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Kids, Books & 36 Green Eggs
Foundation Sponsors Story Hour



by Jennifer Scott
The Dominion Post Staff Writer

March 31, 2002

Allison Barlow, 6, eats green eggs and ham on Saturday morning at the Morgantown Public Library during a story hour funded by the Shelley A. Marshall Foundation.Morgantown, WV It was a clear, sunny and bright green morning -- to match the bright green breakfast -- at Morgantown Public Library on Saturday.

Children gathered at the library for Dr. Seuss stories, a movie and a brunch that included toast, milk (including chocolate), orange juice, and of course, green eggs and ham. The children were given rubber fish as they settled down to listen to a reading of "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish." And of course, "Green Eggs and Ham."

Library personnel staffed the special children's story hour, "Celebrating Seuss," funded by the Shelley A. Marshall Foundation.

About 30 children sat quietly and expectantly for more than an hour after the storytelling, watching "Dr. Seuss: ABCs" on a large screen, and waiting to dive into a plate of green eggs and ham. Three dozen eggs, two loaves of bread, ham bits and a few drops of food coloring completed the feast, and the children ate or played with their bright green scrambled eggs at tables covered with Easter-colored table cloths. They left with smiles on their faces, full bellies and a free hardcover of either "The Cat in the Hat" or "Green Eggs and Ham."

"The green eggs and ham thing scared me a little bit at first," the library's Community Services Coordinator Mike McClung joked. "That's what they usually look like when I cook them."

The event was well-received by many parents, who watched as their children enthusiastically ate it up.
"The story hours have been really important for our kids," Michelle Lederman said as she watched her two children fork green eggs into their mouths. "They promote early literacy. It's a really excellent opportunity for the family to do something centered on reading."

A few seats away, 7-year-old Catalina Saenz voiced her approval of the green eggs. "They taste regular," she said as she worked on her second helping of the green concoction. Not everyone was impressed by the green eggs and ham, however. Ryan Dealney, almost 3, was more fascinated by two fish bowls at the back of the room. One held a red fish, the other a blue fish.

Organizers hope to make the special story hour program a monthly event with varying themes. Funding from the Marshall Foundation will make their wishes come true. The Marshall Foundation was created to honor Shelley A. Marshall, a 38-year-old mother of two who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Her husband, Donn Marshall, is originally from Morgantown and said that Shelley considered Morgantown to be her second hometown. The Marshall Foundation honors her memory by funding monthly children's story hours in Vienna, Va., her hometown, and in Morgantown.

"It was the first thing that came to mind," Donn Marshall said about how to use her retirement funds and donations in her memory.

"Shelley loved to read to her kids, and for her, reading to them, it was for that sparkle in their eyes, where you stimulate their curiosity and their imagination," he said.

There was a sparkle in Marshall's eyes, too, when he talked about his wife. "She'll be associated with good things," he said.

The program will help her children remember her, and is a way for her to always be a part of their lives, he said.

"We are honored to be considered by the foundation and we hope to do a lot more programs in the future," McClung said. "We are trying to do things that would have pleased (Shelley), with the purpose of reading."

For Marshall, the programs are made even better by the sense of community. He lives near Washington, D.C., with his son, 4-year-old Drake, and his daughter, 2-year-old Chandler, and said he feels that the story hour program has more of an impact in Morgantown than it does in the city. He also wants to expand the program to other areas, such as Cheat Lake.

Information about the Shelley Marshall Foundation can be found on the Internet at www.shelleysfoundation.org. The Web site offers a calendar of events, pictures of past events and a biography of Shelley Marshall.
Copyright 2005 © The Shelley A. Marshall Foundation
14 Ryan Court
Shepardstown, WV 25443
email:shelsfoundation@aol.com

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