Enjoy a day of literacy at the zoo by attending the 18th Annual D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) at the Zoo, sponsored by the READ Association of Saginaw County. Not only does summer reading keep literacy skills active and ready for the next school year, but it’s a great time to read for fun! Join us on Wednesday, June 19, 10:00am – 4:00pm, at the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square, 1730 S. Washington in Saginaw. Each child attending will receive a free book for their reading enjoyment.
Michigan authors, Tracy Foster and Shannon Cooper-Toma, will share their books featuring Benson's Adventures in Michigan and Benson’s Seasonal Adventures in Michigan. Attendees will be inspired by the authors’ motto: "DREAM BIG," as they share their travels with student groups to Michigan's most treasured destinations. These authors will begin their national debut this summer with Benson’s Adventures in the United States, coming in August. Books will be available at the zoo for purchase and author signing as well as a special presentation in the Zoo Amphitheater at noon. Local authors, Jayda & Devonya Brown (Always in my Heart), Sa'Veya Jackson (Exploring Bath Bombs), Colleen Coffey (Bubba Beatle and the Bexley Twins) and Trashina Conner(18 Ingredients to Make a Daddy) will also be on hand with their first-time books to share how they got started and to autograph copies for purchase.
Eighteen organizations and businesses will partner with READ, providing literacy activities and prizes throughout the zoo. Booth sponsors and partners include the following: Barnes and Noble Saginaw, Bethlehem Little Stars Preschool, Scouting BSA Troop #342, CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region, Castle Museum of Saginaw County History, Children’s Grief Center, Saginaw Children’s Zoo, PhotoPro’s Photo Booth, Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, Public Libraries of Saginaw, Saginaw Intermediate School District, Covenant Healthcare Foundation’s Reach Out and Read Program, Saginaw Community Foundation FORCE Youth Advisory Committee, SPSD Birth to 5 Program, SPSD Pre-K, St. Mary's Hospital, Target, and St. John Amelith School. Local musicians, Leo and Merry Feith, will provide afternoon entertainment.
All activities of D.E.A.R. at the Zoo are included in the zoo’s admission price, which is $5 for adults and children (infants through 11 months are free). Group rates are available by calling 989-759-1408 prior to the event. Carousel and train rides are $1 per person per ride. Zoo members get in and ride FREE. For directions and more information about the Zoo, visit www.saginawzoo.com. This event is held rain or shine, except for severe inclement weather. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held at the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, 315 W. Genesee.
D.E.A.R. at the Zoo is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation, the Saginaw Celebrates Summer Program, sponsored by Hemlock Semiconductor Group and coordinated by the Saginaw Arts and Enrichment Commission, and READ Business Novel Sponsors: Erie Custom Signs and Means Industries, Inc.
The READ Association of Saginaw County’s mission is to help students improve their reading skills and discover the joy of reading. We accomplish this through the READ Mentor Program, Book Giveaway Program, and community events such as “Books for Breakfast” and “D.E.A.R. at the Zoo” with the support of many volunteers and financial donors. Helping children to read is one of the most precious investments that can be made to ensure student success in our community.
Visit our website at www.readinsaginaw.org or call 989-755-8402 for more information on volunteering or supporting our programs. We can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates, pictures, and information regarding the READ Association. Please join us on June 20 to enjoy a fun, literacy-filled day with your family and friends!