Kids enjoy sledding, hot cocoa at Flat River Community Library

By Mike Taylor • Last Updated 10:51 pm on Friday, January 03, 2014

Young sledders prepare to race down the hill across the street from the Flat River Community Library. The event drew about 20 area children for a day of cold winter fun along with arts and crafts, stories, and lots of hot cocoa inside.


GREENVILLE — Apparently, there is no cold that is too cold for area youngsters when it comes to sledding. As long as there’s hot cocoa waiting inside, a little slope time — even with temperatures plummeting below zero — is a great wrap to Christmas vacation.

On Friday, the Flat River Community Library hosted a day of sledding, story telling, crafts and fun, sponsored by the Montcalm County Great Start Parent Coalition.

It’s all fun and games until you hit that one … big … bump! But for Raya Hamel-Alleyne, 8, of Greenville, the occasional mishap didn’t dampen the fun of Friday afternoon’s sledding event at the Flat River Community Library even a little bit.

About 20 kids braved the frigid weather to repeated speed down the hill across the street from the library, many of new sleds that were given out free of charge by the Greenville Meijer store.

Eight-year-old Raya Hamel-Alleyne, of Greenville, seemed completely at ease with the cold as she repeatedly zipped down the well-groomed hill.

“I’m not freezing to death,” Raya said. “I’m having fun.”

One of the youngest sledders braving the day was veteran snow bunny Emma Putnam, 2, of Lowell, who was sledding with her father and grandfather, an activity the three enjoy on a regular basis.

When things got too cold outside, children’s librarian Melissa McAlvey was waiting inside the library with hot cocoa, engaging stories and a choice of craft projects.

The Montcalm County Great Start Parent Coalition sponsored the event. According to Great Start parent liaison Brandy Minikey, the group exists to create a strong support network between parents, grandparents, caregivers and youth-focused professionals throughout the county.

The group meets each month at the Montcalm Area Career Center, 1550 W. Sidney Road in Sidney.

The meetings are open to the public. Dinner and childcare is provided.
More information on the group is available online at

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