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Elephant and Piggie promote literacy
Gerald and his pal Piggie will leap from the pages of the popular Mo Willems books to take part in Family Literacy Day at the Vernon library Jan. 25.
The fictional friends will be the stars of a black light show at the library, just part of the fun that youth services librarian Stephanie Vollick has organized for the big day.
“We’ll start with storytime at 10 a.m., earlier than usual so that people can also take part in Soup and Stories at the science centre on the same day,” she said. “We want people to be able to do both.”
Library storytime will run until 10:30 a.m., and is followed by a TumbleBook demonstration from 10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of animated, talking picture books which teach children the joys of reading.
“TumbleBooks are picture books with animation,” said Vollick. “The words are highlighted for them and they have to read along. It’s great because they are learning to read and it tricks them into thinking they are watching a movie but they are actually reading.”
The Elephant and Piggie Party is next from 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. The black light show will be done by Vollick and children’s librarian Judy Bartosch, who has hand-crafted the puppets used in the popular shows.
The show will be followed by crafts, and all participants will get a piggie nose to wear.
“We’ll also have a photo booth where kids can pose with Gerald,” said Vollick, adding that while the event is geared to children from kindergarten to Grade 3, all ages are welcome.
Every event that kids attend during Family Literacy Day gives them the chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Bookland.
“We have also been collecting books for the Junction Literacy Centre as part of Heap the Honda, and we’ve already filled it twice,” said Vollick. “They are distributed to children who might not otherwise have their own books.
“It’s wonderful to borrow books from the library, but it’s very special for a child to be able to have their own books.”
The library has also implemented a give-and-take shelf in the teen section, where young readers can pick up some new reading material and leave what they don’t need.
“I’ve noticed a few people who have left Archie and super hero comics, so it’s become quite popular.”
Meanwhile, Christmas break may have just ended but Vollick is already looking ahead to spring break, with a full roster of activities planned for the two-week holiday.
All events take place at 1 p.m. and are free and drop-in. First up on March 17 is magician Leif David.
“He is wonderful, as he works literacy into his show and really connects it to the library.”
March 18 is How to Train Your Dragon, where kids can watch the popular movie and make a craft based on the film.
March 19 the film Coraline will be shown and March 20 it’s a princess party with staff from Dream Party Productions in Vernon.
“They are fabulous and have the most beautiful costumes. They will read stories dressed as characters from fairy tales and will do fun things like give etiquette lessons and how to be a princess.”
The princess party is for ages four to seven, but Vollick said other ages are welcome.
And March 21 brings Tipi Talks, with a First Nations storyteller, puppets and an actual teepee set up in the downstairs meeting room.
It’s a Pirate Party on March 25, again with Dream Party Productions and their own “Jack Sparrow,” with kids enjoying games and stories.
“We’ll have lots of pirate books to enjoy for that one.”
Dr. Seuss’ popular Horton Hears a Who is the theme for March 27, with an elephant craft and a showing of the movie.
“I get lots of inspiration from other librarians and lots of ideas from Pinterest,” said Vollick. “And if you go to Mo Willems’ Web site, he actually tells librarians to feel free to take any ideas they like.”
Spring break fun at the library wraps up March 28 with Harry Potter starring in a Jeopardy style trivia contest.
“I’ve got buzzers for the kids to use, and lots of fun questions.”
For Vollick, who has been at the branch for two years, all of the events are aimed at one thing: exposing children to the joys of books.
“I had one little girl who came in with her mom the other day and she said, wide-eyed, ‘this is the place with the books,’ she had been wanting to go to the library and she was just so excited.
“Or when Judy and I give school tours and we’ll see those same kids come back with their dad and show them around; they take pride and ownership in the library.
“Kids see me at the grocery store and run up and give me a big hug. It’s wonderful.”
For more information on Family Literacy Day events or spring break fun, call 250-542-7610, ext. 6829 or see www.orl.bc.ca/branches/vernon