Clifford visits LeRoy-Ostrander

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 6, 2003

Last summer Renita Irvin, the Media Specialist at LeRoy/Ostrander Schools, saw Clifford the Big Red Dog at the Mower County Fair. Kids were enthralled with Clifford and Irvin inquired how she could get him to come to her school.

"Jennifer Hobona of KSMQ helped us acquire Clifford. You can only get him through an affiliated public station. We split the costs with Grand Meadow, Riceville, Southland and Lyle. He will visit each school for one hour this week. In the contract to get Clifford it is stated he can only stay an hour at each school and in the cost is an hour for traveling," Irvin said.

Clifford the Big Red Dog is a popular series of books that have been made into an animated feature on public television. The character of Clifford is used to promote reading with children. At LeRoy/Ostrander School, the Early Childhood Education, Community Education, the media department and KSMQ all helped sponsor Clifford.

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More than 200 people sat down to eat with their families on this Tuesday night to a free meal of corn dogs, French fries, peaches, ice cream and beverages. Cut out red paw prints were taped to the floor to follow Clifford to the LeRoy/Ostrander media center where children had their photos taken with the big red dog and they colored pictures of Clifford, read Clifford the Big Red Dog books and played games on the computers.

Zach Queensland, a 2 1/2-year old from Ostrander ran up and hugged Clifford. His parents, Chris Queensland and Jennifer Guske were excited with their son's reaction.

"His grandma got him converted to Clifford. He loves him," Chris said.

Sheila Donnelly can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at