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Groups from McKeesport, elsewhere to celebrate Week of Young Child with story time

| Monday, April 1, 2013, 3:46 a.m.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Planning for the April 10 Spring Around Story Time, from left, are Mickey Bradley, Jessica DeSimone, Yvonne Bray, Laura Bosnak Thompson, Monica Hancharik, Nikisha Cunningham, Jim Spindler and Jill Morse.

Area children are invited to take part in a springtime story adventure when local childcare and education agencies celebrate the Week of the Young Child.

With funding and support from the Mon River Fleet Lions Club, the Jacob Woll Pavilion in Renziehausen Park will open April 10 at 4 p.m. for Spring Around Story Time.

The free event is part of the 42nd annual Week of the Young Child, April 6-12, designated by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The week is intended to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families while recognizing community programs that meet those needs.

“The Mon River Fleet Lions are pleased to support the good work of area family centers and preschool programs to provide meaningful activities in the communities that we support,” club president Jim Spindler said,

“This event will bring together children from McKeesport, Duquesne, Clairton and Braddock, which are served by the Mon River Fleet Lions Club. In serving them, it brings a truly meaningful purpose a portion of the funds raised with our recent Valentine Sweetheart Brunch.”

With materials and prizes purchased with the Lions Club's donation, children will follow a map to visit six story stations hosted by a Mon River Fleet partner agency:

• Carnegie Library of McKeesport, bookmarks

• McKeesport Family Center, planting

• Allegheny County Department of Human Services, hot dog lunch with apple slices, a cookie and milk or water

• McKeesport First Steps Parenting Program, dancing

• McKeesport Head Start, personalized crafts

• Duquesne Family Center and Project Elect, mask designing.

Once all participating children have completed their stations, they will receive a free age-appropriate reading book, coloring book, crayons and community resource information (intended for parents and guardians).

“The whole program is designed to show how valuable literacy is,” co-chair Laura Bosnak Thompson said.

“All of the activities will show children that learning can be fun,” co-chair Monica Hancharik added.

By wrapping literacy concepts in an exciting package, Carnegie Library of McKeesport children's librarian Jill Morse said, the program will help children develop skills they will use throughout their education.

“The more you can get kids excited about reading, the better it is for their future,” Morse said. “They'll be successful learners, and their skills will serve them well.”

Participating agencies include the Mon River Fleet Lions Club, Mon River Fleet Leos Club, McKeesport First Steps Parenting Program, McKeesport Family Center, AIU Head Start, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Carnegie Library of McKeesport, McKeesport Hospital Foundation, Duquesne Family Center, Allegheny Intermediate Unit Project Elect and the city of McKeesport.

For more information or to register, call McKeesport Family Center at 412-672-6970.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956 or