JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A group of Region 8 kids got an up-close look Wednesday at animals from other countries.
The Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library continued their summer program with a special visitor.
Bob Tarter, a biologist and owner of the Natural History Educational Company of the Midsouth, traveled to Jonesboro to give kids a rare opportunity.
Young minds were opened as they discovered a variety of desert dwellers he brought that reside as far as Egypt.
James Harold Sr. of Jonesboro is the proud father of five sons, ages two to 13 years old.
Harold said he's been bringing his boys to the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library their entire lives.
He said the library and the programs offered are wonderful.
"Oh, it's excellent," Harold said. "All of the kids are out of school. It's not only a program just to come out to, it's educational for them. He's going to talk about animals that we don't see day to day. As well as some that we do see that are here in Arkansas. Just to come out and have him have these programs. There's several different ones throughout the summer. I mean, if you miss one you can catch the rest of them and they're every Wednesday."
13-year-old James Harold, Jr. said he agreed with his father.
"Oh, it's very good," he said. "I think it gives us a chance to learn about new things and stuff. Like the animals and stuff."
Harold Sr. said the library helps them to not only stay on top of valuable skills but opens them up to new ideas.
"It offers so much knowledge," Harold said. "Because we talk about some things and check out books on a lot of different things, but it helps and encourages them to check out books that are about the program. Like magic was last year and all of them were big on magic. Then a comic artist came who drew a lot of comics. So, now they draw like every day now."
Manager of Youth Services for the library, Kay Taylor, said it's about not losing those skills learned in school during the summer months.
"We do this to help keep them busy," Taylor said. "To keep them reading, keep them engaged and to keep them learning."
Harold Jr. said he loved learning most about our country's history.
"My favorite thing is knowledge," Harold said. "I've learned a lot from the library. I've learned a lot about things. Like personally, me I like the non-fiction stuff. That's real. Chasing Lincoln's killer and that stuff."
As a parent, Harold Sr. said he recommends all parents to the time to see what all the library has to offer their family.
"Take time and go visit the local library," Harold said. "Go to their website, but visit their branch. Because it has so much to offer for the kids. Dr. Suess says the more you know the more you grow. So, I encourage my kids with that saying and how much could you know if you just sit home? The library offers history beyond our imagination. As well as fiction that allows kids to think outside the box. That's why we have computers and games and apps. Because of imagination. It comes to life."
Harold Jr. added as a teenager, the library offers something positive for young people his age to do and engage in.
"It's a good way to not get distracted in the other things teens are doing," he said. "Like drugs and alcohol and guns and violence and stuff. It's a good way to escape."
Nearly 600 children attended Wednesday's program.
For more information about the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library and their programs, click here.
For more information about NHECM, click here.
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