Okafor Spreads The “Love”

Paul Bass PhotoA crowd stormed City Hall again—this time not to protest or counter-protest, but to dive into books and hugs.

The crowd materialized in the City Hall atrium on Monday.

It consisted of around 200 pre-schoolers and adults from Harris & Tucker Daycare, Creating Kids Childcare, United Community Nursery School, Catholic Charities Child Development Center, Grandpa’s Family Home Daycare, YMCA Daycare, and Baby Bear Family Childcare.

They came to launch the Week of the Young Child, which will feature reading-themed events all over town.

Schools superintendent Garth Harries revealed to the kids that his title means he has “super” powers. They involve not flying (he tried that), but using his brain. He informed the kids they have the same super powers—which they and their parents can nurture by reading.

City human services chief Martha Okafor then treated the kids to a passionate, interactive reading of Todd Parr’s The I Love You Book. Click on the video to watch highlights.

Afterwards, organizers handed out donated copies of the book (until the books ran out). And Allyx Schiavone of the Friends Center for Children signed people up to make a HUG—or “Help Us Grow”—pledge as part of Week of the Young Child. Signees pledge to hug their children (a minimum 12 hugs a day are recommended) in order “to help give them a solid learning foundation, a strong hardy body, and a healthy sense of self.” Above are listed the rest of the week’s scheduled events.

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