Summer Reading beats the heat

Casey McCallister shows kids how to do a handstand in his wheelchair. (Photo by Bret Yager)

NEWPORT — An amputee who uses his story and wheelchair as inspirational tools kicked off the Lincoln County Library District’s summer reading program. A tradition that spans generations, the program regularly draws hundreds of people to the Literacy Park at the Newport Library. Casey McCallister, a double amputee, is known for his hardcore athletic challenges to his own limits. He launched the Newport event — held each Wednesday during the summer at 1 p.m. — by showing how he learned to do wheelies and tricks with his chair and his high-energy presentation included getting kids out front to show off their own moves. McCallister had been at the Waldport Library on Wednesday at 10 a.m. for that library’s reading program and was set to visit all five summer reading programs in the district, including the Driftwood Public Library in Lincoln City at 6:30 p.m. and the next day, on to the Toledo Public Library at 11 a.m. and the Siletz Public Library at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The reading programs serve to keep kids engaged even while school is out, helping to keep their reading on track over the summer, said Newport children’s librarian Linda Annable. Larenda Bennett and her two youngsters enjoyed the kickoff to an event that includes crafts, library card signups and prizes. “We have been coming here since we moved here,” Bennett said. “They do such a good job.” The event is a generational one, drawing children, grandparents, teen volunteers and a lot of other helping hands, Annable said. “It’s a big effort and it’s completely worth it,” she said.

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