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A Recipe for Reading: Culinary Literacy at Your Library

Free Library of Philadelphia and Athens Regional Library System LogosIn this session, the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center will share their work over the last five years using food and cooking as a context for learning in neighborhood libraries across Philadelphia. With some basic utensils and countertop appliances, you can create your own mobile kitchen classroom.

A Marvel-ous Spring: A Superhero-Themed Program Series

A group photo from a superhero program

Anamosa is a community of 5,533 in eastern Iowa, and it's quite remote. Many families drive 30 to 50 minutes to the nearby cities of Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Dubuque looking for family activities.

Our residents are always looking for things for kids to do close to home, so the Anamosa Library & Learning Center put together a spring-long, superhero-themed program series for all ages, culminating in a private showing of “Avengers: Endgame” at a movie theater in Cedar Rapids. 

Black Superhero Showcase

In honor of Black History Month in February, the Portland Library held an all-ages event with screenings, games and activities celebrating black superheroes. We screened episodes of “Static Shock,” a TV show from the early '00s that featured a black superhero, and had an array of games, coloring pages and a book display.

We have held the event for the past four years, and it has grown in popularity each time.

Game and Activity Day

two red dice lay on a table

Created in 2016, our library's Game and Activity Day is a monthly afterschool program where we set up a variety of games and activities in the library for kids and their families to use.

We incorporate a mix of single and multi-user games and activities, ranging from basic board games to more physical activities, like ping-pong and mini-golf.

Spring Break Challenge Quest: Yoga

Yoga pose silhouette

Spring Break Challenge Quest was a library district-wide, weeklong drop-in and passive program for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Held during our schools' spring break, the series involved daily "quests" to challenge the mind and body, from scavenger hunts to binary coding to yoga.

The yoga quest challenged kids to look at printed silhouettes of yoga poses (e.g. child's pose, downward-facing dog) and figure out how to position their bodies into the poses shown. 

Magic for Muggles

Harry Potter round glasses

Magic for Muggles was created by my teen advisory board, which had several Harry Potter fans. They wanted to create a program series where they could do all kinds of Harry Potter activities, and they came up with the catchy name. The group met monthly from September 2016 to May 2017.

We found tons of ideas on Pinterest. We did indoor Quidditch with brooms and balls; potions and spells, where we did Hogwarts science projects; Harry Potter Clue; and a day at Hogsmeade, when we made butterbeer and other themed snacks. 

Nailed It / Failed It: Holiday Snacks Edition

Candy on a stick with marshmallows to look like a face.

This program was inspired by Netflix show "Nailed It!", which features amateur bakers trying to bake crazy cakes and treats.

Our program encouraged teen and tween participants to create decorative, fun snacks. Since the program was being held in December, we challenged them to make holiday-themed marshmallow pops: a reindeer, a Santa and a snowman.

Storytime in the Orchard

Woman reading outside to a crowd

Storytime in the Orchard is an all-ages storytime hosted by Boyertown Community Library and Frecon Farms. It is held outdoors on Thursdays at 9 a.m. from mid-June through October, weather permitting.

This program enhances awareness of local agriculture, provides a family experience of nature and boosts health literacy while having fun.

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