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Chemung County Library District: Giving Young Children the Tools to Become Successful Readers July 16, 2016

Posted by CCLD in Youth Services.
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1000books1000 Books Before Kindergarten is an ongoing program based upon evidence that the more children (ages 0 – 5) hear books read to them, the more prepared they will be to learn and enjoy reading upon reaching Kindergarten.

The Benefits of Reading to Your Child: Research shows that children with larger vocabularies are better readers. Knowing many words helps children recognize written words and understand what they mean.

Vocabulary is learned from books more than from normal conversations with adults or other children or from the TV. Children will gain Narrative & Story Telling skills that will help children better understand what they are reading. Being able to rhyme and sing will give your child a Phonological Awareness that will help them as they begin to sound out words when learning to read.

By helping your child gain Letter Awareness, knowing the names and sounds of letters, children learn how to sound out words themselves. And most importantly, Children who enjoy shared reading time, and see others around them enjoying reading will want to learn how to read.

Any child from birth until he or she enters kindergarten can participate in the program. Listening to stories during Story Time counts towards books read, asks staff members for our Story Time hours or visit our Calendar of Events (http://ccld.lib.ny.us/). Studies have shown that families who start reading aloud to their children at birth help to strengthen their language skills and build their vocabulary – two important tools for beginning to learn to read when they enter kindergarten.

  • Register – At the Horseheads Free Library, the Big Flats Library or the Steele Memorial Library and take home your first reading log.
  • Track Your Reading – Each time you read a book with your child, fill in a circle on the reading log.
  • Show us Your Reading Logs – When you reach 100 books, bring in your reading log, and at each 100-books mark, you get a “100 books!” sticker.
  • Read More Books! When you get all the way to 1000, you’ll receive a lunch box for Kindergarten!

 For more information or to download our convenient reading logs (or use our iPhone or Android App) and our recommended reading list visit 1000booksbeforekindergarten.org.

 Horseheads Free Library is hosting their annual 1000 Books Before Kindergarten kickoff Storytime on Tuesday August 30th at 10:30.

Register for the program and receive your introductory bag and

first reading log, listen to stories, rhymes and make a craft.

Celebrate kids who have reached the 1000 book goal!

 How To Pick A Book Your Child Will LOVE:

Books for Infants 0-12 months:

  • Books with simple, large pictures or designs with bright colors. Images should be of familiar objects, or other babies.
  • Small, stiff Cardboard, Board Books made for small hands.
  • Washable cloth books to cuddle and mouth & Plastic/Vinyl books for bath time.

 Books for Young Toddlers 12-24 months:

  • Sturdy books they can handle and carry.
  • Books with photos of children doing familiar things like sleeping, eating or playing.
  • Books with only a few words on each page, with simple rhymes and predictable text.

Books for Toddlers 2-3 years:

  • Books that tell simple stories.
  • Books with rhymes, rhythms, and repetitions they can learn by heart.
  • Food, Animals, Vehicles and Bedtime books are favorite subjects.
  • Books about saying Hello and Goodbye.

Books for Toddlers 2-3 years:

  • Books that tell stories.
  • Books about kids who look and live like them, as well as books about kids living in different places.
  • Books about counting, ABCs, shapes or sizes.
  • Books about making friends and going to school

This program is graciously funded by the Friends of the Horseheads Free Library.

Amanda Farley
Head of Youth Services, Horseheads Free Library, CCLD

Summer Reading Club Kicks Off June 27th June 8, 2016

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On Your Mark_EL purple01The Summer Reading Club for kids will kick off the week of June 27th with the theme, “On Your Mark, Get Set…READ!”.  Activities for kids at our local CCLD branches, include:  Puppet, Magic and Outdoor Game Days, as well as CCC’s Planetarium, Science Tellers and a performance of “The Tortoise and the Hare” by the Merry-Go-Round Theatre. There’s so much more, and best of all…completely FREE! Signups start June 27th, either online at www.ccld.lib.ny.us or stop in at your local branch. Once you sign up and start reading, remember to stop in weekly at your local branch for prizes and the club event of the week. All readers who enter and report their progress online or let us know, will be invited to an ending party at Eldridge Park, sponsored by the Friends of CCLD. Parents, remember this is a great way to get your child to keep reading over the summer months, and avoiding the “summer slump” or loss of reading skills. For the tweens (8-13 years) out there, we will be offering a Theatre Camp and a Maker Camp, stay tuned to our website for more details on these!

To get ready for our Summer of Fun, Fitness and Games, check out some of these titles:

Amelia Bedelia Shapes Up by Herman Parish

Strong Man: The Story of Charles Atlas by Meghan McCarthy

The Busy Body Book by Lizzy Rockwell

Diary of a Sixth Grade Ninja Series by Marcus Emerson

Extreme Babymouse by Jennifer Holm

Rising Above: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in their Youth to Become Stars by Gregory Zuckerman

Watch Me Throw the Ball by Mo Willems

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services, Steele Library, CCLD

Coming soon…The Early Literacy Center at Van Etten Library May 24, 2016

Posted by CCLD in Van Etten, Youth Services.
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Soon the Van Etten library will offer resources (in addition to books!) to help our youngest patrons get ready to read. The skills needed to begin learning to read are required long before children start school, so it’s never too early to introduce children to simple, yet engaging activities that promote reading readiness. What better place to go than your local library?

While visiting the Van Etten Library the little ones can stop at the Early Literacy Center, a special place for our youngest patrons to use material and enjoy fun activities. The goal for implementing the Early Literacy Center is already set into motion with completion expected by the end of this June 2016. Here you will find activities, toys, and books that engage children of all ages; from newborns to toddlers and pre-schoolers to school aged children.


Some of the material for the ELC is made possible from generous donations given to the Van Etten Library by our patrons. A few of the exciting and engaging items that will be purchased include an art easel, alphabet magnets, image-word matching games, chunky puzzles, and LEGO sets.

The concept of the center will be parent friendly as well. All of the centers activities will be available on an in house check–out basis. This means that the kids will need to get permission from the parents to use the center, and then check out the specific items that they choose to use. This way, if parents are just running into the library quickly, they can do so without the “challenge” of trying to get their kids out when they would rather stay and play & learn.

So, stop by the Van Etten Library and check out our new resources that will aid in promoting reading skills for our youngest patrons by providing hands on activities to explore, create and imagine!!

Michelle Erickson
Van Etten Library

Fall Storytimes & 1000 Books Before Kindergarten September 2, 2015

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1000booksFall Storytimes at CCLD libraries are just around the corner, beginning the week of September 14 at all branches; check our website for dates and times. We offer storytimes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers and all are drop in, no registration is required. Storytimes are a wonderful way to introduce your child to the joys of reading and increase their vocabulary, as well as help them to learn social skills. Our storytimes are full of fun too…interactive songs, flannel stories, rhymes and props that enhance the experience and make it pleasurable for caregivers as well as kids…and while you’re at the library, sign up for our latest early literacy program: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. (Currently available at Steele, Horseheads and Big Flats Libraries and funded by the Friends of the Horseheads Library.) This free, self-paced program challenges parents and caregivers to read at least 1,000 books before the child enters school. Research has shown that reading to children helps them be better prepared for school as it builds their vocabulary and stimulates language and cognitive skills. Reading together is great for bonding too, and stories read in storytime or at daycare can count as well. Ask us about this exciting new offering and we’ll see you soon at Storytime!

Happy Reading!

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Steele Memorial Library, CCLD

The Kinderbook Campaign March 10, 2015

Posted by ackermanj in Community, Youth Services.
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BookerWe are gearing up in our Youth Department for our annual Kindergarten visits.  Chemung County Library District offers all county kindergarten students an opportunity to receive a free library card during these visits, and we are grateful for the Friends of CCLD’s Kinderbook Committee for sponsoring these visits.

In our partnership with this Committee and the area schools, we are able to reach children and their parents and make them aware of our library services for kids and families. Our goal, to promote the joy of reading, is highlighted at these visits by acting out favorite stories for the kids and giving them a tour of our Children’s area and all that it offers: tons of books, computers, audio books, music CDs and movies.  The children then receive their library cards as well as a bookmark.

The Kinderbook committee generously pays for the buses that bring the students, as well as incentives to bring the children and their families back to Friends of CCLDtheir local library. In observance of the 30th year of this initiative, we are offering a basket full of literacy goodies, the name will be drawn at each CCLD library at the end of the summer…entering is easy, any child who has come for a Kindergarten visit, and then returns with their family, to their local library will be allowed to enter their name in for this drawing.

We thank the Kinderbook committee for all of their hard work and their commitment to getting library cards into the hands of each kindergarten student. As a result of these campaigns, 80-85% of all Kindergarten children in Chemung County will become library card holders! We also couldn’t offer this without the cooperation from the Elmira, Elmira Heights, and the Horseheads School Districts Kindergarten teachers. We are fortunate to live in an area that values literacy and realizes the importance of public libraries in promoting literacy to our youngest patrons.

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Steele Memorial Library, CCLD

Youth Book Recommendations for Holiday Gifts December 10, 2014

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As I look through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Kirkus Review and the American Library Association’s picks for best children’s books of 2014, ready to order what’s missing from our library collection, I realize that the books from these lists can be great for Holiday gift giving. When my kids were growing up, above all else, a new book was always ready for them to open on Christmas morning, and I love the idea from Amy Dickinson, now adopted by the Family Reading Partnership, of a book on every bed on Christmas morning. What a great holiday tradition to start, the idea being that a book will be the first thing opened up by a child on Christmas morning, with adventures and stories waiting to be discovered! So, taking from these great list compilations, I recommend the following books, all available at a CCLD library:

For younger readers:

A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems

Here Comes Destructosaurus by Aaron Reynolds

Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Locomotive by Brian Floca

Little Santa by Jon Agee

Gravity by Jason Chin

For middle readers:

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins

Doll Bones by Holly Black

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond between a Soldier and his Service Dog by Luis Carlos Montalvan

The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus by Jen Bryant

Happy Holiday Reading Everyone!

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Steele Memorial Library, CCLD

Youth Services – Steele Fall Preview September 8, 2014

Posted by ackermanj in Steele, Youth Services.
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Youth programming will resume in full force after taking a short break at the end of our busy Summer Reading Club.  What a great summer, with a record 953 Chemung County kids reading well over 100,00 minutes; well done, everybody!  I am pleased that our Fall line-up will be just as fun filled and jam packed, and that we will offer, at the Steele Library, a program for all youth ages. From our Baby Read, Rhyme and Romp Time that will begin Sept. 18, to Toddlers on Friday mornings and a monthly Little Explorers Club for ages 4-7, to Elementary and Tween programming with a Lego Club and a monthly Maker Club (please bring the family and check out what we will offer at the kickoff Maker Faire on Sept. 20), all the way to wonderful teen programming presented by the great Ms. Metzger, we offer engaging, enjoyable activities for children, no matter their ages. Be sure to stop in and check out all of our Fall offerings, and save the date, October 29 from 6:30-8:00, for visiting our “Spooky Stacks”.  Wear your costume, trick or treat and have fun in our slightly spooky setting for kids ages 2 and up. Happy Fall!

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Steele Memorial Library, CCLD

FIZZ, BOOM, READ! June 9, 2014

Posted by ackermanj in District News, Steele, Youth Services.
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It’s almost that time of year again… Summer! Which means that our library Youth departments are busy planning our Summer Reading Club programs. We are very excited about this year’s theme, FIZZ, BOOM, READ! Activities for kids at our local CCLD branches, include: Science Experiments (have you ever made elephant toothpaste?), Exploration of Space, Visits from the Science and Discovery Center, Fun with the 5 senses, Puppet and Dinosaur shows, and so much more.  Best of all, our programs are completely FREE! Sign ups start June 30, either online at www.ccld.lib.ny.us or stop in at your local branch. Once you sign up and start reading, remember to stop in weekly at your local branch for prizes and the club event of the week. All readers who enter the club and report their progress either online or at the library, will be invited to an end of Summer Reading Club party at Eldridge Park, sponsored by the Friends of CCLD. Parents, remember this is a great way to get your child to keep reading over the summer months, and avoid the “summer slump” or loss of reading skills. For the tweens (9-13 years) out there, we will be offering a six week theatre camp, on Wednesday evenings starting July 2 from 6:30-8:00 pm. Registration is required for this program, please call 733-9174 to sign up. There will also be separate reading programs and plenty of events for teens and adults. Here are some great recommendations for science-y reading fun for kids, available through our CCLD libraries:

Boy and Bot by Ame Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino

Citizen Scientist: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery in your own Backyard by Lorie Griffin Burns and Ellen Harasimowicz

Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss

Crazy Concoctions: A Mad Scientist’s Guide to Messy Mixtures by Jordan D. Brown and Anthony Owlsley

The Secret Science Project that Almost Ate the School by Judy Sierra

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Central (Steele) Library, CCLD

Wrapping up Summer at the Central Library August 19, 2013

Posted by ackermanj in Steele, Youth Services.
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We are wrapping up a summer full of fun, here at the Central Library! We had 157 kids enter our Summer Reading Club, and around 500 total attendees at our weekly Reading Club programs…well done kids. Congratulations on your reading efforts and way to eliminate that “brain drain” that can occur over the summer months (your teachers will be so proud!!)

As we look forward to fall and the return of our regular story times (check our website for days and times), we will be welcoming new storytellers here at the Central Library, so please come down and meet them and join them for fun stories, songs and flannel board fun.  We will also be doing a story time at the Thursday Wisner Farmer’s Market from 11:00-11:45 through the end of August.

We are having a family movie day on Wed. Aug. 28 at 2:00!  Come and view “Oz, The Great and Powerful” while enjoying a snack.  On Friday, Aug. 30, local author Maureen Wright will be here reading her great stories and she’ll bring along a craft for the kids…especially suited for ages 2-8. No registration is required for either event and both are free!

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Central Library, Elmira (CCLD)

Dig into Historical Fiction for Youth July 15, 2013

Posted by ackermanj in Recommendations, Steele, Youth Services.
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It was with interest that I read CCLD’s blog entry regarding historical fiction by Caroline Poppendeck. I completely agree with her praise of this genre and would like to further “dig” into it, by including favorite historical fiction for Youth.

Recently, a family approached me at the desk and were headed to Gettysburg to view the Civil War re-enactments, honoring the 150th Anniversary of this famous battle (the young boy reminded me that it was the biggest and bloodiest battle fought on U.S soil).  We headed to our large juvenile non-fiction Civil War section where there is a wealth of material to educate children; the juvenile fiction section is full of stories of this time in our American history as seen through the eyes of a child.

Here are some recommendations for Civil War reads:

A great picture book for the 3rd-4th grade level is Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco, based on a true story of a friendship between a young white Union soldier and a young black Union soldier; it is powerful and heart wrenching.

Chapter book selections for those in Grades 3-6 include the following series:  My America, Dear America, and American Girl. Good choices for Grades 5 and up, include Will at the Battle of Gettysburg by Laurie Caokhoven in the Boys of Wartime series which includes an appendix at the end on children’s roles during the Civil War, and The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, both hold real reader appeal, with loads of suspenseful action, as the boy narrators of the stories are torn between their glorious expectations of war and the cold reality of its’ cruelty and harshness.

A book written with some humor (a la Mark Twain) about this dark period of history, is The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick. Another Newbury Award Winning book is  Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt, about a boy who comes of age during the war years.

Ann Rinaldi is the author of many books  about the Civil War with girls as the main characters and they include: the suspenseful, An Acquaintance with Darkness, Come Juneteenth , My Vicksburg,  and Leigh Ann’s Civil War.

An audio book that we have at Central that is great to listen to as you travel to Gettysburg, or anyplace on your summer travels, is Don’t Know Much About the Civil War, by Kenneth C. Davis, this tells the human side of this war with humor and tenderness, as well as describing  the battles and tactics of this war in a whole new light…informative and interesting listening for Grades 7 and up. All of these titles are available at the Central Branch (CCLD).

Janet Ackerman
Head of Youth Services
Central Library, Elmira (CCLD)

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