THE CHILDREN’S LIBRARY
CONSTANCE T. RHINELANDER PERFORMANCE FUND
We continue to be most grateful to the Rhinelander family for making so many educational and entertaining programs possible for our community.
I would like to highlight a few favorites.
Introduction to Japanese Culture with Minori Ishikawa was an immersion into Japanese language and culture through story, song and a traditional tea ceremony. It was a very authentic presentation with Japanese refreshments as well.
All who attended were enthralled. Minori totally captured the attention of her audience. The room was silent!
We offered two school vacation workshops in April, supported by the Gloucester Cultural Council. One of these was an introduction to ‘Cinquain Poetry with Yetti Frenkel. The children composed a Cinquain poem and then illustrated the poem by creating a fold-up book which we exhibited along with their photos in our large display window.
The other workshop was ‘Moving to the Beat’ with Georgia Bills. She led the children in many interesting rhyming games and chants which taught them important listening and directional skills as well as moving with a partner to a particular beat.
Dottie Patch presented ‘Kamishibai Storytelling’ at one of our Children’s Librarian ‘performer preview’ meetings which occur every fall. I was fascinated with her storytelling form and invited her to the library. We notified the Cape Ann Asian Alliance who attended this program in celebration of Chinese New Year. Since then, the Asian Alliance have continued to invite Dottie to the library for storytelling. She will be here again on Saturday, Oct. 6th.
We invited Rick Roth back to the library with his many ‘Snakes’ and his wonderful ‘Vernal Pond’ presentation.
Audubon Ark also visited the library several times with their animals from Drumlin Farm.
These are just a few of the great events the community enjoyed at the library.
THE GIFT OF READING
The Gift of Reading program continued this year, with new titles for young children added to the collection and dedicated to Gloucester newborns through the generosity of this anonymous grant. More than 400 books, which receive a special “Gift of Reading” bookplate, have been added to the Children’s Library.
THE GLOUCESTER ROTARY CLUB
The Gloucester Rotary Club sponsored weekly book donations to the Children’s Library. Rotary speakers are acknowledged through the dedication of a book in their name with a specially designed, Gloucester Rotary Club bookplate. Hundreds of new books for children of all ages have been added to our collection through this generous plan since its inception several years ago.
The pre-school storytime group met with Assistant Children’s Librarian Christy Rosso on Wednesday afternoons for stories and crafts. The group enjoyed a special field trip to the Central Fire Station, as well as visits from community members such as Spanish teacher Veronica Wood, musician Uma Pollack, and artist Susan Collins.
Our weekly toddler group (1-4 yrs.) continued to be well attended. These younger pre-schoolers learned to interact with one another and participate in a group. They share songs, a craft activity and have many early book experiences which encourage literacy.
It is a wonderful opportunity for new parents and children to meet and friendships are made here which continue outside the library.
PARENT/CHILD BOOK GROUP
Children ages ten – twelve, parents, and grandparents met with the Assistant Children’s Librarian monthly for book discussion and thematic refreshments.
GLOUCESTER ENRICHMENT COALITION
Parent volunteers from Gloucester and Rockport public schools met with the Assistant Children’s Librarian bi-monthly to share ideas for school and library educational programming.
CHILDREN’S WORKING GROUP
The group met to plan activities for the June Book and Bake Sale, as well as future fundraising events.
OUTREACH TO THE COMMUNITY
We have several partnerships formed in the community which have grown and continue to be a vital part of the Children’s Library:
‘Toddlers On The Move’ meets weekly for children 18 months-3 yrs. This is a collaboration of several years now with Cape Ann Early Intervention. The group meets for 8 week cycles all year round with new children joining each cycle.
On the first Saturday of each month, Cape Ann Asian Alliance meet in the Children’s Library for a storytime and craft activity. A parent from their group leads this activity which is open to the community.
Every fall and Christmas season we invite a group of seniors from the Rose Baker Senior Center with Christy Parker to the library for an activity shared with children. In the fall it is a sing-a-long and at Christmas we share Christmas stories and refreshments.
America Reads is a tutorial which pairs an adult with a child for an hour weekly to strengthen reading skills. This is a Vista program under the umbrella of Senior Care and has benefited many children over the years. We have a community Dr. Seuss Day with them in March with many volunteer readers.
Another group we recently partnered with is Wellspring House. They did a presentation on ‘safe toys’ and the ‘power of advertising’ to raise awareness of this issue.
St. Ann’s School grades K-3 frequent the library as part of their school day. They listen to stories and check out books as a class.
Field trips from public schools continue in the fall and spring.
LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE
Looking toward the future we plan to continue all of our pre-school programs, class visits and special events sponsored by the Constance T. Rhinelander Performance Fund.
We are working on scheduling many enrichment programs for children in the months ahead.
In the distance, for August of 2009, Gloucester will celebrate the life and work of Author and Illustrator - Virginia Lee Burton. It will be the 100th anniversary of her birth.