Balancing fun with learning

Published 10:52 pm Friday, June 5, 2009

During the month of June, the Andalusia Public Library is inviting local children to “get creative” at the library by participating in the free Summer Reading Program.

Each Thursday, there is a special activity at 3 p.m., which will include live entertainment, door prizes and other fun events.

Thurs., June 4, the Summer Reading Program opened with a performance by entertainer Bruce “Kid” Davie. Davie entertained more than 130 children and 50 adults with a show that included everything from stilt-walking to magic to juggling.

Children’s librarian Carol Lee Jackson said the program is meant to give kids a balance between having fun and learning.

Davie’s show Thursday was also about balance. In addition to being entertaining, every skit in the show had an underlying positive message for the children in the audience.

For example, in a magic trick he asked Will Piggott, his young volunteer, to choose between two nutritious canned foods, and dog food. When Will reacted with disgust at the idea of eating the dog food, Davie then said that dog food is a “bad choice,” just like those who choose to put alcohol or tobacco in their bodies.

In another skit, he asked two young volunteers to join him in a race to unroll a roll of toilet paper, and offered to give them each $100 if they could beat him. But as DaCarmuyen Hines and Karley Wallace tried to unroll their rolls with their hands, Davie pulled out a leaf-blower and quickly unrolled his roll of toilet paper in seconds.

“Now, there’s always somebody in the audience who will say, ‘You cheated, Kid Davie,’” he told the kids. “But it’s not cheating. I told them to unroll the toilet paper the best way they know how, and this leaf blower is the best way I know how. It’s knowledge that I had, but (the kids) didn’t have.”

Jackson had high praise for Davie, who has previously appeared on Late Night with David Letterman.

“This is probably the biggest program we’ve ever had at the library,” she said. “We’re excited about our upcoming programs, too. We’ve got karate, science, dancing and more. We’re trying to touch on all the arts and all the ways that kids can be creative.”