Heroes Take A Bite Out Of Summer Reading

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By Liz Premo

Atlantic News, Thursday, July 29, 2004

TOP DOG — Gunther, a 7-year-old German Shepherd, is a member of the New Hampshire State Police force. He is pictured here with his handler, Trooper Jim Martin, and plenty of summer reading fans. [Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]

HAMPTON — Accompanied by a couple of New Hampshire State Troopers, a German Shepherd named Gunther made a special appearance at the Lane Memorial Library last Wednesday morning. The visit was part of the library's ongoing Summer Reading Program, "Check Out a Hero."

A roomful of eager readers was treated to an exciting K-9 demonstration courtesy of Gunther, Trooper Dan Berridge and Trooper Jim Martin, the dog's handler. The audience watched in fascination as Berridge, outfitted with a heavy, thick fabric "sleeve" fully covering one arm, was "apprehended" by Gunther who, after he was released by Martin, charged up a cleared path from across the room and clamped his jaws on Berridge's well-protected arm.

During their presentation, the officers explained the type of work that police dogs do, and displayed an assortment of equipment used with the canines during different searches. The informative program was well-received and very much enjoyed by the children and adults in attendance.

Summer reading story times for all ages will continue on July 28, with a program featuring Steve Blunt's Music. The Lane Memorial Library is also hosting a "Friday Action Hero Movie" Friday afternoons at 1 p.m. Upcoming movies include "Superman/ Batman" on July 30; and "Scooby Doo" on August 6.

The library's Summer Reading Program wraps up on Thursday, August 5 at 6:30 p.m. with a very special program. Come and celebrate the summer's reading accomplishments with lots of fun and plenty of prizes. At that time, "kid-friendly” snacks (such as juice boxes and healthy, non-perishable snacks that children enjoy) will be collected. These items, along with donated gently-used backpacks which the library is collecting through August 10, will be presented to the local food pantry in anticipation of the new school year.

To become a "Library Hero," program participants have been reading for 30 minutes each day and keeping track of the number of minutes that they read. For every 30 minutes of reading time, participants place a ticket in the treasure box for prizes. For more information about this and other programs at the Lane Memorial Library, stop by the Children’s Room or call 926-4729.

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