CML's Summer Reading Challenge, local MLK Oratorical Contest winners, upcoming children's theater and a new swim school

Students from Central Ohio schools made an impression at the recent Statewide MLK Oratorical Contest in Columbus.

The 19th annual event, held April 27 at the King Arts Complex, featured regional winners in grades K-12. Speakers were judged on performance, originality and composition.

Adonia Balqis, a fourth-grader at Clinton Elementary School (Columbus City Schools), and Mackenzie Lewis, a sixth-grader at St. Catharine School on Columbus' East Side, were age-group winners.

Clinton second-grader Kaia Pax Lee and kindergartner Zavier Earley were runners-up in the K-2 division. Elena Earley, a fourth-grade student at Clinton, Columbus Academy seventh-grader Alexis Cunningham and Columbus Alternative High School sophomore Bre'Anna Walker also were runners-up in their age groups.

Just like you, arts organizations are preparing for summer vacations. Most of them don't take the whole summer off, given their lineups of outdoor concerts, camps for kids and such, and summer also means getting ready for fall. Columbus' two children's theater troupes, Columbus Children's Theatre and CATCO is Kids, have announced their 2018-19 seasons.

CCT covers the fanciful (“Mary Poppins Jr.”), fearful (“Dracula”), funny (“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical”) and fantastic (“Tuck Everlasting”) among others.

CATCO gives us “Haroun and the Sea of Stories,” an adaptation of Salman Rushdie's children's fantasy novel, and shows based on movies including “The Lion King,” “Madagascar” and “Babe,” plus more.

Warm weather means trips to the pool and the lake, and Lisa Armitage wants kids to be safe in the water. Armitage is opening her third Goldfish Swim School—–a Lewis Center locale at 7838 Green Meadows Drive will join Dublin and Westerville locations—in July.

Goldfish Swim School offers swim lessons and water-safety instruction for children ages 4 months to 12 years. Look up “The Science of SwimPlay” to learn more about the methodology.

The Columbus Metropolitan Library kicks off its annual Summer Reading Challenge with a free June 2 celebration.

Families are invited to Main Library, 96 S. Grant Ave., Columbus, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for music, food and activities. Musician/storyteller Jim Gill will perform at 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

Last year, 60,000 people—from kids to adults—participated in the program. This year's Summer Reading Challenge ends Aug. 4.

Inspiring news for and about Central Ohio parents. Got a tip for our next issue? Send it to contact@columbusparent.com with Parent Pulse in the subject line.