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It's 'kids read to kids' month at Sandburg barn

FLAT ROCK — Visitors to the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site can “Read to a Goat” during National Literacy Month in September.

Carl Sandburg loved reading aloud to his family, friends, and audiences across America. In this spirit, visitors are invited to borrow a book or bring their own, then find a comfortable spot on a bench in the yard or in the pasture and read aloud to the goats. The barnyard and pasture are open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

This year the historic site is also celebrating the 100th anniversary of Carl Sandburg’s “Rootabaga Stories,” first published in 1922. Sandburg defined these children’s stories as “attempts to catch fantasy, accents, pulses, drawls and drolleries, gazings and musings — authoritative poetic instants — knowing that if the whir of them were caught quickly and simply enough in words the result would be a child lore interesting to child and grownup.” All ages are invited to read the “Rootabaga Stories” or some of the many other books of poetry and prose written by Sandburg.

“We love to see ‘kids reading to kids’ during Read to a Goat,” said Superintendent Polly Angelakis. “The program is extra special this year due to the 100th anniversary of Rootabaga Stories.”

Although visitors can read to a goat at any time of year, the program is highlighted during National Reading Month (March) and National Literacy Month (September). A special bookmark will be provided to those who come to the farm and read to a goat. Bring your bookmark to the park store for a 15 percent discount on a book purchase. Readers can also celebrate the program online by posting pictures of themselves reading their favorite book to their favorite pet and using the hashtag #ReadToAGoat.