by Heather Tuck-Macalla
I have the pleasure to work with our community’s tweens, which are children who range in age from the 3rd to 6th grade. Not only do these youth keep me young at heart they are constantly reaffirming my faith in humanity. Want to know what “kids these days” are doing here at the library to improve our fabulous community? The answer is lots! Tweens are continuously helping others here at Rocky River Public Library. Here are some of the highlights from this year, prepare yourself to be amazed!
Reading Partners: 25 volunteers in the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade partnered with younger children once a week for a month this summer to help the younger children practice their reading skills. It is always a delight to see this youth partnership in action. It is definitely a win win situation where the older children get as much out of the experience as the younger children. I believe it is youth literacy at it’s best and the volunteers who commit their time to helping young children during their busy summer are some of sweeetest!
Interactive story time: We had 15 volunteers in the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade create and put on an interactive story time for preschoolers this spring. We are so fortunate to have budding librarians and teachers in our midst! Children enjoyed hearing tales such as Little Red Hen, The Paperbag Princess, and There was an old lady who swallowed a fly among others while also being able to create and operate puppetry and props to go along with the traditional and contemporary folktales. This project was even featured in the School Library Journal! A link to the article can be found here: http://www.slj.com/2016/02/programs/fairy-tale-programming-is-alive-and-well/
Helping our neighbors in need: During the winter holiday season our tween book club members also helped assemble treat bags that were in turn donated to the Rocky River Assistance Program during the holiday season to spread along some sweet joy. This project was inspired by reading the non-fiction title about a WWII fighter pilot called “The Candy Bomber the story of the berlin airlift’s chocolate pilot” Click here to find Candy Bomber in our catalog. Our area youth did a great job reading about their elders and carrying on worthwhile traditions of philanthropy.
One of the most exciting youth projects we did this year incorporated youth from the 1st grade all the way through the 12th grade! Our grade school, tween, and teen librarians collaborated together to put on a Stuffed Animal Sleepover Party here at the library. Young children brought their stuffed animals into the library for a fun story time and then arranged for their stuffed animals to stay at the library overnight for their own fun activities lead by volunteers in the 4th through 12th grade. It was hard to tell who had more fun the children, the volunteers, the stuffed animals or the librarians! June Sleepover YouTube Video July Sleepover YouTube Video