Nolan Elementary teacher Kelly Cook will share the beloved tales of Beatrix Potter with a new generation during her Peter Rabbit camp at Bachman Community Center next month.
"The stories are classics - I enjoyed them so much as a kid, and I wanted to pass it along to them," said Cook, a second-grade teacher at Nolan. "'The Tale of Peter Rabbit' was written in 1893 and is one of the most popular children's books of all time. There are so many great new stories coming out now, but I think it's also important to read the classics."
Nearing the 110th anniversary of its first publication in 1902, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" involves the character of Peter Rabbit, who dresses in human clothing and expresses human emotions. He wanders into the garden of human Mr. McGregor against his mother's orders and eats the vegetables from his garden, leaving behind articles of clothing which McGregor uses to make a scarecrow.
"The storylines are intriguing and involve interesting anthropomorphic characters with basic animal instincts, which opens a discussion of fantasy vs. realism," said Cook. "The characters get into fixes and learn tough lessons."
She said she plans to read one story by Potter on each of the five days of camp, followed by activies related to the story of the day. Activities planned include art projects, acting out scenes from the story, games, crafts and word studies using vocabulary from the books.
Academic benefits children will gain from attending the camp, which is geared toward rising second- and third-graders, are improved story comprehension and vocabulary development, said Cook.
"Being a teacher, I know what we'll be talking about during the school year," she said. "Hopefully this will get them interested in independent reading, and I hope the children will want to read the other stories by Beatrix Potter over the summer."
Potter has written a total of 23 stories, said Cook.
Potter's life and the historical context of the books will also be explored, and children will get a flavor of the language of the time period, she said.
The session runs from Monday, June 6-Friday, June 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day. Registration is currently open, and the camp is limited to 30 children.
The $65 cost includes snacks and all materials necessary for activities.
Bachman Community Center is at 2815 Anderson Pike. Call 886-4842 to register.