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July 10, 2013

A fair tale

Story time at fair teaches kids about agriculture

While the cows in the Beef Barn of the Cass County 4-H Fairgrounds Tuesday were being prepped for showing by their owners, the cows at the West Picnic Pavilion were clacking away on typewriters.

“I bet you didn’t know cows could type,” said Jane Horner, a volunteer with Cass County Reading Railroad, to about 20 children listening from picnic tables at the fairgrounds Tuesday. In her hand was a book titled “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type”, a story of farm animals that engage in a battle of written correspondence with their farmer to get electric blankets for cold nights in the barn and a diving board for the ducks’ pond.

It was all a part of Story Time at the Fair, which will be held for free from 10 to 11 a.m. today through Friday Each day will include stories and activities featuring different animals.

Tuesday’s theme focused on cows and included two stories on the animal, a coloring activity, freshly-served milkshakes and a visit from a real calf — who didn’t have a typewriter, but she let the children pet her.

“The children can learn more about the animals instead of just walking through the barns,” said Horner, who along with her participation in Cass County Reading Railroad, also teaches early childhood education at Ivy Tech Community College. “Any time we can get literacy, it’s great.”

Story Time at the Fair will address sheep and llamas today, chickens and rabbits Thursday and swine Friday.

“The kids can listen to a fun book, then more of an informational book on that animal,” said Rena Sterrett, program director for Reading Railroad, adding that participating in the crafts and getting to see the animals up close will supplement the information they’ll learn in the books.

The nonfiction children’s book Tuesday was read by Rachel Taylor, a representative of the Family Nutrition Program at the Purdue Cass County Extension Service. The book described how calves grow into cows, what they eat and all of the goods they go on to produce.

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