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Super Saturday a weekend of fun

Super Saturday
Feb. 02, 2013 @ 11:06 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Sean and Stephanie Daniels of Huntington didn't let Saturday's snowstorm keep them from attending the 13th annual Super Kids, Super Families Super Saturday event at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

"We worried about the weather, but we braved it anyway," Stephanie Daniels said Saturday. Her daughter, Ellie, 7, a first grader at Meadows Elementary School, got a flier about the United Way of the River Cities Success by 6 initiative. "It's nice that it's free. They've played lots of games. It's something fun to do on a snowy Saturday."

Event sponsors included Cabell Huntington Children's Hospital, The Herald-Dispatch and 93.7 The Dawg.

The Danielses also signed up their son Xavier, 2, to receive a free book every month until his fifth birthday as part of the Imagination Library in Cabell County. The program, founded by Dolly Parton, mails a free, age-appropriate book to children every month from birth up to their fifth birthday.

The free books for Cabell County kids should start arriving in April, said Robin Taylor, program director of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts. Cabell County's program is self-funded by United Way of the River Cities and the Cabell County Board of Education, Taylor said.

Saturday was the kickoff of the free book program, said Lena Burdette, community initiatives coordinator for United Way of the River Cities. Sign-up forms are available at United Way of the River Cities, the Cabell County Public Library and the WIC office in Cabell County, Burdette said.

"This event continues to grow year after year," she said. "Our main goal is for the kids to have fun. We have a full house. We have 40 vendors. We have Marshall University football players and Marshall Honors College students reading to students." There also were several free inflatables, face painting and a number of other activities available for kids.

"Our goal is healthy kids," Burdette said. Success by 6 seeks to ensure that all children are ready physically, mentally, developmentally, emotionally and socially to begin kindergarten, she said.

Jennifer Oesterreicher of Kenova also signed up her two youngest children, Eian, 4, and Kullen, 1, for the free books.

"We read to them every night," she said. "They like Dr. Seuss."

"Anything we can do together as a family, we try to do," said Alicia Shepherd of Huntington. She brought her three-year-old daughter, Adisyn.

"We've been to this the last few years," said Tara Davis of Ona. She brought her two children, Gracie, 7, and Brandie, 4. "The free books are awesome," she said. "I read to them every night before bedtime."

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