Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT Principal Danny Bartz reads “Froggy Goes to Hawaii” to a group of kids during the program Read Around the County Wednesday at Riverfront Park in Niles.
Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT
Principal Danny Bartz reads “Froggy Goes to Hawaii” to a group of kids during the program Read Around the County Wednesday at Riverfront Park in Niles.

Archived Story

Children gather for reading program in Riverfront Park

Published 9:11am Thursday, May 15, 2014

Wearing a grass skirt over his dark grey dress pants, Danny Bartz approached a group of children and parents and posed the question, “Who wants to go on vacation?”

Bartz, a principal at Sylvester Elementary School in Berrien Springs, was one of 15 volunteers who dressed up to read to children’s books to kids during Wednesday’s Read Around the County program at Riverfront Park in Niles.

Sponsored by Berrien Regional Education Service Agency and the county’s libraries, Read Around the County is designed to promote literacy to children ages 5 and under in Southwestern Michigan.

“You have to love reading before you can be a good reader,” said Kerenda Applebey, parent education coordinator for Berrien RESA. “The goal is to get kids to love to read.”

The free event took place Tuesday in St. Joseph and Wednesday in Niles. Participants received a goodie bag containing a free book, snack and information about the summer reading programs offered by

county libraries.

The 15 volunteers included principals, librarians and others from the surrounding communities.

Organizers changed the name of the event this year when the county’s libraries jumped on board. It was formerly known as Read by the River in Niles and Books on the Bluff in St. Joseph.

Bartz read the book “Froggy Goes to Hawaii” by author Jonathan London and illustrator Frank Remkiewicz.

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