by Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager
We’ll be popping and fizzing at the library this summer with our super science summer reading theme: Fizz, Boom, Read! Mad scientists will be on the loose, and we hope all the kids in town will join us.
June 1st is the first official day of our summer reading program, and kids can start keeping track of how much time they spend reading or listening to books so they can earn great prizes. Children or parents can register for summer reading online and then pick up a book bag and reading chart anytime at the library. Summer reading programs encourage kids to keep reading during the months while school is out, to have fun with books and to avoid “summer slide” when they return to school in August.
Summer slide, or summer learning loss, is the loss of reading skills and other academic knowledge that leaves kids starting out their new school year at a lower level than when they left last May. The public library is your free resource for combatting summer slide with an amazing selection of thousands of fiction and nonfiction titles, beginning readers, audiobooks, discovery packs, and a whole month of weekly activities to engage kids. They will be reading and learning without even knowing it!
Children’s librarians Amber, Grace and Rachel have been concocting some fantastic activities for our summer clubs. Kids going into kindergarten or first grade can join the Curious Chaos Creators Club Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons in June. One week, they will study metamorphosis by playing a relay game in which everyone has to go through the metamorphosis process, from squirming caterpillar to chrysalis and finally to flying butterfly. When these young scientists learn about the five senses, they will read and perform “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” picking out how the characters use their senses throughout the story.
Second and third graders will become Ms. Frizzle’s Scientists on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons, launching a pretend magic school bus into fascinating places. In their study of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock, the 2nd and 3rd graders will make rock formations using Play-Doh. Each week, the students will get a chance to “ride on the Magic School Bus” with Ms. Frizzle by reading books such as “The Magic School Bus inside a Beehive.”
The Mad Science Minions Club for fourth through sixth graders will include hands-on science activities each week, plus demonstrations, videos and information about important scientists throughout history. The first week, Ms. Rachel will focus on microbiology. Kids will be allowed to swab something germy – their mouths, a doorknob, etc. – and grow their own bacteria in a petri dish.
Storytimes are tons of fun for the littler ones, and even babies can be part of our summer reading program when parents record how much time they spend reading aloud to them. Attend a storytime each week to add another 20-30 minutes of reading time, and enjoy singing songs together, learning action rhymes and dancing to music.
The Move and Groove Storytimes this June will highlight our five senses. In our All Ages Storytimes on Fridays and Saturdays, one week will feature the book “Rain“ by Manya Stojic, a story set on the African savannah where the animals smell, see, and even taste the rain. We’ll pretend it’s raining at the end of storytime by dancing with umbrellas and maracas to the classic song “Singin’ in the Rain,” while Ms. Laura tosses down some colorful pompoms on the umbrellas for “raindrops.”
During “sight” week at the Preschool Storytimes, Ms. Chelsea and Ms. Molly will read the treasured picture book “Seven Blind Mice” by Ed Young, in which the mice work together to learn how to see. Kids can touch and feel several objects after storytime, including sandpaper, seashells, and bubble wrap.
At Toddler Storytime during “taste” week, we’ll be packing for a picnic. Each child will have a chance to bring an item up to the picnic basket as we sing a song about picnics. Babies and their caregivers at Baby Rhyme Time will have fun during “taste” week as Ms. Jessica and Mr. Brian do a “Yummy, Yucky” flannel board activity. For yummy items, parents will pretend to eat baby’s fingers or tummy. For yucky items, they’ll blow raspberries instead!
See a schedule for June storytimes and clubs; no registration is required to attend a program. You can also sign up for summer reading from the website and get started on logging your reading time to earn prizes. Teens and adults can participate, too. Our summer reading sponsors include the Manhattan Library Association Friends Group, Sunset Zoo, Flint Hills Discovery Center, Wildcat Creek Golf & Fitness, Manhattan Kiwanis Club, and several fabulous restaurants: Famous Dave’s, Noodles & Co., Papa Murphy’s, Texas Roadhouse, Varsity Donuts, and Vista Drive-In. So much support for childhood literacy and the library adds up to a summer of fun in Manhattan.
The construction on the children’s room expansion continues to progress on schedule with a completion date of December this year. Our room may be a little cramped this summer, but our books are all still available, and library staff is always ready to help you find them!