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Massena a safer village after dozens of children graduate from Superhero Training Academy

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MASSENA — Evil villains were forced to lie low Saturday for fear their dreams of world domination would be destroyed by some of the superheroes flying around the Massena Public Library from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The Superhero Training Academy is the new home of some of the youngest and most creative superheroes of the north country, and Saturday was their first day of training.

Samantha M. Page, Brasher Falls, is the youth librarian assistant and founder of the academy.

“I wanted to do something that would reach all different age levels,” Mrs. Page said. “Being winter, there’s not much to do around here, and with all the different superhero movies, I thought there would be a good turnout.”

The turnout was greater than she expected, with close to 70 children participating in the training.

The first step in the training was costume design.

The children cut and colored masks out of card stock and picked out precut colored capes made from plastic party tablecloths.

Rachel V. Proper, 9, and her friend Jenna L. Stiles, 9, both of Massena, decorated their capes with pictures to symbolize their superpowers.

“I can shoot cupcakes out of my eyeballs,” Rachel, the unstoppable Cupcake 819, said while explaining her superpowers. “My other power is that I can summon llamas that wear hats.”

Her crime-stopping partner, Jenna, or Swindler 234, said they work as a team, with neither considered the sidekick.

“I sneak around a lot and trick a lot of bad guys,” Jenna said. “I distract them and she shoots them with poisonous cupcakes. I can also control the earth and sky, and that’s why I have a tree on my cape.”

After the costumes and superpowers were decided, the children started practicing at different training stations.

One of the training sessions taught them how to knock down the bad guys by tossing a ball of “kryptonite” toward a group of bottles that each had a picture of a villain on it.

Mrs. Page made hand weights to accompany the bean-bag boulder for the heroes with super strength.

The trainees also crawled through a tunnel and had to walk the balance beam to rescue a stuffed animal from fictitious lava.

After the rigorous training, the superheroes had their pictures taken while soaring over the village. They lay down on a blue tablecloth that had clouds and houses on it, creating the perfect backdrop for a superhero. Children also could learn about their favorite superheroes from a variety of superhero books on display or color a picture of one of their favorites.

“Every age level likes superheroes to some extent,” Mrs. Page said. “I think I’ll probably turn it into an annual event.”

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