Summer reading participants at Cooper-Siegel Community Library in Fox Chapel and its nearby branch, Sharpsburg Community Library, celebrated the programs’ end with a party at Aspinwall RiverTrail Park.

There were stilt walkers, magicians, games, therapy pets, prizes, face painting, hands-on ceramic wheel demonstrations and more at the recreation site Aug. 8.

Officials estimated a little more than 240 people attended the event. Food was provided by Pure Grub 412 and the libraries.

“This was the second year our libraries hosted this event in Allegheny RiverTrail Park and it was a resounding success thanks to the hard work of our staff, volunteers, and community partners,” said Sara Mariacher, Sharpsburg Community Library branch manager.

The reading program started June 3 and went through Aug. 5.

Megan Fogt, head of Cooper-Siegel’s youth services department, said more than 800 people including children, teens and adults joined the reading challenge. Readers earned a raffle ticket for each day they read during that time.

“Research shows that reading on a regular basis helps kids improve their reading skills,” Fogt said. “Reading also encourages empathy and helps reduce stress. We had a great time celebrating (the program) with our community.”

More information about programs at either library is available online at

By Michael DiVittorio, Photos by Shane Dunlap