|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
Your Library Goes Back to School
By Jerry Jones, Youth Services Coordinator
September 3, 2008
The scene goes something like this. A little boy, say 2nd or 3rd grade, walks into the children’s department and his eyes light up when he sees the librarian behind the desk. “Hey, you came to my school!” he says. The librarian responds by asking what school he goes to and what he remembers about her visit.
The little boy describes the story they listened to about jungle animals and how everybody in his class got a musical instrument to play while she was reading the book.
This is just one example of how your library reaches out to the schools, making connections with students throughout our community. Class visits to the library, Live Homework Help ® and providing materials that support the curriculum are other ways we augment the school district’s work to educate young minds.
Librarians can be found in classrooms throughout the school year as part of our partnership with the NCSD Community Relations Department on their Fantastic Recreation Enrichment Days (FRED). What exactly do these entail?
When teachers are in professional development training, staff from the library provides literacy-related programs for students in the classrooms. Just as the little boy above described, storytelling makes books come alive for kids, helping them develop literacy skills while discovering the joy of reading.
In the example above, a librarian used the book “First Music” by Dylan Pritchett, a story that proves everyone has something special to add when it comes to making music. The students provided sound effects for the story using shakers, bells and drums.
Storytelling with puppets and other props, theatrics, music and art are also incorporated into our programs. It isn’t uncommon for the students we work with to show up at the library, looking for the books we read to them at school to check out for themselves.
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) provides another opportunity for librarians to be in the schools connecting with students. This inexpensive book distribution program sponsored by the Friends of the Library allows us to give three books to each of the 2nd & 5th graders in Title I schools over the course of the school year and to promote reading “for fun.”
Last year, we put 3,134 books in the hands of kids. The best part is the kids don’t have to spend a penny. The books are free to them. Now that’s a pretty big investment in our community!
Summer reading is also a great way we support the learning kids do in school, and this year’s program was one of our most successful yet with 3,048 kids and teens participating. The kids who keep reading during summer have less catching up to do once school resumes. And the less catching up they have to do, the greater chance they have for school success.
Promoting literacy is what Youth Services at your library are all about. Whether we go to the kids in the schools or the kids come to us at the library, fostering a love of reading and learning in children of all ages is well worth the effort.
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