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Got Literacy teams with Got Lunch! Laconia to keep kids reading over the summer

LACONIA — "I thought we ought to feed the mind as well as as the belly," said Jane Hewitt, a volunteer for the Got Lunch! program and co-founder of Got Literacy. She paired the two organizations and, with a grant from the Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF), brought entertainment and books to the Lakes Region Boys and Girls Club this week.

Dozens of youngsters, some in their mothers' arms, were treated to dramatic storytelling by Simon Brooks of New London, whose animated rendition of the traditional tale of "Goldilocks" evoked peels of giggles. Brooks, who grew up in England, turned to storytelling after working in telecommunications. He said listening to stories introduces children to realms beyond their experience, which they can explore through reading.

Hewitt said that CLiF, founded in 1998 and headquartered in Waterbury Center, Vermont, provided a "Summer Reading" grant to underwrite a stock of new books for the children to take with them after the program. The grants are intended to offset the so-called "summer slide," or decline of literacy among schoolchildren who do not read during their vacation. Research indicates that children who read throughout the year become increasingly literate.

In the 16 years since CLiF began its six literacy programs have reached more than 150,000 low-income young readers in Vermont and New Hampshire and distributed more than $3-million worth of books.

After the storytelling, Gail Drucker, the childrens' librarian at the Laconia Public Library, encouraged the children and their parents to seize the opportunities offered by the institution. In particular, she explained that by reading books and recording the titles children could earn a prize at the the library each and every week.

Books suited for children from infants to adolescents were arranged by age on different tables around the room. The program closed with an invitation to the children to browse the selections, read a few pages and choose two books for themselves. "You can take them home, put them on your bookshelf and write your name in them," Drucker said. Toddlers and teenagers alike left clutching books.

Meanwhile, Got Literacy has piggybacked on the Got Lunch! program by adding crossword puzzles, word games and books to childrens' lunch bags, distributed each Monday during the school vacation season. Hewitt said that with so many alternatives to reading, promoting literacy is a challenge, but one worth pursuing. "You hope to inspire readers for life," she said.

CAPTION: Storyteller Simon Brooks regaled toddlers and teenagers with tales of magic at the Lakes Region Boys and Girls Club this week while Got Literacy, in partnership with the Children's Literacy Foundation, sent the children home with books. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).  


Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 01:46

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Barnstead man fined $6,220 for hunting at night

CONCORD — A Barnstead man is one of two people convicted recently for multiple counts of hunting at night, said a media statement from the Dept. of Fish and Game.

Police said that on October 22, 2013, they set up a deer decoy in the town of Northwood that was shot by James Blaisdell using a cross-bow from a motor vehicle at 1 a.m.

Once the cross bow hit its intended target, the driver of the car, Dana Martin of Pittsfield, sped off leading conservation officers on a four-town chase.

Once the two were at the Pittsfield Police station, interviews led officers to believe the two had been involved in a second night-hunting incident on September 12, 2013.

Both men were found guilty of one class A misdemeanor, two Class B misdemeanors and a violation.

Each is ordered to pay $6,220 in fines and preform 20 hours of community service. The hunting privileges in New Hampshire are suspended for five years.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 01:35

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Laconia police predict spike in shoplifting arrests because much of new 'super' Walmart store is in city

LACONIA — Police Chief Chris Adams told the Laconia Police Commission yesterday that the city could see a spike in retail theft reports when the new "super" Walmart store opens on Lake Shore Road.

He explained that about 90 percent of the enlarged and newly configured store is in Laconia so city police will be responding to most of the calls for shoplifting.

In its old configuration, most of the Walmart was just over the line in Gilford.

Adams said the company has a good loss prevention team so he expects calls to the store will be on the increase.

To date, he said Laconia Police have responded one to three times daily to Walmart.

City Prosecutor Jim Sawyer said the only way Gilford will respond is if someone exits through the lawn and garden section, which is still in Gilford.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 12:49

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Pair accused of cooking meth at Meredith house each held on $50k cash-only bail

CIRCUIT COURT — Two of the four Meredith people facing recent methamphetamine-related charges appeared by video yesterday in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division.

Mark Carpenter, 56, of 388 Daniel Webster Highway was charged with one count of manufacturing methamphetamine and one count of possession of methamphetamine.

He was represented by an attorney for the public defenders officer who preserved his right to argue bail at a future date.

As of yesterday, Carpenter is being held on $50,000 cash-only bail with a stipulation that if he were to post it the court would hold a hearing to determine the source of the money.

Carpenter was one of four people arrested simultaneously on Wednesday in two separate Meredith locations in a drug raid coordinated by the Belknap County Sheriff's Department and Meredith Police.

When they arrived at Carpenter's mobile home, police allegedly found an ongoing "one pot cook" of methamphetamine, materials that can be used to make methamphetamine, and some already made white amphetamine powder.

Police affidavits filed with the court said Carpenter has previous convictions for theft, issuing bad checks, three counts of deceptive forestry practices, two probation violations, possession of narcotic drugs, driving while intoxicated, filing a false report, violating weights and measures laws, controlled drug act, and criminal mischief.

Also arrested with Carpenter was Tracy McGuire, 42, of 230 Meredith Center Road.

She faces one count of manufacturing methamphetamine and one count of possession of methamphetamine.

McGuire is also held on $50,000 bail and was not represented by a lawyer. She preserved her right to be heard on bail at a later date. Should she post bail, the court will hold a hearing as to the source of the money.

McGuire's criminal history, said affidavits, included simple assault, resisting arrest, theft, and driving after revocation.

Both are being held in the Belknap County House of Corrections.

Two others were arrested at 9 True Road at the same time, Douglas Peters, 53, and Crystal Smith 28 were both charged with possession of a controlled drug and released on personal recognizance bail.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 01:28

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