Last Halloween, Nanci Denamin was working with her husband, Ed, at the Pasco County Sheriff's Office "Safe Halloween" project at Gulf View Square Mall, when she saw something that disturbed her.
"We had worked hard on putting together the haunted house," she said, "and although I knew that older kids and adults would get a kick out of it, it was much too frightening for the younger children."
Those younger kids will have another way to have fun this Halloween, thanks to Nanci Denamin, director of the Reading Assistance Program at Schwettman Adult Education Center. She and her staff have created the "Family Reading Pavilion."
From 4 to 9 p.m. Oct. 31, the Reading Assistance Program and the St. Petersburg Times will sponsor the pavilion, in conjunction with the Safe Halloween program at Gulf View Square Mall.
There will be storytellers and storybook characters. Times columnist Jan Glidewell will read the Sunday comics. Space has been reserved for children to draw and for a drawing demonstration.
The pavilion is expected to attract 5,000 children, and each will select a donated book to take home. The community has donated about 300 books so far, and 4,700 more are needed.
People who would like to donate an inexpensive new or used book (in good condition) can drop them off at the following locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Friday:
Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey
Pasco County Sheriff's Office, Citizens Drive, New Port Richey
Reading Assistance Program, Schwettman Adult Center, 5520 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey.
Cash donations are also being accepted: $5 buys 10 books, $10 buys 20.
For more information, call (813) 836-3471.