4/11/2012 REDLANDS – Twenty-five smiling faces belonging to first grade through high school children were gathered outside of the A.K. Smiley Public Library on Wednesday afternoon. Those smiles belonged to children from the Micah House Chapel.
The smiles were because of a family day that they were about to embark on that included a tour of the children’s section of the library, the reward of In-N-Out Burger certificates and a guided tour of the Redlands Bowl from Marsha Gebara.
The famous burger joint partnered with the library to host the Cover to Cover Club, a reading incentive for the library.
The requirements were children had to be between the ages of 4 through 12 years old and read five library books.
“The library allows the kids to use their books in the Micah House library. They have been so excited and there has been a huge build up for today. The kids already knew about the new In-N-Out in Highland, so that just made today even more fun,” Dianna Lawson program coordinator of the Micah House Chapel, said.
Next the families roamed the wide variety of books in the children’s section of the library with many parents stopping to read books to their children.
While Brenda Florez’ older son Santos Florez was awaiting his In-N-Out certificate she took time out to read to her younger son, 3-year-old Luis Florez.
Luis excitedly asked his mother questions in Spanish as she read three books to him.
“This is my first time to the library, and I think it is beautiful. I would like to come again,” Brenda Florez said.
Nine-year-old Cody Garcia was also excited for the visit to the library.
“I love to read chapter books. Goosebumps books are my favorite to read,” said Cody.
Ten-year old Kenya Perez said that this is a normal thing for her to read five books.
“I love to read and read a lot. `Diary of a Whimpy Kid’ is my favorite book,” Kenya said.
The last part of family day consisted of a tour guided by Gebara, Redlands Bowl program director.
Kristi Marnell, Redlands Bowl office manager put together this event for the families.
Gebara gave a history lesson on the Redlands Bowl. The families were amazed when Gebara said that 4,000 people can occupy the seats.
Lawson said that the event was better than she could have imagined.
“This is not an area of town that they come to on a normal day. Between the library, coupons and the tour of the bowl this has been great. I am so proud of the kids for being so interactive and asking questions,” Lawson said.
Lawson said she wants these families to feel comfortable in this kind of atmosphere.
“This can open doors for them, and I want them to be a part of the Redlands community. This is my desire. Even some of our University of Redlands work-study students from other states didn’t know we had all of this wonderful history in Redlands and want to come back because of it,” said Lawson.