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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

Non-fiction for kids and teens at the library July 16, 2012

Posted by poppendeckc in Youth Services.
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When was the last time you checked out the library’s children’s collection of non-fiction?

Our collection covers a vast array of subjects and current events at reading levels for varying ages – from kindergarteners to high schoolers.  Juvenile non-fiction includes EVERYTHING from biographies, crafts, cultures and folktales, gardening, poetry to recipes, sports, and even world records!

Non-fiction also encompasses the facts on creatures with which we coexist, from domestic to wild and even the prehistoric varieties.  Ever curious about an otter’s life? Or how long tortoises really live (and where) or what colors dinosaurs were? Non-fiction fascinates us with theories of the galaxy, the universe, the forming of the oceans, the world of insects, and infinite possibilities from many realms!

Non-fiction contains history, biographies of heroes and fiends, poetry for all reasons.  It is rich with cultural resources to help us understand our neighbors in the world both past and present. So much knowledge is custom-packaged for kids of all ages in the juvenile section.

The library also has a specialized non-fiction collection for teens and young adults. This collection has a juvenile rating, but covers multiple subjects with a greater sophistication. The subjects featured are more advanced, encompassing subjects such as tattoos, acting/playwriting, eating disorders, fashion through the decades, art, and mythology.

Come explore our world through the rows of non-fiction books available at your local library branch, and begin your virtual tour of so many worlds!

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
Head of Youth Services
Steele Memorial Library

Happy 4th of July! June 29, 2012

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On Wednesday July 4th we will celebrate America’s birthday. Some of my earliest memories are the flags flying on front porches and the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers sizzling on backyard grills. The traditions continue today with fireworks, great food, and fun with friends and family. Some people have even switched from imported to American beer in honor of this national holiday. This year I’d like to suggest a new tradition- how about celebrating the freedom of this great nation by showing your freedom to read?

It’s not so far-fetched when you think about it. The Founding Fathers of this country were well-educated people who knew the importance of books, libraries and reading. For example, Benjamin Franklin is among the most unique of our statesmen. His work as a writer, printer and publisher is obviously tied very closely to the mission of libraries.

In 1800 legislation was signed by President John Adams that provided not only for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington, but also for the establishment of a reference library for Congress only, containing “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress – and for putting up a suitable apartment for containing them therein….” The original library was housed in the new Capitol until August 1814, when invading British troops set fire to the Capitol Building, burning and pillaging the contents of the small library. In 1815, the government, knowing that the Congress of that time and its successors would need access to information, accepted Thomas Jefferson’s offer of his personal library of 6,487 books as a replacement and it became the core around which the Library of Congress was formed.

In order to help you continue the celebration, the Library is offering two reading programs for patrons this summer. We are continuing our popular summer reading program for children, this year’s theme is “Dream Big. READ!” New this year is our first annual adult summer reading program. This year’s theme is “Between the Covers.” Each week we will have a variety of special events at our branches so make sure you check our calendar.

I hope you enjoy your holiday but I would like to ask one last thing. During your party stop for a moment and reflect on the true meaning of what July 4th symbolizes. Ours is the greatest nation on earth and we have our freedom due to the sacrifice of many men and women. No fact is more worthy of our celebration.

Reading – Then and Now June 25, 2012

Posted by poppendeckc in Youth Services.
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The Youth Services staff enjoyed a lively conversation in regards to our favorite books as children. Some of the series we favored were: Donna Parker, Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, The Dana Girls.  Once upon a time, parents dreaded the steady diet of what they considered unworthy volumes of “tripe” their children were enamored with, and preferred they would pick up literary classics like, Gulliver’s Travels, Treasure Island, or Little Women.

We, on the other hand, consumed our favorites with relish, some of us admitting to reading favorite volumes over and over. We couldn’t get enough of the mystery, humor, beloved or hated characters, and the overall familiarity these books presented to us. Classics? Not interested.

You know what? We had it right. The lure of our favorite “tripe” expanded our worlds, introduced us to language both written and spoken, sated our hunger for knowledge and at the same time, made us hungry for more. Book lovers were born of these disrespected volumes, paving the way of our lifelong love of learning.

Literacy experts now base great value on reading – anything – as long as the skill is developed, practiced, and strives for mastery. Comic books, cereal boxes, games of any kind which include vocabulary are encouraged for honing reading skills and interest in the written word. So much research has been done showing early literacy sets the tone for overall learning throughout life, that no path can be overlooked if it builds reading skills.

So, outlooks have changed, but the true barometer for promoting literacy is to locate what a child finds appealing, then let them loose on it, to develop a long-term relationship with books and reading. And if you are not sure what they may like, most of our libraries have some Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew series books on our shelves…

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
Head of Youth Services
Steele Memorial Library

Benjamin Franklin, Libraries, and Literacy as Social Power January 31, 2011

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Benjamin FranklinThis winter I am teaching an American literature course that covers the period from the 17th to the mid-19th centuries:  I offer one survey course each term at Elmira College.  This first course in a three-course sequence introduces students to what might be called with “beginnings” of American literature.  We begin with the alien voices of the Puritans, especially William Bradford, John Winthrop, and Anne Bradstreet (they are alien because of their style but even more so for their lessons), and move quickly to the odd couple of Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin.  Contemporaries, both offer a high contrast as they practice the Puritan “exemplum,” a literary form that is meant to give readers an example of appropriate belief and behavior.  For Edwards, whose personal narrative and sermons aim at bringing readers to embrace the sovereign power of God, literacy meant a familiarity with the Bible, especially the Old Testament.  Franklin, on the other hand, was more interested in how human beings become responsible for each other and for their own understanding of morality.  In a classic battle of worldviews, these two writers set the tone for the debates leading into the 18th century Enlightenment.

In the section of his autobiography that Franklin composed in 1784, he focused on his regimen of moral instruction and development.  He lists 13 characteristics that he worked to achieve, but he emphasizes the values of temperance and humility (of humility he simply states that he will try to “imitate Jesus and Socrates” – he also has the self-awareness to say that if he ever was to gain humility, he would, no doubt, be proud of being humble).  This ties to his description of his founding of the first lending library in Philadelphia in the 1730s and his description of its influence over both the society and, perhaps more so, on individual borrowers.  Of all Franklin’s accomplishments, he seems to celebrate heartily the starting of the library.  This is an extension of the tales from the first part of the autobiography, which he wrote for his son (at first) as an example of what it means to be “self-made.”  That first section, penned in 1771 told a variety of stories focusing on books and literacy as tools to gain social and economic power.

Throughout both early sections of his story (there are four parts in all), Franklin describes how books and reading became valuable to him because those in power (even a colony’s governor, for example) treated him as worth knowing either because he owned books or had a reputation as a reader.  He describes how Sundays became his day for uninterrupted study (replacing public worship with private reading – Edwards would be shocked); he tells of his self-education as a reader and writer as he uses borrowed books to hone his skills and rhetorical ability; he tells of being welcomed into Philadelphia’s business community because of the knowledge he gains through reading.  No doubt his early experiences as a seeker of books and a reader of all kinds of material (which started, he tells us, with John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress – its metaphor of the journey certainly influenced Franklin’s telling of his life’s story) made him more conscious of the need to make books available to a wider community.

Our libraries have grown from Franklin’s early creation (though the penalties for late returns are much less a challenge for us today than at a time when books were imported from England and were tremendously expensive).  I wonder, though, what he would think of how nonchalant we are when it comes to books and reading.  My students, for example, find it difficult to think of a time when they could not read.  They are also not always as curious or as accepting of the value of reading (and writing) as Franklin.  We seem today to be much less aware of the power that literacy gives and assures (in the mid-19th century teaching a slave to read was often held a capitol crime – think of Frederick Douglass’ tale of reading and writing as an extension of Franklin’s).  In an age of quick access to books (or other media), we are myopic when it comes to the worth of reading and writing.  Even when we admit that literacy can offer economic value, we seem less interested in celebrating reading and writing as a means to gain self-worth.  I wonder, in the end, whether the ubiquitous book (or even e-books, websites, and blogs) manages to camouflage the importance of reading in our lives.  We take so much for granted.  And, especially (perhaps) libraries.  Franklin would not be happy with us.

Michael J. Kiskis
Leonard Tydings Grant Professor of American Literature
Elmira College
One Park Place
Elmira, NY  14901

New Tools For Early Literacy October 5, 2010

Posted by CCLD in District News, Youth Services.
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Recognizing that literacy opens the door to a lifetime of learning, the Friends Board approved the purchase of two items on the “Library Wish List” during the September meeting. Both items, presented by CCLD Director Ron Shaw, will support the library’s early literacy initiatives and will cost around $7500.

The first, TumbleBooks (http://www.tumblebooks.com/), is an online collection of animated, talking picture books that promote literacy. Picture books have long been used to teach kids the joy of reading in a format they love. TumbleBooks are created by adding animation, sound, music, and narration to existing picture books in order to produce an electronic picture book which a child can read, or have read to them.

The TumbleBook Library collection will be available online from every computer in the libraries with Internet connection, or from home through a direct link on the library website.

The second purchase will be two Early Literacy Stations (ELS) targeted for kids, pre-K through 4th grade, and grows and changes as the child ages. Each ELS includes 50 educational software programs that cover seven curricular areas such as social studies, science and math. The website is http://www.awe-net.com/els.asp.

According to Ron, literacy is “the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. We want our kids to be knowledgeable and educated because we know this will enrich their experience of the world and expand their opportunities for success. And now, thanks to this generous support given by the Friends, our children will have that opportunity.”

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