This year the LP Fisher Public Library teamed up with our local run club, the River Valley Runners. They got a place to have their monthly meetings, access to awesome running books (and periodicals, thanks to the generous donation of a member), and we got to particpate in their fun runs and help plan their events. It has turned out to be a true win-win.
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We spend a lot of time in libraryland talking about literacy. And there are an awful lot of literacy skills to learn and teach: pre-literacy skills, visual literacy, numeracy, cultural literacy, information and computer or digital literacy…whew! But one of the most overlooked and underappreciated literacy skills is the one we use almost constantly from the time we are born: kinetic literacy, also known as physical literacy.
At public libraries we spend an awful lot of time celebrating the holidays and happy parts of life (as we should): Halloween parties, Valentine's crafts, Thanksgiving storytime, book launches, STEM programs. These are all exciting and essential services. But what about the needs of our patrons that are sometimes a bit messier, a bit more hidden from public view, a bit less Hallmark-card sweet and a bit more nitty-gritty reality?
The Middle Earth Walking Challenge was a fitness program that we tied to literature. Since the summer reading theme was Build a Better World, I chose J.R.R. Tolkien’s series “The Lord of the Rings,” giving participants the fantasy challenge of saving Middle Earth by walking from the Shire to Mt. Doom, with the goal of destroying the One Ring.
Participants kept track of the miles they walked from June until August. The winner received a copy of “The Lord of the Rings,” and runners-up received a copy of “The Hobbit.”
At the height of Summer Reading Club (SRC) or during an autumn back-to-school heat wave, sometimes the best thing to do is take the kids outside and hose them down — that will get the fidgets out! (Kidding!)
But seriously, throwing water balloons at people or targets is extremely therapeutic. I asked my SRC leader, Ebony Scott, to come up with a program called Water Games. My only stipulations were (1) that it not wet any of the books and (2) that it have a reasonable budget. (If only we could afford giant Nerf Super Soakers for everyone.)
Each year on June 21, the LP Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, New Brunswick, celebrates International Yoga Day, first made official by the United Nations on Dec. 11, 2014. But you don’t have to wait until June 2018 to celebrate — you can copy what we do by having a Family Yoga Party any time of year!
The staff at the LP Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, N.B., wanted to do something really unique this year to celebrate Canadian Library Month in October. We also wanted to do a Halloween activity, while being mindful of the many families in our community that don’t celebrate it, or are newcomers to the country and might be uncomfortable with some of our more macabre traditions.
Teens and tweens are invited to the library during its closed hours to play team laser tag. They are divided into two teams and take turns using laser phasers (purchased from Amazon) to play the game.
For our Summer Reading Club end party this year we wanted to include physical literacy elements that got the kids moving and shaking as well as reading and listening. So in addition to our usual storytime/pizza party with cake (and healthy veggies!), we also created an outdoor fun zone of giant board games in the parking lot (blocked off to cars of course by orange pylons).
When we hear the words "kinesthetic" or "physical" linked with literacy, we often think of sports, gym class, dance, yoga and other gross-motor-type programs. What we often overlook is how we are already incorporating much physical literacy in our library programs by adding tactile, hands-on activities to storytimes or events. And this is awesome — not only are we appealing to tactile learners (those than learn best by doing, not just seeing or hearing) but we are enhacing everyone's literacy skills, even the parents!
Every day, thousands of children and teens all over the country and the world are bullied by their peers. These victims — who have been judged to have some weakness, perceived as somehow abnormal or lacking, or who are just a tiny bit different — are vulnerable to not only day-to-day torment but life-changing and decades-long repercussions.