Our fall semester of storytimes is off to a great start! Our first storytime on September 8 had 56 children in attendance, a new record for us. Due to our construction project, the number of weekly storytimes is reduced from previous semesters, but we will do our best to fit everyone into our temporary storytime space in the library’s lower atrium. It may be a little crowded, but it is still tons of fun! Check out our storytime schedule, as well as some special events we have coming up. We welcome new families to our storytimes each week, so please come try it out. No registration needed, and it’s always free!
By Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager
The new school year always brings with it a barrage of children’s book publications. It’s a wonderful time to fill shelves and backpacks with brand new books. Here are a few seasonal picture books that arrived just in time for falling leaves, pumpkin patches, and getting settled into another school year.
“Fall Leaves” by Loretta Holland, with enchanting illustrations by Elly MacKay, is the perfect book to discuss the season. Each spread is centered on a two word phrase, such as “Fall arrives” and “Leaves leave.” Further description gives meaning to the phrase and sometimes a simple scientific explanation of what happens as the season moves from September to December.
“Otis and the Scarecrow,” a new Otis the tractor book by Loren Long, will be a popular choice. Otis is a good-natured tractor who loves his farm, and he is not sure what to do with the new arrival who doesn’t “smile or say hello,” but just stands there with “a sour look on his face, staring at the cornfield.” How does one make friends with a scarecrow? Leave it to Otis to come up with a way. (more…)
Thursday, July 31st, is the last day of our Summer Reading program. More than 2,100 children participated, and together they have read for nearly ONE MILLION MINUTES this summer! Special thanks to our awesome Teen Volunteers who have helped give out prizes to these amazing readers all summer. Come to the prize desk this week to pick up the prizes you earned!
THANK YOU to our Summer Reading sponsors:
Flint Hills Discovery Center
Manhattan Kiwanis Club
Manhattan Library Association
Noodles & Co.
Papa Murphy’s Pizza
The Rodeo Readin’ Round-up event this morning was very successful with about 95 kids and 50 adults. Char Henton and others from the Kaw Valley Rodeo board helped coordinate this fun program. Cowboy poet Ron Wilson started out with some poetry with audience participation, followed by a skit performed by the librarians based on Jan Thomas’s “Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy.” Legendary barrelman Rick Young and bullfighters Andy North and Dustin Brewer, dressed in their rodeo clown gear, talked to the kids about their interesting jobs in the rodeo. Andy North always reads his favorite book, “Those Can-Do Pigs” by David McPhail. The Flint Hills Discovery Center was very kind this year to host the event in their facility. Look for a picture on today’s issue of The Mercury! Check out the Kaw Valley Rodeo this weekend, Thurs-Sat. at 8:00 at the fairgrounds.
Join us for come-and-go science activity stations! Kids in K-6th grade can come to the library’s Groesbeck Room to experiment with invisible ink, magnets, and more. Visiting all the stations will take about 30 minutes. Feel free to come at any time between 2:00 and 3:30.
Summer is always a busy time in the Children’s Room. We are fortunate to have some great library staff and volunteers who come on board to help us out. The only problem is that we really miss them when summer is over! Special thanks goes out to our three summer librarians, Molly, Chelsea and Allison, and our adult volunteers, Barb, Sherry, Lexi, Meshell and Linda!
At the Mad Science Minions clubs for 4th-6th graders this week, they took a walk down to the headquarters for the North Central Kansas Library System (in our library’s lower level) to see the new 3-D Printer in action. Kids watched while a small critter was being formed, based on a design created by NCKLS librarian Melendra Sanders using an iPad app. By the time these kids enter the workforce, who knows what they will be capable of creating with the latest technology!
This is our last week for the summer storytimes and clubs. We have had a great time reading and doing activities with more than 300 children each week who have attended our programs! Families can keep using the library all summer, of course. We will continue giving out summer reading prizes through July 31st, and we have weekly trivia prize drawings through July as well. Look for an announcement about the fall storytime schedule coming soon.
We had a great time last week with more than 300 kids who attended our storytimes and club sessions! Some highlights were the reader’s theater in Curious Chaos Creators clubs, meeting Ms.Frizzle in Ms. Frizzle’s Science club and capturing germs in petri dishes during Minion Madness clubs. Storytime kids loved the “touch and feel” activity table to go with the stories on our senses of sight and touch.
Join us again this week for lots more great stories and activities, including storytimes about noises, from animal sounds to the drumming of raindrops, and clubs about interesting scientific topics – metamorphosis, bees and electricity!
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!