A lizard, a baby alligator, a python and an owl were in the Clarendon Community Complex on Aug. 1. But don’t worry – they weren’t loose.
These animals were here through the South Carolina Aquarium’s Aquarium Rovers program.
The aquarium was here for the second year in a row to celebrate the end of the Harvin Clarendon County Library’s summer reading program, “Dream Big-READ!” The theme revolved around dreaming, so it was only natural that the animals brought in from the aquarium were nocturnal, animals that come alive at night.
“The idea is focused on dreaming and everything that has to do with the night,” said Debbie Wilson, HCCL’s children’s librarian. “So this fit in perfectly.”
Tita Massie and Jeremy Peirce, educators with the South Carolina Aquarium, entertained a crowd of 100 children and adults. They showed the different animals and talked about each creature, their habitat and how they adapted to being “creatures of the night.”
Massie read Jennifer A. Ericsson’s book Whoo Goes There?, where children learned about the nightlife activities of an owl.
The program also allowed children to find out about the various senses that night animals use. Children would smell various items. They would then wet their noses with water and smell the same items again. This exercise demonstrated that a wet nose detects scent better.
The children also tested their sense of hearing by shaking film roll canisters with different objects inside them and guessing what was in them.
About 50 children received awards for their participation in the summer reading program. The age groups were: birth to age three, ages three to 12, teenagers and adults.
About 250 people participated in the program. Participants kept a reading log of the number of hours that they read.