You may have used my programs from past Summer Reading Collaborative Manuals, or from an article in Library Sparks.
JOANNE Similar to a garden, children’s programming has some very simple requirements. Creating a theme is the foundation to engaging programs with great results, just as rich soil yields beautiful plants. After the theme is identified, decide on the design - aka the book titles, authors, or subject of the program. Spice it up a bit; take a risk! Consider the children participating and try something new and different. Be patient with yourself and give the program time to happen. Relax and enjoy the event. Be the guide to the program, and let the children have the time to explore and discover during the event. Listen to the children as they participate; observe their enthusiasm. When the program is complete, take some time to reflect on the program design, and modify it if warranted.
LISA Read aloud program with chocolate s’mores and great read-aloud stories. Check with the elementary Media Specialist, and align with Language Arts themes at K-6 schools. This builds rapport and dialogue between you and the schools. Students at the schools can learn about your programs in the schools, and once the students know about your programs, you have built a strong patron base! I worked through the Central Office Administration at the schools to request that the library become a bus stop for students, especially on the days with after school library programs. This effort strongly increased student attendance because parents did not have to arrange after school transportation to the library. One phone conversation increased attendance dramatically!
LISA This is a great reader’s advisory program. You can have this as an active program, or a passive display.
LISA You can do this any time of year as an active program. If you’re looking for a passive program, create a bulletin board and voting ballot box in the children’s room.
JOANNE Invest in a long arm stapler (about $25.00 on amazon) if you will be doing this program on a regular basis. Choose your favorites to discuss and ask the children for their top five list.
JOANNE This is a great collaboration idea! Fundraiser idea: Have a silent auction for a special program after hours!
JOANNE Check out the official website for more information and ideas: http://storymobs.ca/
LISA It maybe impossible to check out to individual children. Instead, check out books to the Parks and Rec Department. If you’re worried about losing books, use donations and bring paperbacks uncataloged.
JOANNE Other libraries around the country have done similar programs called “Story Trails” and “Story Walks.”
LISA I have detailed instructions complete with Bingo Cards and Power Point presentations on my blog.
LISA You can choose a theme or story to ask families to come in costume. (You can see us as a Lego and a Bedtime Fairy, and Professor McGonagall and the Fat Lady from Harry Potter.) In other years we’ve dressed as the Hungry Caterpillar and Pete the Cat. Pinterest is a great way to see homemade book costumes!
JOANNE Children love Bingo, we use it year round for activities.
JOANNE A great way to make book resolutions!
LISA We’ve been working together for 10 years, collaborating in different ways. Invite each other to staff meetings to be informed. If in person meetings isn’t possible, email a summary.
LISA Work together at after hours events to promote yourselves and your collaboration! Attend preschool open houses, preschool graduations, school plays, etc.
Shaia and Moore: 12 Months of Children's Programming
12 MONTHS OF
K-6 LIBRARY PROGRAMS THAT NURTURE CHILDREN
TO THRIVE AND GROW!
WHERE TO FIND IDEAS
• What’s circulating well?
• What are the children constantly asking for?
• Sometimes I browse the bookstore for series and
titles that I missed along the way. That will spark
• Thrive Thursday: School age blog hop
• Tiny Tips for Library Fun
• Bryce Don’t Play
• The Show Me Librarian
• Thrive After Three (Lisa’s blog)
AGES & TIMES & DAYS
• What age group already uses the library?
• If you expand into different age groups will the work
and money be worth it?
• Is it naturally busy a certain day / time?
• Saturday or Not to Saturday?
• Do children come when there’s no school, or do
they stay home?
• Can you get the library added as a bus stop for
program days? (see thriveafterthree.com for details)
• Half-Day Programs / Professional Development Days
for all the gritty details
• What are your goals for your department?
• Expand programs
• Increase circulation
• What are your goals for the children?
• To create lifelong readers
• To have children explore different topics
• To expand what children learn in school / complement
• What are the goals of the program?
• By the end of this program you will be able to…
• By the end of this series you will be able to…
WAYS TO COLLABORATE
• Find one partner
• Don’t be overwhelmed by trying to partner up with every
school or organization in your district! There’s not enough
• Flesh out a calendar year together
• Pencil in important dates together
• Plan programs together
• Involve each other in your summer reading, book fairs, etc.
• If programming together is out, match displays
SETUP A CALENDAR
• Setup a yearly calendar
• Include all important dates:
• School vacation weeks
• Half days for conferences
• Professional development days
• Special programs at library
• One Book program
• Book Fair dates
• Library fundraisers
• Summer reading
• School testing dates
• Time change weeks
PROGRAMMING IS SIMILAR TO
CREATING A GARDEN
Perennials and annuals
Urns and statuary
Time to grow
Classics and new/popular
JANUARY: BOOKS AND S’MORES
•Read aloud program
•No-bake, peanut-free snack
•Align with Language Arts theme
to build rapport with schools
Cookies & Classics
Milk & Cookies
Books & Cocoa
FEBRUARY: MYSTERY PLAY-DATE
WITH A BOOK
•Gift wrap books by age range/grade level
•If You Like____, Then You’ll Love This!
•Use before school breaks
MARCH: BATTLE OF THE BOOKS
•Meet 5x during the month of March
•Read two books aloud at first 4 meetings
•Have extra copies of each book and place children in
teams to look over each title
•Vote on the best book at first 4 meetings
meeting: Read 4 books aloud and have extra
•Vote for Best Book
•Publicize the winner so children
feel a sense of “ownership”
APRIL: AWARD WINNING BOOKS
•Examine artists’ and authors’ style and discuss
•Craft your own book with construction paper, book
•Use “school supplies”: crayons, markers, colored
pencils, scissors, tissue paper, clean out your supply
•Stamp a seal on the front cover
•Have children write and illustrate their
very own book
•Circulate the collection
MAY: SCREEN-FREE WEEK
•Develop a script, with narration,
characters to role play, and lines to
perform. Encourage outdoor
performances to promote a traditional
•Play “Not a Box”: bring in shoe boxes,
book boxes and have the children
create their own Not a Box.
•Collaborate with Historical Society to
play “Old Time Games.”
JUNE: STORY MOB
•Choose a story and
create a Story Mob
(variation of a Flash
to go with the story
•Book Ideas: Are You a
Horse? Where is the
Green Sheep? Mo
Willems’ Pigeon and
Elephant & Piggie Books
JULY: BOOK MOBILE
•Take the library to the children
•Circulate books to the local Parks
and Rec Department/Summer
Camp/Boys and Girls Club/YMCA
•Create cards for the Group
•Bring box/milk crate for
•Refill once a week if possible
•Leave library card applications
•Place library bookmarks in each
AUGUST: STORY HIKE
•Stake each page of a picture book
and place stakes 50 feet apart to
create a “Book Hike”
•Collaborate with local nature center
•Use as an End of Summer Reading
event or Family Day Event
•Book Ideas: Tap the Magic Tree,
Press Here, Wiggle, Stretch, From
Head to Toe, Don’t Push the Button
SEPTEMBER: PAGE TO SCREEN
•Read picture book aloud
•Create Bingo Cards with words and
phrases from the book and movie
•Create a PowerPoint to reveal the
words and phrases
•Book Ideas: Night at the Museum,
Jumanji, Shrek, Babar, Where the
Wild Things Are, Cloudy with a
Chance of Meatballs, Meet the
Robinsons, Epic, Madeline, Curious
George, Ant Bully, Hachiko
OCTOBER: LITERACY PARADE
•Choose a literary theme
•Great fundraiser idea!
•Indoor costume Trick or Treat parade held at school.
NOVEMBER: PICTURE BOOK
•Picture book covers
•Parts of a book
•Theme: Fancy Nancy, Magic
Tree House, Mercy Watson
•Award BINGO prizes related to
•You can even dress up as you
host the BINGO program.
DECEMBER: HAPPY NOON
•Crafts: hats, streamers, and if you’re really brave,
confetti?! HINT – stay in one confined space for this one!
•Talk about, plan, and commit to New Year’s
resolutions, such as I will read a book a week or I will
visit the library every week.
•Create a Word of the Year
•Check in with children; send them
a postcard if you haven’t seen them
in a while. After all, everyone loves
to be remembered and appreciated!
OTHER IDEAS FOR
• School Media Specialists
• Parent Teacher Organization (PTO/PTA)
• Parks and Recreation Department
• Historical Society
• Local Museum
• Boys and Girls Clubs
• Community Center
TV SHOW / YOU TUBE CHANNEL
Weekly program for storytelling and reading picture books.
We’re popular with the young and the elderly.
Kindergarten Social: Just before school begins, invite the School Media
Specialist to a one-hour morning “Social,” so students learn the name(s) of
some of the most important school personnel!
Ready, Set, Grow! : Conduct a series of programs for pre-K students and their
parents to prepare them for Kindergarten. Offer modeling sessions of reading
aloud, and have craft ideas for fine motor skills.
IN THE COMMUNITY
We were asked to be special guest judges at the yearly pie contest.
• Auction your dynamic duo off to appear at events.
• Do a private storytime.
• Choose a book and do an after hours party
around it. (Snowmen at Night)
• Pajama Storytime
• Books & Boogie
Reach Lisa Shaia at:
In depth program ideas will
be posted on the blog.
Reach Joanne Moore at:
We hope you enjoyed our webinar, and we hope that
you are inspired to try new programs.
We want to emphasize that collaboration and a focus
on the mission and goals of our work are our guides to
We love to share and promote children’s programs
and hope to talk with you again!
All the best,
Lisa and Joanne
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