Staff Photo: John Bohn Ringling Brothers Ambassador of Laughter, clown Dave, reads the book "If I Ran The Circus" by Dr. Seuss, to children at the Gwinnett County Library Collins Hill branch on Tuesday.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Amanda Miller of Lawrenceville brought her two children to the Collins Hill library branch, just like she does every Tuesday.
As an elementary school teacher, she wants to make sure her kids read on a regular basis. The only difference was that on this past Tuesday there were two visitors from Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
"You know we just walked in the door and the lady said there were clowns here. We didn't even know it was today," Miller said.
Ambassadors of Laughter Dave and Cherie Gregg -- aka clowns -- visited the library to promote the Reading with Ringling program that is in place at public libraries across Gwinnett County. Kids ages 2-12 can earn a free ticket to the circus when it is at the Arena at Gwinnett Center Feb. 21 through March 3.
To earn their ticket, all they have to do is read five books from the Reading with Ringling book list. Kids can read about anything from the circus to dragons to juggling -- anything their imaginations can dream.
The Greggs entertained the kids by reading and acting out "If I Ran the Circus" by Dr. Seuss. They used horns, rubber chickens and juggling to keep the kids entertained while reading to them.
"It's a win-win situation," Cherie Gregg said. "We can start the kids reading young and showing them how much fun we have reading the books and acting them out and being silly and showing them the pictures -- with the Reading with Ringling program the kids read five books and get a free ticket to the circus, it's great."
Along with the support of local libraries, Ringling is able to make this program available for as many kids as possible.
Collins Hill librarian Amy Billings said, "Anything we can do to get kids excited about reading, we are all for. Ringling was very generous with offering the ticket vouchers as a reward plus they brought their shows to the library, which brought families into the library so that we can show them some of the things that we have here."
As a parting gift, the Greggs left the children with a gift to prepare them for the circus -- a bright red clown nose.