ONTARIO — What’s better than getting lost in a great book? Some might say, being a kid and having that great book brought to life by a great storyteller.

That’s the aim of Storytime, a local annual event that seeks to get kids excited about reading. This year marks the fifth year Storytime has been in operation. As Sherri Hironaka, one of the event’s main organizers said, “It moves!” She was referring to the “controlled chaos” of directing kindergarten-age children to their listening destinations and how it’s like a big machine with a lot of parts.

Hironaka praised the contributions of fellow organizers Theresa Martinez and Kelly Poe saying that they helped greatly in making this event a reality. She brought attention to how many community leaders who took time out of their day to read to the kids and how delighted she was for the big turn-out.

Four Rivers Cultural Center donated the necessary space to hold this event and Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario donated boxes of granola bars and bottled water for snacking.

Each reader is situated at a station with a color-coded balloon that indicates to the kids where to go.

Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe entertained his group by reading the book, “Big Pig, Little Pig.”

Hironaka explained that many of the volunteers would be wearing some “crazy get-ups.” Some of the colorful characters that showed up to spread the fun included a giant Twinkie, Bat Girl and Super Girl among others.

In addition to the first responders lending their time, community organizations including Ontario Community Library and Veteran’s Advocates had volunteers present to read to the kids as well. Hironaka said all of the students received “swag bags” and the day culminated in a big picnic.

Griffin Hewitt is a news reporter at The Argus Observer. He can be reached at (541) 823-4814 or by emailing griffinh@argusobserver.com. To comment on this story, go to www.argusobserver.com.

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