Reading with firefighters in Prairie Township


By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

The Prairie Township Fire Department will host its annual Reading with the Firefighters Program.

The program, now in its third year, encourages children to continue to read while they are on summer vacation.

“The program is usually for four weeks and we invite township and non-township children from 3 to 10 years old to participate,” said Matt Powers, organizer and founder of the program. “The kids come in once a week and we read to them for one hour.”

During the summer and winter breaks kids tend to let reading slide, according to Powers. This program encourages them to continue to read even when they aren’t in school.

With 12 to 15 children expected to come to each session, the firefighters also use the opportunity to educate the children on fire safety.

“You would be amazed how many families don’t have a fire escape plan,” Powers said. “During the sessions we help the kids create a family meeting place should a fire happen.”

Powers said having a family meeting place is important because if not kids will hide under their beds or in their closets during an emergency, which can be very dangerous.

During the sessions, the fire department also shows the kids what a fireman looks like in their uniform, this helps them not be afraid if they see a firefighter in their gear.

“We also give them a tour of the fire house and show them the latter truck, which all the kids love,” Powers said. “On the last day we also let them spray water onto a fake house we have, so they get to be firefighters for the day.”

The program will take place July 22, July 28, Aug. 6 and Aug. 12. No registration is required, so kids can come to any of the sessions they would like. Parents also are encouraged to attend if they desire.

“This program is great for kids because it gets them interested in reading and prepares them for the start of the school year,” Powers said. “In regards to the fire safety, we also teach them way more than they would learn at school, which also helps them.”

For more information on the Reading with the Firefighters Program, contact Matt Powers at 878-7100.

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