Howard G. Austin reads his children's book to the kids at a Summer Library Program at the Nevada County Library this past Wednesday as Trent Rosson from the Cossatot River State Park looks on.
Both yesterday and today the many youngsters who came to the Nevada County Library were regaled with important life lessons about animals and new ways of thinking about food under the auspices of the library's Summer Reading Program whose theme is All Together Now.
Wednesday morning the library hosted Howard G. Austin, who was a principal for Prescott Elementary for 40 years. He gave a reading of his children's book Why I Will Never Treasure Hunt Again, which is his story of seeking treasure near where Austin grew up in Marshall, Texas. When "Sport," as Austin was called when he was younger, goes down a pit while attached to a rope, he shines his flashlight down and sees what the adults around him have tried to warn him about. "Just think, what if I hadn't looked before I stepped out?" he said in closing.
After Austin's reading, Trent Rosson, from Cossatot River State Park presented a talk on the identification of snakes in Southwest Arkansas. He made the case that snakes--36 species of which live in Arkansas--are among the most misrepresented animals. They are often portrayed as vicious attackers, but more than likely they simply want to stay away from humans and, in the case of the rattlesnake, will give warning with their rattles prior to biting. Rosson also described the function of the snake's eyes, tongue and ears and explained that snakes must shed their skins every two months because their growth becomes too much for their old skin to contain.
Rosson then sent wooden snake toys around the room for the children to color with felt markers. The results were models of snakes in all sorts of colors.
On Thursday afternoon, Katelyn Kirkham, County Extension Agent and Family and Consumer Science Specialist, presided over a program introducing the children to the new federal standard for the proportions of the five food groups to be eaten in one day, grains, vegetables, protein, fruits and dairy. She led the children through several lessons meant to help them understand which foods belonged in their respective categories, then brought in fruit cuts and kebab sticks so the children could make their own fruit kebabs and dip them into yogurt.
About 18 children participated in Kirkham's lessons.