Originally created 07/06/06

Library, clown know tricks on how to get children to read



Five-year-old Kennedy Cooper couldn't wait to get to Fort Gordon's Woodworth Library on June 27.

"When I told her, she was so excited," said her mother, Missy Cooper.

Kennedy was among the crowd who met Larry Clark, a clown from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

As soon as Mr. Clark arrived at the library, he headed to the children's section on a mission to find Dr. Seuss' If I Ran the Circus.

"There's a lot of tongue twisters in here," Mr. Clark said as he began to read from the book.

After reading, Mr. Clark did a few magic tricks, such as trying to make a red handkerchief disappear. Though it wasn't in his hand when he opened it, several children pointed the handkerchief out as it floated to the floor from where the clown had dropped it.

Mr. Clark wowed the crowd by juggling and balancing a chair on his nose.

He opened the floor for a few questions. Children wanted to know whether clowns eat and whether they swim. He said that he can get wet during a show and his makeup won't come off.

The children also asked about the pies in the face.

Mr. Clark let them in on a trade secret with that question - the fluffy pie filling isn't whipped cream; it's shaving cream.

Mr. Clark, who has been with the circus for seven years, said that when other teens were enamored with movie stars or athletes, he wanted to be a clown.

"I was obsessed with the circus," he said.

Though Mr. Clark was at Fort Gordon to publicize the circus that will be at Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center on July 13-16, Joyce Daniels, the children's program manager at Woodworth, saw it as another way to get children engaged in the summer reading program.

Woodworth's summer reading program ends Wednesday, July 26, with an 11 a.m. cookout.

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, July 13-14; 11:30 a.m., 3:30; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 15; 1:30; 5:30 p.m. Sunday, July 16

WHERE: Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center, 601 Seventh St.

COST: $29 ringside, $20 lower level, $16 upper level, $12 all seats except ringside on opening night; $15 ages 2-12 except Thursday, lower level; $10.50 ages 2-12 except Thursday, upper level; $16.50 groups of 20 or more: 11:30 a.m., 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, lower level; $12.50 groups of 20 or more: 11:30 a.m., 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, upper level; $15 military with ID, lower level; $10.50 military with ID, upper level; $12 Scouts (limit 6): 7:30 p.m. Friday only, lower and upper levels only; $64 family pack with newspaper coupon (four tickets, four hot dogs and four drinks) purchased at box office only: 7:30 p.m. Saturday only; no discounts on ringside; reserved seating

TELEPHONE: (706) 722-3521