Department of Archives hosts Olympics program at Helena library

A Helena summer reading program participant weaves through the obstacle course at the Alabamians in the Olympics interactive program on June 22. (Reporter Photo/Keith McCoy)

A Helena summer reading program participant weaves through the obstacle course at the Alabamians in the Olympics interactive program on June 22. (Reporter Photo/Keith McCoy)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–With the Rio Olympic Games set to begin the first of August, many summer reading programs around the state, including Helena, have decided to include sports or the Olympics as themes to many of the weekly programs held throughout the summer.

On Wednesday, June 22, Helena children participating in the summer reading program got a special visit from members of the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery.

Volunteers from the department of archives set up a fun Olympics interactive program with a variety of activities.

During the program, children first listened to a story titled “Olympig” where a pig joins the Olympics and the book chronicles his journey.

After hearing the story, children rotated to different stations to draw an Olympic flag, decorate gold medals, learn about Alabamians in the Olympics, participate in kicking a soccer ball and also compete in an obstacle course.

Aimee Sparks and Erik Haeuser were two of the volunteers from the Alabama Department of Archives and both said their favorite thing was being able to work with kids and seeing them have fun.

Both Sparks and Haeuser helped lead the different stations and Sparks even went through the entire obstacle course with the kids.

“I feel like working with the children and volunteering is fun and also keeps you young,” said Sparks. “This was our first time to ever come to Helena and we’ve really enjoyed visiting and seeing the town.”

The Olympics interactive program travels to libraries across the state within a two-hour radius from Montgomery.

After the Olympics program was finished in Helena, Sparks also encouraged children and their parents to visit the actual archives museum in Montgomery, where many hands-on galleries are offered, including World War I, treasures, voices, the land of Alabama, the first Alabamians and more.

The Helena Summer Reading Program is scheduled to take place every Wednesday through July 13.

The remaining schedule for the summer reading program is as follows:

  • June 29–Visit with the fire department–2 p.m.
  • July 6–Visit with the police department–2 p.m.
  • July 13–Summer reading close out celebration–2 p.m.