It was Dr. Suess-y day at Camp Read Away…

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Superior AmeriCorps member Axel Cote helps Elsa Niemi, 4, of Painesdale and Jenny Qi, 5, of Houghton dig for shark teeth at Camp Read Away at the Copper Country Mall Saturday.

PORTAGE TOWNSHIP — Tents, s’mores and displays of national parks helped set the mood Saturday at the fifth annual Camp Read Away at the Copper Country Mall.

Superior AmeriCorps held the event for child readers in conjunction with the B-H-K Child Development parents.

AmeriCorps members came up with the theme to tie into the Camp Readaway name, said director Marcy Erickson. B-H-K parents planned a Dr. Seuss-themed activities to recognize March, which is both Reading Month and Dr. Seuss Month.

“It’s just an event to get families out with their kids doing some educational and fun activities,” Erickson said.

Displays of parks such as Mount Rainer, Joshua Tree and Devil’s Tower dotted the walls, along with tie-in activities. At Pictured Rocks, kids got to write their name on a piece of paper and put it in on the cliff.

“Hopefully, it’ll all be covered with everyone’s names,” said AmeriCorps member Jenna Behnke. “It gives the kids a chance to practice their letter writing.”

Afterwards, they picked five words to read aloud. They got to punch their passport and earn a ticket, which they then entered in a raffle.

Behnke, who recently moved to the Keweenaw, joined as a way to immerse herself in the area.

“I really like how every day I’m working with kids and helping out the community,” she said.

At the Mount Rushmore station, Calumet High School students helped Shelby Erickson, 10, of Calumet, pin features such as a top hat and glasses on the corresponding president.

“You get to play, and there’s lots of national parks you get to learn about,” she said.

Her favorite, though, was Isle Royale National Park, manned by ranger Molly Cooper. The most common question she received was when the first boat leaves for Isle Royale — from Houghton, it’s May 28.

Erickson got a Junior Ranger book and will be able to get a badge if they come to the island.

“It’s right here in the community, so it’s good to be hanging out with kids that can come visit,” Cooper said. “Just opening it up to be involved, and give this to them to take home so they can learn a bit about the place, since it’s hard to access year-round.”

Kylie Hoehn of Chassell watched as her son, Ambrose, 3, jumped along a course of rhyming words matched with pictures, including “cat” and “hat.”

“It’s been awesome,” she said. “The kids love Dr. Seuss.”

Houghton 7-year-old’s Kaliyah Bach’s favorite activity was getting to make s’mores. Her mother, Jen Bach, also came to support her daughter, an AmeriCorps member.

“It’s wonderfully organized,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”

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