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Summer Gift

DOE, Dolly Parton provide books for kids

Thanks to the state Department of Education, Marshall University and a foundation set up by entertainer Dolly Parton, about 37,000 West Virginia children are receiving free books this summer.

They go to children who will be entering first and second grades this fall. The first shipment, of three books each, went out in June. Another is set for this month.

Good for all involved — especially Parton, who has spent millions of dollars to get books into the hands of children throughout the nation.

But, especially at that age, books are enjoyed most by children whose parents or guardians read to them. So, if your child receives some of the free volumes, take a few minutes each day to read to them.

And if your youngsters are older, consider a trip to the bookstore or library, followed by a reading session. It will be good for the kids ­– and you may be surprised how much you enjoy the experience.

•••

Holding a small county fair that attracts primarily people who live nearby will be difficult enough later this summer, as the coronavirus epidemic lingers. Staging the West Virginia State Fair, which attracts visitors from throughout the country, would be something else again.

After deciding initially to go ahead with the state fair, scheduled for mid-August near Lewisburg, event officials agreed last week to cancel it.

The change was made after reports of a new outbreak of COVID-19 in Greenbrier County — and of West Virginians returning home from vacations in Myrtle Beach and bringing the virus with them.

Fair CEO Kelly Collins cited both factors in revealing the cancellation.

Even with safeguards in place, the fair would have attracted a huge crowd, including quite a few people possibly from areas where COVID-19 has been widespread. Officials were right to decide canceling the fair for this year was the responsible thing to do.

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