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Out of School Learning Experience April 21, 2014

Posted by patchettd in Community, Programs, West Elmira.
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I ate my first Kumquat the other day. At least, as far as I can remember, I had never eaten a kumquat before. I did not know that it is necessary to roll the kumquat gently in my hands for a few seconds before eating, as that makes the skin sweeter. I would not have known to eat the skin with the fruit (the sweetness of the skin balances the tartness of the fruit). I would not have known that I like kumquats if I had not been at the library.

I heard a phrase the other day: “Out of school learning experience”. The more I have thought about that phrase, the more I see the value of programs at our public libraries. These programs reach across all age groups, genders, and interest areas. The day the kumquats came to the library, a chief from Wegmans (we appreciate our community partners!) came to teach a home school group about some fruits that are a little out of the ordinary. He brought several, including star fruit and pomegranates, and gave each child the opportunity to taste, comment, and ask questions. Many of the parents and caregivers joined in, as did the volunteers who were helping with the program. Other patrons who visited the library that day asked that we hold another session for adults.

We are very fortunate that there are many places families can take children for an out of school learning experience in our community, especially now that the weather is improving. Did you know you can rent snowshoes and kites at Tanglewood? Did you know that Letchworth State Park sends their calendar to our libraries, listing their interpretive programs? Did you know that the theme of this summer’s Summer Reading Club is science based? The Chemung County Library District staff is now busy planning programs and projects for the summer that will engage your child in fun, active learning experiences. Though many of you already know this, there are still some local residents who need to discover what is going on at our libraries. You may find that you too like kumquats!

Dianne Patchett
Branch Manager
West Elmira Library

Wintertime Fun at West Elmira March 26, 2012

Posted by woodardr1 in West Elmira.
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Home-Schoolers Session

GardeningThe Home-schoolers group meets every Wednesday morning from 11 to 11:30 AM.  We have a group of around 15 lovely kids from 3 – 12 years of age who enjoy the sessions every week. The subjects for these sessions range from entertaining to educational – including literature, Science/Math and social topics like organic farming.  Our Valentine’s day special was a great hit with stories, games and stickers (Thanks to one of our parents who sweetened the session with their homemade Valentine’s day cupcakes!).  The following week our group had a unique experience meeting and interacting with Elmira’s own Mark Twain! – Mr. Jim Ketcham who does an excellent Mark Twain impersonation made this possible and enabled the kids to learn about the great American author’s life and stories.

Joe Pascarelli at WestOn March 7th we introduced our Homeschooler group to organic farming, teaching them about healthy eating and having them learn about different vegetables and fruits that can be included in their everyday diet. The children also had a lot of fun doing some “hands-on” gardening by planting a seed. Getting their hands dirty and planting their own personal seed which they could take home and care for was a great teaching moment. Weather-man special at West Elmira – Mr. Joe Pasquarelli from WETM news 18 conducted a 30 min session for the home-schoolers. It was a lively and an interactive session with kids actively participating and asking question to learn all about weather – rain, hail, snow and everything in between.

For more information on the upcoming session please call Ms. Ahnece at West Elmira library at 607-733-0541 or visit us at http://www.ccld.lib.ny.us/elmira_west.htm.

Storytime – Toddlers, Pre-schoolers and the Whole Family

Lady BugToddler Storytime (Tuesdays 10:30 – 11AM) and Pre-schoolers Storytime (Thursday 10:30 – 11 AM) at West Elmira library is fun time for kids! Recently we had a puppet show – “Mrs. McPuppet” which was a roaring success. Lady bug visited the Storytime kids as well as students at Hendy Creek Elementary school to teach them about self-empowerment. We have a lot more planned for Spring. Stop in for lots of fun, games, scarves and stickers. And we have a special Monday night story time for the whole family. At the end of each story time session we conduct a “Silly dance contest” and winners get prizes. So make sure to stop by next Monday to win some goodies!!

Giving Back to the Community – Blankets and Bunting by West Craft Group

The members of West Craft group made beautiful bereavement buntings and blankets for Arnot’s neonatal/perinatal care. Their work was so well appreciated that they now have a fresh request for smaller and shorter blankets! Anyone interested in participating in the making of these blankets can contact Mrs. Mary Louise Fisher at West Elmira library for more details.

Upcoming events @ West Elmira Library

  • Spring basket making workshop for adults – March 24, 9 AM – 12 PM
  • Furry friends program – April 2nd, 6:15-6:45 PM, for all ages. Local SPCA will be at the West Elmira library with a furry friend or two and gives us tips on how to care for and love these special creatures.
  • Children’s book week – May 7th – 12th. Button bookmark and bracelet craft for kids on Monday, May 7. Kids have a choice of gifting either the bracelet or the bookmark they made during the craft session for their mom at Tea party to be held on May 12.

Only at West Elmira

Classic literature on CD’s – Only at West Elmira Library. Stop by to pick some for your next road trip!

Rajee Mani
Volunteer for West Elmira Library

West Elmira – Check Your E-Mail & Check Out This Book! June 14, 2011

Posted by woodardr1 in Recommendations, West Elmira, Youth Services.
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West Elmira LibraryWest Elmira Library has been successfully set up to email notices.   We now send notification of patron holds to their email.  Also, we are sending courtesy notices to notify a patron that they have something coming due in three days.  Don’t forget to check your email!


How often are we looking for a meaningful way to explain death to our young children?

I believe I have found a wonderful resource:

Water Bugs and Dragonflies:  Explaining Death to Young Children   by Doris Stickney

Water Bugs and DragonfliesThe author has adapted a fable about a water bug that changes into a dragonfly.  The full color edition features delightful illustrations by artist Robyn Henderson Nordstrom of Cleveland, Ohio.

It begins with a colony of water bugs.  Every once in a while one seems to lose interest and clings to a pond lily, gradually moving out of sight and is seen no more.  Her friends wait, but she never returns.

The group would say “That’s funny!  Wasn’t she happy here?  Where do you suppose she went?”   No one had the answer.

The leader in the colony suggests that the next one who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell everyone where he/she went and why.   Everyone agrees.

The group leader then finds himself climbing up the lily stalk – and his body changes; he loves his new form for he is now able to fly, and yet still be close to his friends, for he is right above them! However, he finds he is unable to keep the promise of coming back.  His new form will not allow him to go underwater. He knows now that his friends will have to see for themselves what happens, and he will greet them at that time – and he flies away, filled with lightness and happiness!

This book is a beautiful gift for those experiencing loss.

Rose Woodard & Pamela Lee
West Elmira Library

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