The Summer Reading Program at the Martins Ferry Public Library literally had children racing to participate Thursday.
The library held its fifth annual "Baby Time" race Thursday morning, as a fun way to conclude the facility's Summer Reading Program.
Nearly a dozen local families showed up at the children's auditorium to watch and encourage their youngest members to crawl in one of three designated lanes on a nearly 15-foot section of soft carpet.
Photos by Scott McCloskey
Two-year-old Bryden Volan of Cadiz and Olivia Buckingham, 3, of Martins Ferry wait for the “go” signal while preparing to crawl in the Fifth Annual Baby Race at the Martins Ferry Public Library on Thursday.
Two-year-old James Buckingham of Martins Ferry crosses the finish line with a big smile.
While some of the children completed the short stretch rather quickly with big smiles stretched across their faces, others decided to turn around midway through the course in search of mom or dad.
"This is really just a fun way to finish off the program," said Baby Time Coordinator Janet Hill, who served as one of the organizers of the event.
She said children between 6 and 24 months of age who participated in the "Baby Race," also participated in the library's Summer Reading program since the beginning of summer.
"Summertime is a special time in the library. We really try to encourage people as much as possible to bring their children to the library and to read," said Hill.
She said the program is not only important for reading skills, but also for the socialization skills it encourages among young children.
Laura Carroll of Wheeling said as a librarian, she wants her son to be involved with activities that encourage socialization, such as the ones held at the library. Her son, 8-month-old Declan McGinnis, was one of the Baby Race participants.
"I want him to be around activities like this," said Carroll, who noted she encourages the "culture of reading and the culture of community."
All participants in the event received a children's book, and prizes were awarded to the winners of each race.
The library will host a "Worm Race" for children in kindergarten through fourth grade at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday as the final activity of the Summer Reading Program.