By Ashley Rader
Thursday offered a full day of activities for visitors to the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library. In partnership with the United Way of Elizabethton/Carter County, the library hosted “Raise Your Hand, Fun Day at the Library!”
The event was held most of the operating day last Thursday at the library from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Volunteers were present at the library throughout the day and read books to participating children. In addition to hearing stories read by the volunteer readers, children had the option to visit with therapy dog Bear, make bookmarks and have their faces painted. The Elizabethton Twins Mascot Rookie and the Chick-fil- A Cow also made a visit to “Raise Your Hand” to read to the children.
Kathy Whitehead, Bear’s owner and handler, explained that Bear, who is a 15-month-old Great Pyrenees, had been working as a therapy dog since April 11 when he received his certification. In addition to reading with children, he visits nursing homes and takes part in community events such as Vacation Bible Schools.
Children’s Librarian Ashlee Williams said the goal was to make “Raise Your Hand” an annual event at the library and to get members of the community interested in volunteering with children throughout the year.
“It is a way to get people involved with the children, either by tutoring them or mentoring them,” Williams said.
Williams said she was pleased with the participation in the event and noted there was a large crowd waiting for the first session to begin at 10:30.
She noted the United Way would have more information about volunteering in the community to help children through the schools, the library or other organizations.
The event at the Elizabethton library was part of a statewide program called Raise Your Hand Tennessee Day of Action that was sponsored by the United Ways of Tennessee and the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The goal was to recruit volunteers who will “raise their hand” to read to, tutor or mentor kids.