Summer program broadens its palette

Published 10:45am Monday, May 26, 2014

As its name suggests, youngsters at the Elizabethton Carter County Public Library will, of course, learn all

Joyce Manuel laughs with children during Storytime at the Elizabethton Library. The group made paintings that will decorate the library for the Summer Reading Program.
Joyce Manuel laughs with children during Storytime at the Elizabethton Library. The group made paintings that will decorate the library for the Summer Reading Program.

about reading during the Summer Reading Program.
Then there’s science, math and technology.
The program begins June 3 and will have an increased focus on STEM education principals: science, technology, engineering and math.
Children’s Librarian Ashlee Williams explained the summer reading sessions will focus on different aspects of science. Other programs through the summer will focus on math and engineering while maintaining the main goal of promoting reading.
Because the program is open to children of all ages, the youngsters can choose whether they want to be active readers or to have the book read to them. Each time a reader finishes a book, they will note it on their log at the library. At the end of the summer, they will have a record of the books they finished.
Williams said attendance has remained steady each year for the summer reading program – an average of around 400 children sign up each year. Several summer school and day care programs also participate.
“There is a bigger focus on STEM skills,” Williams said. “It is a state-wide focus. They want libraries to incorporate more of these type lessons in with the reading program.”
The program will operate largely as it always has. There will be two sessions on Tuesdays, one at 10:30 a.m. and one at 4 p.m.
The morning session will feature a guest speaker who will talk about a different study of science each week of the program. The afternoon session will have hands-on projects that correspond with the morning’s topic.
The preschool group will continue to meet on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.
Williams said some of the topics will be electricity, forensics, geology and biology. She said other topics are still being considered. and guest speakers are being finalized.
“We will be doing hands-on activities in the afternoon,” she said. “It will be science, and it will be fun.”
During the sessions, the children will be introduced to books on the topics that are being discussed.
Also, during the summer, two teenager-specific sessions are planned. One will be held June 16 and will use different aspects of chemistry to show teens how to make do-it-yourself spa products.
The other session will be on July 7 and will focus on the science fiction program “Dr. Who.”
“The Youth Leadership group did a survey of teens in the library about what interests them and what they would like to see and this is what they found,” Williams said. “Dr. Who is very popular right now.”
The library’s Lego Club will meet on Saturdays June 14 and July 12. Williams said the club will talk about aspects of engineering, such as structure support and bridge building.
Math Madness Fun Nights are scheduled for June 26 and July 24. The first Math Madness Fun Night was held last week.
Another change this year is the library is offering online registration and participation. Williams said a link will be available on the library’s webite, www.eccpl.info, in early June.
“Children can participate in the program even if they can’t make it down to the library,” she said.
For more information, call the library at 547-6360.

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