Libraries know all about the “summer slide.” We’ve addressed summer learning loss with reading clubs and other educational programs for decades. As a matter of fact, some families have come to view libraries as a sort of summer school or educational camp during the longest, hottest days of the year. Whoever thinks summers are slow at a library has never visited a youth department in June, July or August!
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Here at Skokie Public Library, we aim to offer a variety of learning experiences in every program cycle. That means we’ll have storytimes, performances, clubs and hands-on creation programs during every calendar period. When we want to allow kids to really dive into a topic, however, we try to think beyond our usual one-off programs. When we want kids to really explore, develop skills and make something, we offer multi-day boot camps.
I love March — partly because green is my favorite color and, of course, on St. Patrick's Day everyone gets to wear green. I remember as a kid picking out something green to wear so I wouldn't get pinched at school. As the years went by, I would try to hide my green just to trick everyone.
Whether you love the holiday or just love green like me, have fun indulging in green galore with these St. Patrick’s Day crafts.
Ask most boys today if they want to play with paper dolls and you might get a scrunched-up face in response, but paper dolls haven't always been seen as such a gendered activity. In fact, paper dolls have existed since paper was invented and come from many different cultures around the world.
A common perception on campuses is that students will attend programs if free food is part of the deal. Well, that may be true. Instead of an afterthought, food can be the main focus and still not cost a fortune. Two recent food-focused events helped us invite students to come see Storytime Censored, a fall exhibition of challenged or banned children’s books.
We all know that February is the month to celebrate Valentine's Day, but did you know that February is also National Heart Month? Both celebrations provide opportunities for creative craft programs for teens.
Every Friday for the month of January we had "Crafternoons" for school-aged kids. Each week was a different craft activity, all related to storytelling and literacy. We also incorporated physical literacy by using our fine motor skills to build our creations, and promoted gross motor skills by having the kids act out their stories.
At Skokie Public Library, we recently spent four months exploring different aspects of what it means to be human, as a host site of ALA's Exploring Human Origins exhibition. In one of our upper-elementary science programs, we focused specifically on the human brain and its memory capabilities. The program was literally sugar-coated, as you’ll see below.