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Fall season of Story Time in the Gardens begins in Aiken with tales about honesty, integrity

September 6, 2018

Beneath a sprawling oak tree in Hopelands Gardens, groups of families and young children gathered on colorful picnic blankets for this year’s first session of Story Time in the Gardens.

“This is a great turnout for the first day,” said Mike Cook, who attended the event Tuesday with his wife, Michelle, and their family.

Cook has been at past Story Time in the Gardens events and said it was one of the “nicest things” put on for the kids.

The fall season of Story Time in the Gardens will be held each Tuesday at 4 p.m. in Hopelands Gardens from September through the end of October, completing the season on Halloween.

This week’s reader was Patrice Johnson, who read at the event for the first time. The books touched on the theme of honesty and how important it is to teach children to be truthful with each other.

As Johnson read, she engaged the children, asked them questions and explained the context of certain words.

“The program has grown significantly over the past few years,” said City of Aiken Recreation Supervisor Sam Radford. “I think that’s because it’s been a long-standing tradition that’s been in existence for over 10 years.”

Radford said social media has been a good tool for helping word about the event spread quickly.

“People love the idea of being out in the gardens and reading stories,” Radford said. “We’ve themed our books so that, if they come to all the sessions throughout the season, they can build their library.”

This season’s book giveaway is the “Fancy Nancy” series. Each time the children come, they will receive a free “Fancy Nancy” book to add to their library.

Radford said she loves to get to know the families as they attend reading sessions throughout the season, and she hopes they continue to come so they can build their libraries.

Next Tuesday, Story Time in the Gardens will have Alesha Ray, Weather Forecaster of WJBF News Channel 6 as the reader. The session will begin at 4 p.m. and lasts about 30 minutes.

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