Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What Comes After Preschool Storytime?

Thanks to Jodi Bird of the Menomonie Public Library for another terrific guest post!

We all do story time for babies and preschoolers, but what happens when these kids start school and their parents say, “Now what?”  That’s when we began our After School Adventures story time.   Designed for 5-8 year olds, After School Adventures is a story time for older kids.  We read stories, play games and sometimes do a craft.  There are so many great picture books that are too long to read during preschool story time but are perfect for older children.  The only thing we don’t do at this story time is sing songs.  For whatever reason this particular group looked at me like I had two heads when I tried to sing songs with them!

After School Adventurers play balloon volleyball with balloons, paper plates and popsicle sticks...
After a while we knew the time was getting close for some of these kids to move on from After School Adventures.  Parents were again asking, “Now what?”  We had developed a faithful following and we wanted them to continue using the library.  Book Stew was developed for children ages 8-11 years old.  When we discussed with the kids how they wanted Book Stew run they said they didn’t want it to be like a regular book club where everyone reads the same book and then comes together to discuss it.  They wanted to be read to.  Yes, that’s right, read to.  They didn’t want to have to do anything but sit and listen.  Maybe this was the only down time they would have that day, maybe they weren’t being read to at home any more, but whatever the reason we thought,  "we can do that!"  Over the years this group has made a few changes.  Each new session the kids plug a book choice and then vote on what the upcoming book will be.  There are some days where the kids take turns reading or an audio version of the book is used and during our last session we purchased the e-book and the kids were able to use our Kindles.

The parents have appreciated our willingness to create programs to keep their children interested in the library and in the end we feel like we have gained lifelong library users. 

1 comment:

Marge Loch-Wouters said...

Way to grow a program! I love that adaptability.