Took some time out today to do some weed pulling at the library. On our main branch, we have a roof top garden where patrons can go and read, or visit or just hang out. You can even book the rooftop for your wedding, if you want. As volunteers, we pull the weeds that grow around the sedum. This garden space retains its own water.
This is the craft I had the kids do today at our library’s outreach program. I created this one as the sample to show them and I will then, give it to my 6 year-old granddaughter. They are paper bag books. I got the bags ready, the string and the white paper ready and the kids just had to assemble them. This was their second craft after they did the one supplied by the library. I had many kids just want to make the books which made me happy as we’re pushing reading to them. These are super easy to make and so much fun! I can’t wait to see what Stella thinks. I’m seeing a volume 2 in the future.
I went to two sales this weekend and made a haul! I found a woman who reads books that I like so we got to talk for a while. She said that she has found that people don’t read much anymore so, she has to buy all her books now whereas she used to trade books with people. Many of her books were nice and a few were worn (loved) but that’s fine because they were all .50 cents. Yes, fifty cents a piece. I didn’t take everything she had, I did have SOME self control as she had some books that I had read already and some books I already had but I found some I wanted to read and some she talked to me about so I bought them. I got quite a variety.
The next sale had kids books for a quarter. I already have quite a few kids books from my own kids and some I bought for my granddaughter but hey, you never have enough. I bought a few that I hadn’t seen before and some classics. I also bought some for the reading program this summer.
I’m getting ready for our summer reading program. This will be my 4th year helping with the summer reading program at the library. My friend and partner are the only original volunteers left. In the summer, for one day each week, we head to one of the local YMCA daycare centers and we meet up with a summer paid library staff person and run a summer reading program there. We bring books, crafts and computer tablets and we spend about 1.5 hours running centers there. One of us runs the book station, one does the crafts and we let the Y staff run the tablets. The kids read books for 20 minutes by themselves or with friends at the station (books are brought from the library and stay with the kids for the whole week). The crafts are brought from the library and the kids work on them and I also provide another craft which I bring from home because there are normally kids who finish quickly :). Along with the city-wide summer reading program, we have the staff keep track of the minutes the kids read each day and mark it down in a notebook. After X number of minutes, the kids get a free book from the library, etc. For kids at these sites, this might be the only time they get to the library all summer so this is an excellent outreach program.
We decided this year that we (the volunteers) would offer the kids a free book if they read over their required reading each week. I’ve been hitting the resell shops and garage sales looking for nice books to hand out to the kids, I have quite a few excellent choices. We are hoping this will spike our reading minutes as last year, they dwindled a bit. I know some kids like free books. I was wondering if we should offer something else besides books, like a small bag of chips instead. Any thoughts? I don’t want to hand out candy and I don’t want to get too something too expensive. I’ve bought some novels, graphic novels, how-to books, National Geo books, and easy books. We just want them to read.