Children in New Carlisle interact with, learn about animals during library program

Barrett and Tinley Dinson pet a bearded dragon as Amy and Thor Circle wait their turn Thursday, June 30, 2022 during the Cool Critters Outreach program at Smith Park in New Carlisle. The program was sponsored by the New Carlisle Library. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Barrett and Tinley Dinson pet a bearded dragon as Amy and Thor Circle wait their turn Thursday, June 30, 2022 during the Cool Critters Outreach program at Smith Park in New Carlisle. The program was sponsored by the New Carlisle Library. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Children in New Carlisle got the chance to interact with and learn about live animals on Thursday.

The Cool Critters Outreach Program through the New Carlisle Public Library was held at Smith Park for children to learn about all types of critters and their importance in nature.

Cool Critters Outreach (CCO) is an interactive and educational way of looking at reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, mammals and other animals that have been rescued from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. It is also an opportunity to get an up-close, personal look at the world of snakes, lizards, dragons, spiders and more, according to Children’s Librarian Maggie Bollar.

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Brian Gill started the CCO, located in Cincinnati, and is the lead presenter of the animals that are mostly rescued from the tri-state area.

The animals were once pets that their owners no longer wanted, could care for, or even left behind when they moved out, and some have been confiscated by police or dropped off at a local animal shelter. CCO then takes the animals in and provides them with a home by adopting them out to suitable homes or utilizing some for educational programs.

This event was a one-time program as part of a series the library is offering in the park this summer, Bollar said. She said they were able to partner with a large local daycare, Wee Care, to bring in special performers and allowed them to reduce the price of the programs by sharing travel expenses.

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“The library set up a summer of outdoor programming in Smith Park as a way of providing free and fun educational events for local families,” Bollar said. “Smith Park offers a shady, safe environment for kids to experience new things and learn about the world around them.”

This summer, the library has had storytelling, worm racing, Kona Ice, children’s yoga and Australian music. Some of the future events include the Olohana Strong Polynesian Dancers, a naturalist presenting on Monarch butterflies, a Tie Dye Part and a Crustacean Dance Party.

For more information on library events, visit the library’s website or Facebook.

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