Photo by Curt Yeomans
Local children make U.S. flags out of construction paper, at the Morrow branch of the Clayton County Library System, on Wednesday. The library is holding four patriotic celebrations this year, and all of them filled up weeks in advance.
By Curt Yeomans
When it comes to picking one symbol that shows patriotism, there are several Kayla Spain, and Devontae Slaton, could choose.
There is the Liberty Bell, or the Statue of Liberty, or fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Spain, 10, of Ellenwood, and Slaton, 8, of Stockbridge, went "old school," however, and focused on "Old Glory" herself -- the U.S. flag.
"The flag represents our world -- the whole United States," Spain said. "When I look at the flag, I see the nation."
Slaton added: "I like making the flag. I like America, because it's a great [country]. People are coming here from around the world, because they want to live here."
Spain and Slaton are just two of the local children participating in one of the four "Patriotic Celebrations" the Morrow branch of the Clayton County Library System is holding this week and next week, to celebrate the nation's birthday. Some took place on Wednesday and Thursday.
Two more celebrations are scheduled on July 7 and 8, but Darla Rance, the youth services librarian for the branch said there are already waiting lists of children wanting to participate. She said all of the spaces for the celebrations filled up weeks ago.
During the celebrations, children listen to stories centered around patriotism, sing patriotic songs, make a U.S. flag out of construction paper, a patriotic book mark, and a Fourth of July wall decoration out of construction paper and a paper plate. They also watch a movie on "legendary" figures in U.S. history.
Riverdale youth, Eriyana Mitchell, 11, said she liked making a bookmark more than anything else during the celebration on Wednesday.
"You can keep it in your book, and keep up with what chapter you're on," she said.
Rance said the library branch has been holding the patriotic celebrations for years. "At one time, we had 200 children come to this event, and we'd have them play games outside," she said. "That was when we only did it one time each year. It just got to be so much, so we split it up into several smaller celebrations."
More than 150 children have signed up to participate this year, according to Rance.
Volunteers from the Morrow Women's Civic Association came by on Wednesday and Thursday, to help Rance run the events.
The group's president, Connie Johnson, said the organization regularly works with the library to support its programs. She said the group also has made a financial donation to the library to support its summer programs.
"This is one way we can help the library," Johnson said. She added that another reason why the group feels it is important to work with the library during the celebrations is that "any way kids can have information about loving our community, needs to be reiterated."