LOWELL | Staley Da Bear scored big with "da kids" Monday when he visited the Lowell Public Library to urge youngsters to tackle reading.
The mascot for the Chicago Bears charmed a field of kids and adults garbed in orange and Navy blue jerseys that swelled beyond the library's children's room and numbered more than 100.
"Staley is funny," said Devon Cowger, 7, of Lowell.
There were plenty of laughs as the mascot and his assistant worked the kiddie crowd in a reading vocabulary lesson that came in handy later as children competed in predicting what a book might be about.
Hailee Pickett, 8, was on one of the teams and said she plans to sign up for the Tackle Reading program that could result in winning a chance to attend a mini-camp with Chicago Bears players. Does she play football? No. Does she plan to learn? Yes.
Staley Da Bear danced his way through the 45-minute program demonstrating some of his signature moves.
"I like his dancing," said Justin Cwetna, 6, of Lowell. He said he can dance like that, too.
Sean Garcia, 8, won the opportunity to dance alongside Staley by winning the program's dance contest. "He's a good dancer," he said after showing off some break dancing moves of his own.
Children's Librarian Denise Mayhew arranged for Staley's appearance Monday and said she was pleased to see such a great response. It was a nice activity for Tri-Creek Schools youngsters home on Martin Luther King Day, she said.
Staley Da Bear makes daily weekday appearances at schools and libraries within a 100-mile radius of Soldier Field.
To learn more about the Tackle Reading Challenge visit the Chicago Bears website and head to Staley's page at www.chicagobears.com/kid-zone/staleys-page/index.htm.