Sep 11, 2020

Reading on the Rails & A Glimpse at Fall

All aboard! Get your ticket to ride the 1,000 Books train at the Library. That's right folks, we've made some exciting changes to our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program. We're talking new prizes and activity ideas for your little ones, a swag bag for caregivers, the Beanstack app, and train cars in the Children's Department that will feature your young readers' names as they progress through the program. Check out the details below: 

What is 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten? 
The idea is simple: Read 1,000 books with your child before they enter kindergarten. Reading 1,000 books together may seem intimidating, but think of this: If you read just one book together each night, you will have read 365 books in one year. In two years, you will read 730. In three years, you will read 1,095 books! 

Research shows that the more children are read to, the larger their vocabularies become and the more prepared they are to begin school. Reading together also encourages children to recognize reading as an enjoyable, valuable experience, and to become lifelong readers. So take the time to share books and stories, sing songs, say nursery rhymes, engage in one on one play, and attend Library programs. You'll be reading 1,000 books before you know it, and creating memories moment by moment.

Who can participate? How does it work? 
Any child from birth until he or she enters kindergarten may participate in the program. New to the program is the Beanstack app! Download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and create an account. Select the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge and register your child as the reader. Select books for your child and log your reading in the Beanstack app. Paper reading logs are still available at the Children's Desk. 

Count all books read to your child or by your child toward your total. Attending a storytime? Reading that Pete the Cat book over and over before bed? They all count! We would love to suggest books that meet your little one's age and interests so please ask us for suggestions. We're always adding new books to our collection too! As your child participates in the program, their name will be displayed on a special train ticket in the Children's Department, and will move from train car to train car with every 100 books they read.  

What are these prizes you're talking about? Did I hear swag bag? 
For every 100 books you read together, you will earn a badge in Beanstack and a prize at the Library. Prizes for your young readers include developmentally appropriate toys such as finger paint, bubbles, sensory balls, and storytime scarves, plus informational handouts full of activity ideas and early literacy tips. After reading 1,000 books together, you will receive a tote bag and a certificate of completion. Library staff will also snap a special photo of your child to share. 

At the end of every calendar year, parents who have completed the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program with their readers will be entered into a random drawing for swag bag. That's right, a prize just parents and caregivers. Our first drawing will be in just four months! Think you can read 1,000 books together before then? 

So what other exciting things are happening at the Library this fall? Read all about the upcoming fun here, and visit our Events Calendar to register. 

Dear Pen Pal: Experience the excitement of getting "Library mail" and making a new friend! Dear Pen Pal pairs children (up to 18) and seniors (60 or older) to exchange handwritten letters, cards, drawings, and more during the month of October. Registration runs September 14 through October 1. Fill out the registration form here so we can match you with a pen pal! 

Crafting Galore: On the second Tuesday of each month we will have Grab & Go Craft Kits available for children, teens, and adults. All kits contain the instructions and most supplies needed to make a beautiful creation centered around our monthly themes. September's theme is gardening and welcoming autumn, and October is all things spooky! September Grab & Go Kits will be available on September 15 starting at 4pm, and October Kits will be available on October 6 starting at 4pm while supplies last. In addition to these grab & go goodies, we will have different take-home craft kits in the Children's Department. Kits right now include the supplies and materials needed to make a whimsical garden chime. Get yours soon! They're going fast! 

Chalk the Walk: Calling all budding artists! We want you to decorate our sidewalk with your best chalk drawings. To ensure safe social distancing, we're asking that each family register for a one hour time slot and we'll assign sidewalk squares. Masks are still required for this outdoor program. We'll have chalk available or you can bring your own. Chalk the Walk time slots are available on October 5, 6, 8, and 9. 

Rainbow Readers: Spend some time with the amazing Miss Katie and explore techniques to prepare your child for reading. Miss Katie will break the process down into very simple activities you can do at home with minimal resources to ensure your child's reading success. This program is offered through Zoom on October 1, 8, 15, and 22. Please register with an email address to get the Zoom link!  

Homeschool Series, Art Appreciation: That's right, Miss Katie's Homeschool group is back in a virtual format, and boy oh boy does she have some messy, creative, and fun things planned! Explore famous artists, their quirks, their techniques, and their famous works of art. Art kits will be available to pick up so you can create your own masterpieces at home. This program is offered through Zoom on October 14, 21, and 28. Please register with an email address to get the Zoom link!

Wonder Book Club for All Ages: While COVID-19 may have changed the look of our Kindness Campaign, we still believe in human kindness and want to discuss Wonder by R.J. Palacio! Join us on Zoom for a lively and engaging discussion about Auggie Pullman and the struggles he endures as he tries to be seen as just another student. Copies of Wonder are available at the Library. Please register with an email address to get the Zoom link for the October 29 discussion!  

Gross Me Out Science Kits: Do you love all things slimy, stinky, gross and icky? Explore the science behind the yuck with our Gross Me Out Science Kits. Visit the Children's Department every week in October to pick up the materials and instructions needed to create a gross experiment. We want you to send pictures and videos of your experiments to so we can combine them all into one yucky video at the end of the month! 

It's the Great Pumpkin Decorating Contest: We're transforming the Children's Department into a massive pumpkin patch. Starting October 12, visit us to grab a pumpkin. Then decorate your pumpkin as one of your favorite book characters or with a fall theme. Paint it, dress it, accessorize it with feathers and glitter, but please do not carve it! Return your decorated pumpkin to the Library no later than October 23. Pumpkins will be displayed throughout the Library for voting. The winner will receive an awesome fall swag bag. We're all about the swag bags this year. 

Storytime at Home: The mystery box returns with Miss Katie starting October 6! Sing songs and enjoy great stories in the comfort of your home every Tuesday morning. Please register with an email address to get the Zoom link. 

Trail Tale: Miss Maggie will be debuting a new story at Sheldon Woods very soon. It's one of my favorites involving an adorable bunny, a secret trip to the library, and chilly days. Take a trek to the park to find out! If you're participating in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, don't forget to count it! 

We want to hear from you! We know things look a little different with the pandemic, but we still intend on providing you with the best resources. Do you have a virtual program you would like to see? A craft idea? Do you need help with homework or learning in the virtual classroom? Let us know at or by giving the Library a call at 440-926-3317.