Shaler North Hills Library's summer program encourages readers to 'Build a Better World'
Shaler North Hills Library staff wants to inspire patrons to improve their own lives and those of others with its summer programming.
The “Build a Better World” summer reading program will run from May 26 through Sept. 5.
The Collaborative Summer Library Program, a consortium of states providing summer reading program materials at reduced costs to public libraries, developed the theme for its partner libraries.
Sharon McRae, Shaler North Hills Library's director, said she and the library staff like this year's theme because it offers many programming options. For instance, she said kids will have the opportunity to “build” new things during various LEGO workshops and at a Play-Doh camp.
“The teen program, they're going to build a better ice cream sundae, which I think is fabulous,” she said. “Then, the kids that go to that are going to do what we call a kindness bomb, so they are going to “bomb” the library with all kinds of Post-It notes about building a better world and choosing kindness.”
Teen librarian Alexis Jabour will lead “Build a Better World: Tween Edition,” from 11 a.m. to noon June 17, July 15 and Aug. 19. Viewing “Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan” at Washington D.C.'s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery has motivated her to teach fourth- through sixth-graders about unfamiliar cultures.
“I'm going to try to talk about present day artisans and some things that I can tie into doing some crafts to try to get some kind of building activity and culture and broadening of world views.”
One class will focus on Afghanistan, with students possibly working wood into lattice-like structures similar to those she viewed at the museum. Mexico and South Korea are options for other sessions, she said.
Meanwhile, Jabour has developed “Teens Build a Better World,” meeting 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays from June 6 through Aug. 22. The workshops will include snacks and a place for teenagers to learn a combination of fun and practical skills such as how to develop YouTube videos and podcasts, cook, sew and meditate.
McRae said people of all ages will learn the importance of kindness through the community-wide reading of R.J. Palacio's “Wonder,” which tells the story of a boy's experiences with a facial deformity and his struggles gaining acceptance.
The Shaler North Hills Library is partnering with the Hampton Community Library on the “Summer of Wonder: Let's All Read This Book.” Both libraries will offer the award-winning “Rumble in the Jungle” anti-bullying puppet show that McRae said addresses the book's themes. The Shaler library show is noon, June 8.
Starting June 14, a “Kindness Crew” of volunteers will host “Wonder Alouds” and read the book out loud at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Shaler Library's Print Room. Book discussions will occur at 6:30 p.m. June 26, July 31 and Aug. 21.
Finally, the Shaler North Hills Library plans on tying the “Build a Better World” theme into other activities scheduled to celebrate the library's 75th anniversary.
For information about the library's events, visit www.shalerlibrary.org.
Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune- Review contributor.