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A Note From The Teacher

A Cool Summer Idea- Visit the Local Library!

By July, most of us have already begun to see the high temperatures and humid days of summer. And, like the heat that always arrives, most parents have already started to hear the summer anthem “we’re bored!” So what to do on those sultry summer days? Take a trip to your local public library!

Libraries are great places to visit all year round, but summertime offers many different things to try. In air conditioned comfort, there are many activities that go on for parents and children alike. Take a few minutes to look at the public notice board in your library to see all of the offerings that are available. So, what can you expect from your local library? Well, if you haven’t been in awhile (maybe since you were a child!) you may be surprised at what many local libraries may have to offer.

First, many libraries hold passes for local attractions like zoos, public gardens, museums, and aquariums. These passes can be checked out like a regular book and can pay for admission costs to the venue of your choice. Often good for a family of four, these can really be a cost savings. But, be sure to check out the availability of these passes in advance, as there tends to be a waiting list for these hot-ticket items.

If travel isn’t in the plans, many libraries offer book clubs for children and adults alike. Sometimes running at the same time, parents and their kids can all take some time to enjoy a good book and some peace and quiet in the library. Most public libraries have wonderful children’s literature available and librarians to help readers of all different abilities find something they like. So, take a few minutes and share a book together with family or friends.

Do you have toddlers too young to read and enjoy the quiet of the library? See when your local library sponsors its own story time for young children. Many libraries have this program to foster a love of reading in young children. Story times vary from group reading sessions to reading and a snack or craft, so check out what the library in your area has to offer.

Finally, libraries have become more than buildings of books. Most libraries want to encourage people to come and enjoy their community-friendly atmosphere, so they have a variety of things to do besides reading! Check out computer stations, learning seminars, guest speakers, and community performers that may be coming to the library. By hosting these events, often with the help of donations or grants, public libraries often work hard to be a building block of the community.

Is your library missing some of these things? Take a few minutes to talk about your ideas to your local librarian. They may be able to use your help as a volunteer to get programs like these off the ground, so they can be enjoyed by your family and others. It doesn’t take a lot of money to have some of the best programs- it just takes the time of caring volunteers.

Whether you’re heading to the library to take advantage of the air conditioning, the peace and quiet, the wonderful programs, or the family resources, be sure to make your local library a stop on your summer vacation “must visit” list. You will definitely be glad you did!

Jennifer Cummings

Ms. Cummings, author, and editor of the Education and School Section, she has a B.A.in psychology and an M.Ed. in special education from Framingham State College in Massachusetts. She was an elementary teacher in Massachusetts serving both regular education and special education students. She has taught grades 1,4, and 5.

"I believe that families' involvement in their child's education is one of the key ingredients to creating a successful school experience for children. Keeping parents informed about school-related issues helps parents and teachers work together for the best possible outcomes for their children. Learning together makes learning fun - for everyone!" - Jennifer Cummings.
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