Creating Puppetry

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Latrice Harris and her son, Doquawn Montgomery, work on a sock puppet at the Atmore Library Tuesday afternoon.|Photo by Lisa Tindell

A Tuesday morning reading of “A Snowy Day” began a special session for the four year olds involved in the HIPPY program at the Atmore Public Library.

The special session began and concluded with puppets — some performing and some being created.

Cathy McKinley, director of APL, was on hand to help students, parents and HIPPY administrators create puppets made possible by the author of the day’s featured book.

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“We are so happy to have received the Ezra Jack Keats grant for the library,” McKinley said. “It’s not a big grant, but we are certainly happy to have gotten the funds and are putting them to good use.”

McKinley said the EJK grant award was a long-time in coming after a second attempt at requesting the funds.

“We applied for this grant last year, but we didn’t get it,” McKinley said. “We decided to apply again this year and made some changes in our request. We integrated the HIPPY program into the grant application and I’m confident that may have been a determining factor in our receiving the grant.”

McKinley said the funds have already been put to use by providing puppet-making kits for the four-year-old students of the HIPPY program.

“We have already purchased puppet kits for the students and they are working on those now,” McKinley said. “We purchased 35 kits for the students in the program.”

Dianne Rose, HIPPY program director, said the kits will make a wonderful addition for the students that continue to benefit from the program.

“This is wonderful,” Rose said Tuesday. “They are having fun. We are happy about this funding. Our program continues to grow. We have 80 students in the program now. Last year we had 50 in the program.”

McKinley said the grant was written to include the purchase of kits for 35 students.

“When we applied for the grant there were only 50 students in the entire program,” McKinley said. “That number has grown since then and there are around 80 students in the program. We made sure to purchase enough to cover that growth.”

Although the process took more than six months be determined, McKinley said she is pleased with the response from the HIPPY students.

“We applied early in 2010,” McKinley said. “We learned about the awarding of the grant in December. We’re excited to be able to provide this through the Atmore Public Library.”

To learn more about services offered at Atmore Public Library, contact them during regular business hours at 368-5234 or at their location at 700 East Church St. To learn more about the Atmore HIPPY program, contact Rose or any other member of the organization. Rose may be reached by calling 368-5478.