A couple of local superheroes showed off their superpowers by reading to kids at the Sutherlin Public Library on Friday.
Deputy Eric Schreiber of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office brought his German Shepherd, Grim, from the K-9 unit to the Super Heroes Read event at the library. It kicked off the month-long Celebration of Literacy, which will feature several events around the county to promote literacy.
The event coincided with the library’s regular Fun Fridays, which provide kids with activities to facilitate creativity, according to children’s librarian Nancy Anderson. Fun Fridays happen at 2 p.m. on the first and third Friday of the month.
Fifteen kids gathered around Schreiber and Grim in the children’s library to read the book “Officer Buckle and Gloria.” Kids’ attention bounced back and forth between Grim and Schreiber as he read the book.
In the story, a boring Officer Buckle gives safety tip speeches at schools that typically put everybody to sleep. But then a dog named Gloria gets assigned to go with him to the speeches. When Gloria starts imitating the safety tips during Officer Buckle’s speeches, everyone gives the duo their attention.
“’After every speech Officer Buckle took Gloria out for ice cream,’” Schreiber read from the book. “Grim doesn’t get ice cream,” he told the kids as their parents laughed.
“Anybody want to come pet Grim?” Schreiber asked after he finished the book. The kids hesitated at first, but it didn’t take long before they were all crowded around petting the dog.
The attention quieted Grim, who had been whining during the story because he doesn’t like to have his muzzle on, Schreiber said.
Every kid who attended the event got to take home a superhero comic book and another book that was donated by the Umpqua Literacy Council and Altrusa International of Roseburg, a local community service nonprofit. The groups organized the Celebration of Literacy.
Hailey Root, 5, picked out two comic books — The Avengers and Wonder Woman.
Kim Root, Hailey’s mother, said it was the first Fun Fridays event they had been to. They were enticed by the dog, Root said.
“What were you for Halloween?” she asked Hailey.
“Super Girl!” Hailey replied.
Shortly after, Root’s son, Logan, 6, walked up and said he wanted to play chess on the library’s computers.
There were also Legos and a station to craft Valentines.
Mark Anderson, husband of the children’s librarian, volunteered for the event and said his wife communicates with local schools about Fun Fridays activities so they can encourage kids to go.
“It works out real well because in Sutherlin, kids get out of school early on Friday afternoons,” Anderson said.
Nancy Anderson said she has been working to secure grants to bring more children’s books to the library. She was excited to welcome Schreiber and Grim to the day’s event.
“The community partnerships have been great for things like this,” Anderson said.