Monthly Archives: May 2013

Summer Readers Write: encouraging your kids to write this summer


You probably already know that one of the main goals of any summer reading program is to keep your child reading over the summer so that they will avoid the dreaded “summer slide” effect.  (While it might sound like a fun ride to go on in the summertime, “summer slide” couldn’t be more un-fun–it means losing the reading level they worked so hard to attain in school!)  Anyway, I don’t think it is much of a leap to conclude that “summer slide” could also apply to writing skills.  That’s why we are starting our eighth year of the Summer Readers Write project.  We ask for kids to write and/or illustrate their own stories, then we compile them into a book and give a copy to each participating child.  Here is last year’s book:

005We had the kids autograph the library’s copies, then we cataloged them and they now circulate with the rest of the library’s collection.  When I was a kid, it basically would have been my dream come true to walk into my library and see a book with MY story and MY autograph in it!







So this year, we are expanding this already pretty awesome project.  For this year’s participants, we are excited to offer an Authors’ Reception at each of our four branches.  (The Authors’ Reception is where participants share their work with each other and receive a free copy of the book.)  Plus, we will be offering writing workshops at each branch during the first two weeks of June.  At the writing workshops, we will be providing materials and inspiration for our young authors and illustrators.   The workshops will be immediately following the Chehaw visit at each branch, as follows:

Weds, 6/5 at the Smithville Library 4:30 p.m.

Thurs, 6/6 at the Oakland Library 11:00 a.m.

Mon, 6/11 at the Leesburg Library at 12:00 p.m.

Thurs, 6/13 at the Redbone Library at 4:00 p.m.

I also wanted to let you all know about a great resource I stumbled upon today.  I started out looking at This Reading Mama’s post on How to Motivate Your Child to Write.  In that post, she recommends gathering some fun supplies together into a kit to make sure that your child has everything he or she needs to get excited about writing.  (By the way, this is something that my daughter’s most excellent pre-k teacher suggested doing this summer to prepare for kindergarten, so I will be doing it soon!)  Anyway, in the post I noticed a link to another post about a printable spelling dictionary for kids.  Basically, it’s a free printable that allows the child to record words himself into a resource that he can refer back to.  BRILLIANT!  I printed out the version for pre-k through 1st grade, but there is also a version available for grades 1-3.

Summer Readers Write, workshops, and Authors’ Receptions are all sponsored by Lee County Library and are free and open to the public.  For more information call 759-2369.


Dig Into Reading–Week 1


DIG into Reading LogoSummer reading has officially begun!  Calendars and reading logs are available at each of our four branches.  This year’s theme is “Dig Into Reading”, so we will be exploring different aspects of digging for six weeks of programming.









We have a lot of great things coming up next week!

Monday, 6/3 at the Leesburg Library:  Rubber Ducky Club (10:00 a.m., Ages 0 to prekindergarten)

Tuesday, 6/4 at the Leesburg Library:  Dino Camp.  Come measure your foot against a T. Rex footprint, excavate and classify baby dinosaurs, construct your own dinosaur skeleton, and make fossils.  (10:00 a.m. for Daycares, 11:00 a.m. general audience)

Tuesday, 6/4 at the Leesburg Library:  Instant Replay Trivia for Teens and pet rock creation station (4:00 p.m., Ages 12 and up)

Wednesday, 6/5 at the Smithville Library:  Chehaw Presents diggers and burrowers.  (3:30 p.m.); Writer’s Workshop immediately following

Thursday, 6/6 at the Oakland Library:  Chehaw Presents diggers and burrowers (10:00 a.m.); Writer’s Workshop immediately following

Thursday, 6/6 at the Redbone Library:  Dino Camp (3:00 p.m.)

Friday, 6/7 at Oakland Library:  Rubber Ducky Club (10:00 a.m., Ages 0 to prekindergarten)

All events are sponsored by the Lee County Library and are free and open to the public.  For more information, call 759-2369.

We Love Clifford!


Clifford and houseThe Oakland Library got a visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog on Monday!  We had a great time!  We did a storytime first, then we called for Clifford and he came out for a visit and photos!









Opening rhyme:  This is Big, Big, Big (Mel’s Desk)

photoFlannelboard:  Clifford, Clifford, where is your bone?  Clifford LOVES dog bones, but his is missing!  We looked behind each dog house to see if we could find it.  “Clifford, Clifford, where is your bone?  Did someone put it in your [green] home?”  Behind the green doghouse was a plant.  Can Clifford eat that?  No!  It’s yucky, and it might hurt him!  Finally we found the bone behind the white doghouse!







Book: Clifford the Big Red Dog, by Norman Bridwell

007Flannelboard Song: BINGO








Book:  Clifford Goes to Dog School, by Norman Bridwell

Game:  Obedience School/Clifford Says.  We played this like Simon Says, but acting like dogs–Clifford said to bark and wag our tails!

Since Clifford has been to obedience school before, he came right away when we called him!  He loved posing with the doghouse that we made for him!  (see picture above).  We took turns visiting with Clifford and making our craft:

Clifford craft







Clifford maskThis Clifford mask is a paper plate with the middle cut out.  My wonderful teen volunteer helped me by cutting the middles out of paper plates, as well as cutting out ears and noses ahead of time.  This was a huge timesaver, which was great because this event was very well attended!  The kids were invited to choose a color for their paper plate and glue on the ears and nose.  I got the idea for using a paper plate here.