Hard to believe weâ€™re coming to the end of summer, but the bins of school supplies lining the aisles of stores tell me itâ€™s true! Those of you with school-aged children are probably busy shopping for clothes and shoes, pencils, glue sticks, backpacks and lunch sacks for the new school year.
But kids need other tools for a successful school year â€” and you can shop for those at the library for free. Keeping the kids reading will help them to keep up their reading skills while engaging their interests. Summer is a great time to let them read whatever catches their eye â€” whether itâ€™s a comic book, MADD Magazine, a newspaper or the latest Gossip Girl novel, itâ€™s all worthwhile if it keeps them reading!
Even reluctant readers can be persuaded to watch a Playaway View book, which displays a book on a video screen. Take a few along on vacation with you â€” theyâ€™re a great distraction for long car trips.
Kids can also play on the library computers. Even the very youngest children love the AWE computers in the Childrenâ€™s Room â€” the games are so much fun that the kids donâ€™t even realize theyâ€™re learning while they play.
Teens love to social network, watch YouTube or play with the tablets on our Tech Bar. Many of them have been jamming with their peers at our Teen Music Cafes one Sunday a month. The next one is Aug. 18 from 3 – 4:30 p.m. Bring a guitar and join in!
Invite a few friends to visit the library with your kids and watch as they put on a show in the puppet theater. Playing with puppets helps kids to develop creativity, storytelling and problem solving â€” all skills thatâ€™ll help them in school. Older kids can challenge each other to a game of Jenga or Monopoly, or just stretch out on the floor with a game of checkers. Playing games teaches them invaluable lessons about getting along and playing fair.
Robyn Monaco and Sandra Cartagena, librarians in the childrenâ€™s department, recently won a mini-grant from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation to fund Learning Parties, four sessions full of fun family learning activities, crafts and tips to help parents nurture a young reader. Families who attend the Learning Parties will actively explore the concepts of colors and shapes, music and sound, letters and writing, and movement and dramatic play while exploring the book â€śWhistle for Willieâ€ť by Ezra Jack Keats. Robyn and Sandra will bring Willieâ€™s world to life as the families participate in crafts, activities, and art projects, all designed to develop early literacy skills in the children.
Who knew that having fun at the library could help kids prepare for academic success?
Many patrons will be happy to know that we recently updated our renewal policy. Most library materials may now be renewed twice, as long as no one else is waiting for the item. Materials may be renewed by phone, online at www.fcpl.org or by visiting the library.
Enjoy these last relaxing days of summer! Call anytime for your information needs at 301.600.7004 or visit us online at www.fcpl.org.
Editorâ€™s Note: Amy Whitney is director of the Urbana Regional Library. She can be reached at AWhitney@FrederickCountyMD.gov or 301.600.7012.