City police chief reads to kids at library

VERGENNES POLICE CHIEF George Merkel is joined by Children’s Librarian Rachel Plant during a presentation to more than a dozen kids at Bixby Memorial Library in Vergennes last week.

VERGENNES — On the evening of Monday, Nov. 18, a group of approximately 20 children and almost an equal number of parents came to the Bixby Library to share an evening of reading, laughter and chocolate chip cookies (made by Mrs. Merkel) with Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel.
The Bixby Library Children’s Librarian Rachel Plant handed out a stuffed animal to each child, who were dressed in pajamas and slippers. 
“The Bixby Library provides some wonderful opportunities to both children and parents to experience the wonders of reading,” Merkel said. “I am and will always be an advocate of reading, as it provides so many benefits to youngsters and their future development.”
The chief read “Going To Sleep On The Farm” and the listeners imitated all the farm animals.
During the reading session special guests Officer Adam O’Neill and his K-9 partner, Kane, visited.
“Kane is a special guy and you could not ask for a better partner and ambassador for the Vergennes Police Department,” Merkel said, adding that each child went home with a K9 Kane baseball card.
After the reading, Merkel congratulated Plant and the Bixby Library on the 23rd year of the “Booked For Bikes” program. This program, which was started by Plant and Vergennes Rotarian Scott “Pinstripes” Gaines in 1996, is geared for kids age 6-13 and aims at enticing them to read. As a reward for reading each book, kids are given a ticket to enter for the prize of a bike.
So far in 2019, 465 books have been read and four bikes, five Kindle Fires and other prizes have been awarded. 
“As a Vergennes Rotarian myself and as the Vergennes Chief of Police, I am proud of our city and its wonderful programs, supported by our great community activism,” Merkel said. “Thank you, Rachel, Scott and all those involved in this wonderful program.”
Merkel continued on to encourage everyone to take time to read to children. 
“The moments you spend with them will provide lasting memories they will cherish forever and cost nothing,” he said.
Editor’s Note: The comments were posted by Chief George Merkel on Facebook after he attended story hour on Nov. 14 and PJ Story hour on Nov. 18 at the Bixby Library in Vergennes.

Annual Holiday Stroll
Dec. 7, from 9 a.m.-.2 p.m.
9 a.m. Silent Auction Continues
10:30 a.m. Santa read’s “The Night Before Christmas” 
11 a.m. Jon Gailmor Plays
12 p.m. Free Holiday Treats While Supplies Last
12:50 p.m. Maiden VT Serenades
1:20 p.m. Special Encore Performance of Maiden VT & Jon Gailmor
1:45 p.m. Bidding for Silent Auction Closes
Book Discussion Group 
Dec. 9, ß7-8 p.m.
“Meet Me at the Museum” by Anne Youngson.
In Denmark, Professor Anders Larsen, an urbane man of facts, has lost his wife and his hopes for the future. On an isolated English farm, Tina Hopgood
is trapped in a life she doesn’t remember choosing. Both believe their love stories are over.
Brought together by a shared fascination with the Tollund Man, subject of Seamus Heaney’s famous poem, they begin writing letters to one another. And from their vastly different worlds, they find they have more in common than they could have imagined. As they open up to one another about their lives, an unexpected friendship blooms. But then Tina’s letters stop coming, and Anders is thrown into despair. How far are they willing to go to write a new story for themselves?
An ongoing book discussion group that meets the second Monday of every month from 7-8 p.m. in the Vermont Room. Contact Devin Schrock at [email protected] to RSVP. 
Wreath Making Workshop
Dec. 14, from 9-11 a.m.
Learn how to put together a 12-inch wreath. Recommended for ages 15+ Supplies provided: wreath base, assorted greenery, cones, and floral wire. Guests should bring: pruning shears/sharp scissors, additional decorations. This event will be held in the Otter Creek Room (ADA accessible). Space is limited. Sign up at the Bixby Library, call (802) 877-2211 or email [email protected]

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