are required to complete four of seven football-related reading activities that include reading a magazine article about football, finding an online article about a high school, college or professional football team and reading part of a Dover High School Football program.
“We have timed the program to coincide with the start of school to keep kids interested in reading,” said children’s librarian Pat Rombach, who, in addition to encouraging reading in young people, is also a big football fan. “The program attracts boys, but we get a good number of girls that sign up. Some have an older brother that plays football or perhaps a connection with the game through cheerleading. Girls are football fans too.”
Children that successfully complete the program receive a Little Tornado Reading Club membership card, club T-shirt, a free ticket to the Sept. 21 Dover vs. Woodward game at Crater Stadium and the opportunity to be on the field during pregame activities, including welcoming the Dover High School Football team as they enter the field.
To engage the reading club participants, the library has scheduled Little Tornado Saturday programs specific to football.
Gridiron Story Time is Saturday, Sept. 1, at 11 a.m., and features captains from the Dover High School football team reading their favorite children’s football-themed books. Registration is August 27-31 and can be done by calling the library. “These young men have no idea how much the younger kids look up to them,” said Rombach. “This program is so successful because, to the younger kids, these football players are heroes and they make a lasting impression.”
Getting the football captains involved was the idea of library custodian Michael Lehr. “When Michael’s son, Tim, was a Dover football captain he came up with the idea to get the players involved at the library,” said library director Jim Gill. “He was trying to instill compassion for the next generation. He wanted Tim to realize what a great community he grew up in and what a great town Dover is. Dover just drips with football tradition and that is something Michael did not experience when he was growing up. Tim is now playing football at Ashland College and is trying to implement a similar program there.”
The fourth annual Community Tailgate Party will be held Saturday, Sept. 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the library. This family oriented event will include face painting, games, contests, hot dogs and more. No registration is required for this free event.
The Football Extravaganza will be Saturday, Sept. 22, at 11 a.m. Register Sept. 10-20 for this hour-long event that will include books, music, trivia, crafts and refreshments.
The Dover High School football players came up with the leaf raking idea last year and it has become an annual event. Join the players and children’s library staff on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m. as they clean up the grounds of the library, just in time to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the library on Sunday, Nov. 4. “It was the football players’ idea to do something for the community and for the library,” said Rombach. “We had such a good time last year. The team brought rakes and we cleaned up all the leaves. Later the guys went across the street and played football on the lawn at the high school. Families were here and it was just a wonderful community event.”
Little Tornado Club members are encouraged to wear their club T-shirts and to bring a rake. Hot dogs and lemonade will be served and the public is invited to join in.
Call the library at 330-343-6123 for more information or to register for programs.
Published: August 24, 2012