Reading wizard comes to Rehoboth
Friday, May 8, 2009 1:18 AM EDT

Move over Harry Potter. Ed The Wizard is helping to teach children about the benefits of reading, too. And, he looks a little like Dumbledore, the headmaster character in the popular Potter books, with his long hair and beard. Ed Cope, as Ed The Wizard, brought his "Reading is Magic" program to the Palmer River Elementary school this week. It was sponsored by the Rehoboth Cultural Council.

Cope, who grew up in Attleboro and now lives in Orange, mixes reading and magic and a bit of comedy in his performance. He used some volunteers to help with his magical illusions, and there were many "oohs" and "aahs' from the spellbound audience.

Reading was emphasized throughout the show. He told the first and second graders that he learned to become a magician through reading and showed them a number of books available at the school's library about magic.

"Reading is the most powerful thing there is. If you read and comprehend what you read you can do what I did. You can teach yourself anything," Cope said. Cope started the Ed The Wizard program about 10 years ago. He performs at school library programs and fairs and festivals throughout New England and parts of New York. His Web site is
A tricky wizard Ed The Wizard performs a trick with Palmer River Elementary School teacher Pat Bergeron during his "Reading Is Magic" presentation at the Rehoboth school. (Photo by Laura Calverley)