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Reading can be a ruff go for some youngsters, but Parker the Snow Dog wants them to do their best. Georgetown's honorary mayor received his library card from the Clear Creek County Library District …
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Reading can be a ruff go for some youngsters, but Parker the Snow Dog wants them to do their best.
Georgetown's honorary mayor received his library card from the Clear Creek County Library District Friday, and co-hosted a storytime event at Library Park. The event was in celebration of National Library Card Sign-up Month.
About 50 people, including students from Georgetown Community School, attended. They helped the library district's Holly Grant read through the dog-themed books, and showed the 5-year-old Bernese mountain dog a lot love.
The GCS first-, second- and third-graders also asked a lot of questions about the mayor. Does he paint? (Not really.) Can he swim? (He doesn't like to.) Does he eat fish when he goes ice-fishing? (No, he just gives them kisses.) Is he a search-and-rescue dog at Loveland Ski Area? (No, but he's a therapy dog at the Easterseals camp.)
They also recalled their previous encounters with Parker on ice-fishing trips or during the town's Fourth of July parade.
Dustin Schaefer, Parker's owner, said the local students are very important to him and Parker, and the two want to help the school and the library district as much as they can.
Parker's also very excited to have his library card and already has a list of books he wants to check out, Schaefer said.
Grant, the library district's program coordinator, said Friday's storytime event went well, and she was excited that so many GCS students knew about the library's services.
Grant said she hopes the event serves as a reminder that everyone is welcome to take advantage of the library, including well-behaved dogs like Parker.
Animals are also a great way for children to learn to read aloud, as they make for an encouraging but non-judgmental audience. The libraries have story fish that children can read to in exchange for prizes, Grant described.
This was the district's first storytime event with Parker, she confirmed, adding that she'd love to do another one. Grant said if anyone knows other special guests who can join for storytime, the library is always taking suggestions.
The district will continue to host storytime outdoors through October at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesdays in Idaho Springs and Thursdays in Georgetown.
Meanwhile, Parker is celebrating his fifth birthday from noon-4 p.m. this Saturday at Easterseals Rocky Mountain Village. The event will be free and feature live music, but people are encouraged to purchase beer, pizza, cocktails and auction items as a fundraiser for Parker's scholarship fund.
Last year, Parker raised $10,000 for the scholarships, which allowed eight disabled children to attend summer camp.
As of Friday, Parker had raised almost $900 toward his $20,000 goal.
For more information, follow Mayor Parker the Snow Dog on social media; and for information about the Clear Creek Library District's services and events, visit cccld.org.
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