MARTINS FERRY - Hundreds of youngsters have participated in the annual Worm Race since that wormy competition wiggled its way into the Martins Ferry Public Library several years ago.
Bookworms might have been present in the library this week, but the race drew the long, slender invertebrates entered by 39 children. The race was the grand finale for the Be Creative @ Your Library Summer Reading Program.
Similar to "the early bird that catches the worm," each child participating in the race received a prize.
T-L Photo/MIKE PALMER
BOOKWORMS took a back seat to fishing worms as the 2009 worm races took place Tuesday morning at the Martins Ferry Public Library during the Summer Reading Program. Pictured left to right; Kailey Carpino, age 8, watches her worm Molly on its way to victory as Abbey Wilson, age 5, with mom Brenda, alongside 4-year-olds Jordan Hughes, Megan Buksa and the heat winner Haleigh Gildow, with worm Flower. See more images at cu.timesleaderonline.com.
It's obvious that the winning worms didn't identify with the worm that turned.
The two first-place worms were entered by Abby Giffin, 5, and Colby Shriver, 5, who each received a backpack loaded with school and art supplies. Abby's worm, Abby, apparently was her namesake while Colby might have had the stars - at least, "Star Wars" - in mind when he named his worm, Darth Vader.
Molly, who was entered in the race by Kailey Carpino, 8, and Cow, the entry of Alex Beaver, 3, placed second in the race, and the two youngsters each received a bag of school and art supplies.
Library officials expressed their gratitude to sponsors for the 2009 Summer Reading Program. All of the library programs are free. For more information on future children and teen programming, call the library at (740) 633-0314 or visit the Web site at www.mfpl.org.