Camp promotes reading

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Morgan Eddy, a member of Superior Americorps, reads to children during Camp Read Away at the Copper Country Mall Saturday.

HOUGHTON — Area children got free books and a day of fun through the fourth annual Camp Read Away Saturday at the Copper Country Mall.

“The goal is just promoting reading with kids and families,” said Marcy Erickson, director of Superior Americorps, which ran the event along with BHK Child Development.

Superior Americorps’ focus in the area is to boost reading comprehension among kids, Erickson said. To that end, they gave away free books to children.

“Every kid can go home with books, because we know that having books in the home is one of the most important factors in academic success for students,” she said.

They also tried to make it fun for kids. In accordance with this year’s theme of pets, there was a story hour with books about animals and pet-themed games, such as “pin the bone on the dog’s mouth.”

Other stations included beanbag toss, face painting and making pet puppets.

Shortly after noon, about 200 children and 100 adults had shown up.

“I think it’s gone really well,” Erickson said. “There seems to be a lot of good energy in the room, a lot of excitement. Kids are excited to be able to pick out their own books.”

Alana Jouppe, a fourth-grader from Dollar Bay, came to “have fun.”

Her favorite part was the games. Which one?

“All of them,” she said.

Lukai Zhai, of Houghton, was watching his daughter Alex, 2, play in the sandbox.

“It’s fun,” he said. “She loves reading books, and she loves playing with other kids.”