© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
Prince Albert Raiders centre Tim Vanstone offers a youngster a treat after finding him during a game of hide and seek at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library on Tuesday.
Excitingly gathering around Prince Albert Raiders hockey players, a group of about 30 kids had a blast at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library on Tuesday.
First asked to participate in the annual Read with the Raiders program last year, centre Tim Vanstone said that he “immediately fell in love with it.”
Vanstone joined a handful of other Raiders WHL hockey players for Tuesday’s launch of the 11th annual Read with the Raiders program, wherein hockey players read stories and play games with children at the library once per month.
“It’s always cool to give back, and you always see them at your games and they always want to pat you on the back,” Vanstone said.
Growing up in Swift Current, Vanstone said that he always jumped at the opportunity to see hockey players.
“When I was younger I used to love to have the Broncos from Swift Current come to our school to visit us … so it’s really neat to look back and see that we were once these kids.
“It’s pretty awesome to give back to the community, especially when everyone’s looking up to you as a role model.”
The Read with the Raiders program is free of charge, Raiders representative Carrie Georgeson said at Tuesday’s launch event.
Sponsored by the Daily Herald, the Prince Albert Rotary Club and the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library, parents can visit the library’s front counter at any time to sign their children up for the next event.
“We meet once a month with children and do crafts, read stories, talk about the importance of literacy, and it also gives kids a chance to meet with the team,” she said.
The date of the Read with the Raiders program changes on a month-to-month basis in order to meet the team’s scheduling needs.
In addition to the Read with Raiders programming itself, children are encouraged to track time spent reading in order to enter a draw for a seat in the SaskTel suite at the Art Hauser Centre for the last home game in March, as well as a chance to become a Daily Herald reporter for the day at a Raiders game.