Summer Learning Program: It’s Not Too Late!

We are in mid-July, and it’s definitely feeling like summer outside in Ohio! Here at the library, our virtual programs are running well, and our annual Summer Learning Program will continue through Saturday August 15. It’s not too late to sign up!

Help your children fight the summer slide while also having fun reading, completing challenges, and earning prizes.

Check out our Summer Learning Program information here on our blog and here on our website for more details!

Photo Post: What’s New in Wonderland?

Summer is in full swing, and so is our annual Summer Learning Program! But of course, everything looks quite different from other summers in our library. Nonetheless, our Youth Services staff has been very busy with many activities, from creating fun virtual programs to welcoming patrons back to the children’s department. We are so excited to see familiar little faces in the library again!

Here are a few recent photos of life in Wonderland…

Our virtual unicorn program was extra-special with a visit from a rainbow unicorn!
We are so happy to see our young patrons again!
Our Super Readers display is up and ready to add all of our 20-hour Summer Learning Program readers!
Books, books, and more books: ready for your summer reading enjoyment!
Have you visited our new story walk on the back lawn yet? It’s always open!
Even though the library is now open, we still have our outdoor pickup table available.
We are here to help. Stop by or give us a call!

Ways to Engage Kids’ Literacy Skills in a Semi-Quarantine Summer

Families and time spent at home always play a significant role in the development and maintenance of a child’s literacy skills. This year, the family and home are a much bigger part of everyone’s life, including our children’s education.

This summer, it’ll be particularly important to engage kids’ literacy development. Luckily, there are so many creative and fun ways to do this beyond just reading. 

Invite your kids to try out some of these activities to keep them busy and learning this summer and beyond: 

  • Practice reading aloud to family and pets.
  • Spend time in the kitchen reading ingredients, product labels, recipes, and anything else you can find.
  • Learn all the words to your favorite song and practice singing along or even doing karaoke.
  • Choose a book for the whole family to read and discuss together.
  • Listen to a book or story while making art inspired by it.
  • Move your body while listening to a story, book, or song.
  • Learn your family history, funny stories, and jokes from friends and relatives and practice retelling them.
  • Follow instructions for a new skill or craft, and teach a friend or relative how to do it, too.
  • Play vocabulary-based board games like Scrabble, Boggle, or Bananagrams.
  • Play verbal games like taking turns coming up with rhyming nonsense words or words that start with a certain letter.
  • Find a favorite picture or piece of art and practice describing it in detail to a friend or relative.
  • Create your own newspaper for your house or keep a journal of your daily experiences.
  • Write letters or notes to friends, relatives, neighbors, or even community representatives.
  • Listen to a podcast for kids (https://app.kidslisten.org/).
  • Learn to type.
  • Write your own story, poem, or book, leave it for a while, and then come back to revise and edit.
  • Research a topic you’re interested in and teach a friend or relative about it.

Meet the Staff: Ms. Mariam

In this installment of “Meet the Staff,” we get to know a little more about Ms. Mariam!

Ms. Mariam’s favorite thing about the library is the books! (That’s not a digital background in her photo: those are stacks of her own real books!)

She also really enjoys working with the other librarians to come up with fun and interactive programs.

Her favorite children’s book is Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty. Her favorite book characters are Elephant & Piggie, from Mo Willems’ very popular book series. In her spare time, she likes to read contemporary teen and middle-grade fiction, as well as fantasy and graphic novels.

Ms. Mariam has five sisters and a brother, and their family owns a big black dog named Frank, an English Bulldog named Rupert, and Princess Dale the cat.

Her hobbies include reading, volunteering, playing board games, and trying to cook and bake. She must be succeeding at that one, because she even started a kids’ cookbook club at the library!

She admits that she hated reading as a child, but enjoys it now, and loves being a librarian!

A few fun facts about Ms. Mariam:

  • She once met Matthew Lewis, the actor who plays Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter movies.
  • She’s been to the top of the Empire State Building in New York City and the Space Needle in Seattle. 
  • She threw out the first pitch last summer at an Akron Rubber Ducks baseball game.

Children’s Books to Help Celebrate Pride Month

In honor of Pride Month, which is an annual celebration of gender identity for people of all ages, this post includes some of the many LGBTQAI+-friendly children’s books that our librarians recommend, followed by a list of a few LGBTQAI+ resources for parents.

Here is a selection of our staff’s favorite related picture books from our children’s collection. Click on a book title below to take you to our online catalog where you can view a brief summary of the book and also place it on hold, if you’d like.

Fiction:

The Adventures of Honey and Leon by Alan Cumming

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Daddy, Papa, and Me by Lesléa Newman

Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne and Max Lang

The Family Book by Todd Parr

Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O’Leary

Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima

Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman

Home At Last by Vera Williams

In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco

Jerome by Heart by Thomas Scotto

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

King and King by Linda de Haan

Maiden & Princess by Daniel Haack

My Two Moms and Me by Michael Joosten

Our Rainbow by Little Bee Books

Plum by Sean Hayes and Scott Icenogle

Pride Colors by Robin Stevenson

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack

Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhart

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer

When Aidan Became A Brother by Kyle Lukoff

Willow and the Wedding by Denise Brennan-Nelson

Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian

Nonfiction:

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel & Jazz Jennings

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders

Sewing the Rainbow: A Story About Gilbert Baker by Gayle E. Pitman

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution. by Rob Sanders

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman

The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter

When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community by Gayle E. Pitman

For more information on Pride Month, see:

For more information on learning about gender identity and talking with your children about gender identity, see:

New Outdoor Story Walk

The library has a brand-new outdoor story walk! Families can follow the stations, reading a book as they go along. The story walk is located on the lawn behind the patio, and it is always open.

The current book is You Are a Lion!: And Other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo, and it encourages not only reading but also active movement.

After you read each page, you can practice being the animal and doing the yoga pose that it corresponds to, or you can simply enjoy reading the pages as you walk along the lawn.

Check it out, and let us know what you think!