Thank you to everyone who helped make our Summer Reading Program a huge success this year! A big part of our program relies on local businesses whose support makes it possible. We hope you enjoyed reading, shopping in the store, deciding which baskets to put your tickets in, and spending the gift cards you received in the Mystery Bags. Congratulations to all the basket winners!
September allows us to transition from the lazy days of summer to a more structured routine. Cooler days remind us that change is in the air. I can almost smell the scent of freshly picked apples and pumpkin spice! We hope you attend our drop-in storytimes beginning on Monday, September 18, at 10:30. There will be stories, songs, and a related craft. Storytime will continue through November 13, except for October 9, when the library is closed for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
This month’s Grab and Go craft will be available on Monday, September 11, with a Back to School Bingo game and snacks! This activity is appropriate for children ages four and older. We will have an additional Grab and Go available on Saturday, September 16, in conjunction with the Artwalk.
We look forward to seeing you – keep reading!
The Summer Reading Program is coming to a close this month. The last day to participate is Friday, August 4. You must have all your basket raffle tickets in by 5 pm on that day. Children who are participating in the ‘Little’s” program should collect their finishing prize by August 4. Thank you to all who participated to make this another successful summer!
We have a final Grab and Go available on August 3 for children ages 3-8. Have fun making a plant head, and watch the” hair” grow!
Chess lessons are being taught on Thursday, August 7 from 2:30-4:00 for children ages 10-12. Space is limited – click here to register.
July means that our Summer Reading Program is in full swing! It’s not too late to join in the fun, earn books bucks, and raffle tickets. Click here to register. The program runs through August 4.
We are offering Grab & Go bags on Thursdays through August 3. Please check the website to find out what the craft is and the appropriate ages for each activity.
We have Ed Pop, a magician and balloon sculptor joining us for a performance on Tuesday, July 11 at 1:00. This show is best suited for children ages three and older. Please call the library at 860-535-0658, or come in to register.
Roxanne Steed will be here on Wednesday, July 19 at 4:00 to teach a watercolor painting class for people ages 12 – adult. Registration for this program opens on Friday, July 7.
A henna artist will be here on Tuesday, July 25 from 2:30-4:30. This program is for ages 10 and up, and registration begins on Friday, July 14. Sign up for a time slot here to participate!
Drop-in storytimes are being held on Mondays at 10:30 for all ages. We will be outdoors in nice weather, and inside in the event of inclement weather.
We hope to see many of you at these events!
June means that Summer Reading is right around the corner, and we have lots of fun activities for all ages. Online registration begins on June 19. The library is closed that day to observe Juneteenth, but our online program allows you to register at home and start logging your reading as soon as you are registered. Click here to register. The program will run the same as last year and any questions you may have can be found by reviewing the letters and activity calendar below. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
To read the Littles letter, Click here
Read the Middles and Bigs – entering first grade – 11th-grade letter by clicking here.
Our calendar of activities is available here
Our June Grab and Go bags are available on Monday, June 5. We have paper dolls for you to color, cut, and play with. This activity is for children ages 4 and up.
We will be offering Grab and Go activities each Thursday beginning June 22-August 3.
Drop-in story times will begin on Mondays at 10:30 beginning June 26th. We will hold these outdoors, so please bring a blanket to sit on. In the event of inclement weather, story time will be held indoors
We have a special drop-in story time with a local author Sarah Downie on Wednesday, June 21 at 4:30. Sarah will be reading her new book 1,2,3 The Castles I See. We hope to see you there!
Please check our flyers for program registration dates, age requirements, and times.
- Musical storytime and concert at the La Grua Center – June 23 at 5:30 pm.
- Mary Poppins sing-a-long registration begins on June 16 and must be done by calling the library at 860-535-0658 or coming by in person.
- To register for Reading with Rudy –Click Here
- Gnome houses registration begins on June 16 – Click Here
We look forward to seeing you this summer!
Spring is finally here, as evidenced by the tulips blooming all around our library grounds! May’s Grab and Go Activity is a flapping butterfly. These will be available on Monday, May 8th for ages 8 and up. Each kit will provide you with the materials needed to make a beautiful butterfly out of craft supplies. Speaking of butterflies, stop in this month to witness the metamorphosis of our Painted Lady caterpillars as they transform into butterflies. The process takes at least three weeks, so please come in frequently and have a look!
THE QUESTION OF THE MONTH IS BACK!! After a long hiatus, the popular raffle has made a return. Simply fill out a slip of paper with your name, age, phone number, and answer to the posted question. One winner will be chosen each month and they will receive a book of their choice. This activity is open to children ages 12 and under.
Drop-in Storytimes will continue at 10:30 on Monday mornings with the exception of May 1. Please join us.
Summer reading is right around the corner. Keep a watchful eye out for more information on our popular reading program. We have many activities that will be available to all age groups throughout the summer. Registration begins on Monday, June 19. Although the library will be closed that day in honor of Juneteenth, all signing up is done online with our software program Beanstack, which is available 24/7!
Spring is a harbinger of new life. Longer, warmer days encourage us to spend more time outdoors and offer the opportunity to try new things. Please “Spring” on over to the children’s room this month for a variety of activities.
Our Grab & Go will be available on Monday, April 3. We have stick puppets for you to make that go with the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. This activity is for children ages 7 and under. Try your hand at putting on your own theatrical production!
Drop in winter story time will end on Monday, April 3. We will have a one-week break and begin again on Monday, April 17, at 10:30. Story times are for all ages, so please join us for stories, songs, crafts, and friendship.
We will offer daily activities during spring vacation week – April 10-14. The schedule is as follows:
Monday, April 10: Unicorn story time at 3:00 for ages 4 and up.
Listen to some unicorn stories, make a craft, and have a special snack. Click here to register.
Tuesday, April 11: Come in and enjoy some Lego fun! This is a drop-in activity that will run all day.
Wednesday, April 12: Playdough day! Stop by and have some squishy fun – this will be available all day.
Thursday, April 13: Catapult building and launch competition contest at 3:00. This activity is for children ages 7 and up. Click here to register.
Friday, April 14: BINGO – join us at 2:00 for some BINGO fun and prizes! Ages 5 and up.
We hope to see some new and familiar faces at all our activities!
Welcome to the Children’s Room! My name is Cathy Taylor and I am the new Director of Youth Services. Joining me is Alyssa Downey and together we are hoping for a seamless transition of leadership and programs. We are both very excited to work together and with the library community.
March is Women’s History Month. Stop by and browse through some of our books on display that highlight the accomplishments of women throughout history. The Nutmeg book nominees are due to be released on March 15, so please keep a lookout for the new titles as they become available. We also have books celebrating St. Patrick’s day and Ramadan – a very busy month indeed!
Don’t forget that March 31 is the last day to complete our 50 To Grow On reading challenge. All reading and logging must be completed by then. Once finished with the challenge, please remember to enter your virtual ticket for a chance to win one of the stuffed animals on display. Winners will be notified on April 3 and completion prizes must be picked up by that date as well.
Our Grab and Go activity for this month is Desk Pets. Come in on Monday, March 6 for a bag of supplies to create a habitat for your new friend. This activity is open to children ages 6-12 while supplies last.
We offer story time for all ages on Mondays at 10:30 through April 3. Please join us for stories, songs, crafts, and camaraderie. No registration is required.
Alyssa and I look forward to meeting you, please stop in and say hi!
My husband and I are moving to Delaware at the end of this month to be closer to our granddaughter and leaving the Stonington Free Library is bittersweet for me. While I am very excited to embark on this new adventure, I am very sad to say goodbye to all the families I have met over my time here. I have seen a generation grow up and was able to be a part of their lives. That is why this career is so fulfilling – I have a front row seat to every stage and every change. Thank you for sharing your children with me; it has been a joy.
I am leaving the department in the very capable hands of Cathy Taylor, who has been with SFL part-time for over 10 years and was a preschool teacher at Pine Point. She will be assisted by Alyssa Downey, who has been out on maternity leave but is returning this month. Karen Lindenborg will return in the summer when she finishes her school year at West Vine Street School. Millie Donovan (whose blackboard art skills are second to none) will continue in the Children’s Room part-time. I know I am passing “my baby” on to the best team and I am certain they will build upon our past successes and create new library programs and opportunities.
A new year brings a new reading challenge
A new program
A return to Story Time
We have a brand new Winter Reading Challenge, All the Feels, for children ages 8 – 13 this January. You can register on Beanstack beginning January 1 and log your reading time online in one-hour increments. After reading four hours and earning the two activity badges (one for visiting the library and one describing yourself in emoticons), you will be eligible for a raffle ticket for a special prize. Simple, fun, and you get to pick whatever you like to read!
Story Times will resume on January 9, Mondays at 10:30. No Story Time on holidays or in case of inclement weather. Please check our website to see if we are closed or have a delayed opening.
On January 25 at 4:30, we will host a Teddy Bear Picnic for ages 3 – 8. Registration is required and space is limited. Come listen to a story, enjoy a snack, and bring home a new stuffie to love! The snow date for this event is February 8. Please use the QR code on the flyer to register.
Our early literacy challenge, 50 to Grow On, continues through March 31. It is for children ages 7 and younger and you can sign up and log books through Beanstack. After reading the 50 books, each child receives a completion prize and a chance for one of the stuffed animals on display in the Children’s Room.
Our Grab & Go this month is a snowman joke puzzle to assemble for ages 6 – 12. Instructions and material will be provided. Pick up in the Children’s room after 11 am on January 9, while supplies last.
Anticipation of first snowflakes
Fire crackling in the hearth
Peaceful crystalline night skies
We hope that everyone who registered for a Holiday Gingerbread House enjoys decorating it! Please email photos of your masterpieces to email@example.com. Donations from Tom’s News Stand made this program possible this year, so please sign our Thank You card when you pick up your house.
Our early literacy reading challenge, 50 to Grow On, begins on December 1 and will end on March 31. It is open to all children ages 7 and younger and is a perfect read-to-me format for those cold winter nights. We have chosen 40 books and you choose 10. Registration and activity logging is available on
We will have many of the books available on our YouTube channel if your children enjoy listening!
In January, we will have a reading challenge for older children, so watch our website. Monday Story Times will also resume in January.
Tom’s News Stand Has Done It AGAIN!
There are no words that can adequately express the depth of our gratitude to Tom and his unending generosity to the Stonington Free Library and the children of our community. For the third time since June, Tom has designated a collection bucket at his popular store for donations to Children’s Programming at the library. He delivered another $1240.40 last week, bringing the total this year to $4,387.16. That is the total for 2022 alone!
Supporters like this are valued for their commitment to our programs, their community spirit, and their confidence in our dedication to our youth. Tom and the support of our entire community keep us moving our programs forward and reaching further into our town. Please be sure to personally thank Tom the next time you are at the News Stand.
He is a true pillar of the community.
A month with a small nip to the air
Changing leaves beginning to crunch underfoot
Apples, pumpkins, and cinnamon
We are very excited to bring back in-person story times beginning Oct. 3 at 10:30. Each meeting will be about 30 minutes long with stories, finger plays and songs with time for an easy project and socializing afterward. Most appropriate for ages 1 – 5, but all ages and siblings are welcome. If this is your child’s first experience with a group, we are most understanding of age appropriate behavior. Out of respect for all, if your child is having a meltdown, please feel free to leave the story time area and return when “big feelings” have calmed. Also, when you do leave, please move into another room, so as not to distract the rest of the group – thank you very much for understanding!
We will have our Grab & Go on October 3 beginning at 11 am (AFTER Story Time). This month, we have ghosts made of Tootsie Pops! These are available while supplies last.
Finally, we have the third graders visiting the library in October, so the Children and Teen Rooms will open at 10:30 on October 14, October 18, and October 19.
We look forward to seeing you!
Summer 2022 made us feel that things were moving back toward normal. We appreciate everyone who joined our Summer Reading Program and hope that you had fun reading, shopping in the store, finishing your challenge if you were a Little and getting your prize, and deciding where to put your basket raffle tickets. We continued a “Give Back Summer” with many gift card purchases (and some donations!) from our local business friends who have supported us in the past. Still a wonderful experience to step up and help those who have been so generous to us. Those Mystery Bags just kept flying out the door!
Many thanks to Tom’s News who collected TWO jars of contributions to the Children’s Room totaling $3,146.76! We are also very proud to announce that SFL won an honorable mention in Beanstack’s Summer Reading Challenge with an award of $250. Thank you for helping the library achieve this distinction.
September will bring a new reading challenge for all ages – NASA’s Artemis Project: To the Moon, Mars, and Beyond! Read a little, try out some fun activities, and log everything in your Beanstack account. Registration opens August 29 at stoningtonfreelibrary.beanstack.org. If you are posting to social media, use the hashtags #STEAMinLIB and #BeanBlast to help us win a circulation backpack of STEM activities from the Space Science Institute. We also have some very cool space-related prizes for raffle winners here at the library!
Monthly Grab & Go kits will be available on the first Monday of the month, beginning Sept.12 (due to the holiday). We have two different choices in September to cover everyone from ages 2 – 13. In person Story Times will resume in October on Mondays at 10:30 – we are excited to see you here again!
Keep reading, my friends!
Change is in the Air
We are finally seeing beautiful spring weather, with summer just around the corner. Our very popular Summer Reading program begins on June 20 and this year, we have some changes that we hope will make things even more exciting and user friendly.
We have eliminated all paper raffle tickets – no more having to write names and phone numbers! All raffles have photos on the Beanstack site and you just choose where you want to place your chance. We have also made the Middles and Bigs a 20 minute goal to earn a Camp Buck. Additionally, they will also automatically get a raffle entry at every 40 minute increment. Middles and Bigs will earn both Camp Bucks to spend in the store and raffle tickets until they read 30 hours. At that time, all reading time will earn raffle tickets up to 90 hours. That will conclude the program for them. Remember to log reading time online, as that will determine how many Camp Bucks earned when you come into the library. There will not be a limit on Mystery Bags this year, as long as supplies last.
Littles will log books read online – every 5 books wins a raffle ticket and after 30 books, they will earn a completion prize. Additionally, Littles can complete 5 activity badges that earn an additional 5 raffle tickets. Their raffle prizes are pictured online. Super easy to log books for Littles – just scan the barcode on the back cover as you finish the book.
Registration is online beginning on June 20th. The Library is closed that day to observe Juneteenth, but that is the beauty of an online program – you can register from home at stoningtonfreelibrary.beanstack.com
We will have some fun programs this summer and our calendar is also here, along with Parent Letters for our programs – Littles and Middles/Bigs. And to start the month off, we have a Grab & Go Fire Breathing Dragon for ages 3 – 8 to pick up June 6, while supplies last.
Can’t wait to see everyone!
It’s May! It’s May!
Let’s welcome the beginning of spring (in New England) with some fun growing activities. On May 2, our Grab & Go bags are a perfect way to celebrate the upcoming growing season – Make Your Own Seed Balls! You will get everything you need to make some lovely and easy to plant flower seed balls that are environmentally friendly. They are made possible with our Seed Library and are a great tie-in with our Pollinators Kit that you can check out. Our Grab & Go bags are available while supplies last.
Summer Reading is coming up soon with registration opening on June 20 (we are closed this day in honor of Juneteenth, but that is the beauty of online registration!) The Store will open on June 27 and we have worked hard to streamline and improve your experience with Beanstack. We have also made some exciting changes to our program and we have Parent Letters explaining what to expect. Monday Outdoor Story Times will begin on June 27 (weather permitting). Please bring a blanket and chairs to be comfy. We will have Grab & Go activities on Thursdays June 23 – August 4 and Noreen Kepple will be here to direct a garden activity for ages 4 – 8 on June 28 (this one will require registration). We are also welcoming back Judi the Hula Hoop Queen on July 7 with a rain date of July 12. Her program, Dancing with Hoops, is fun for all ages and we do need registration so we have enough hoops for everyone!
We are looking forward to a wonderful summer program with popular Mystery Bags, exciting new raffle prizes, and a Store filled with awesome options. We just may have a few surprises up our sleeves so join us to start a fun-filled reading journey.
We will have some great poetry books on display this month in honor of National Poetry Month – drop by and find something fun.
Our Reading Challenges, 50 to Grow On for ages 7 and younger and Family Reading Challenge for students in grades 1 – 8, will both end on April 4.
Our Grab & Go this month will tie in with National Library Week and what better way to celebrate than with books! Come to the Children’s Room from April 4 – April 10 and choose a book to keep! We have origami bookmarks to make or pop-art bookmarks to color. And there’s a snack to enjoy with your new book.
We are in the process of finalizing plans for our Summer Reading Program 2022. More details will be upcoming in next month’s eLibrarian!
As always, stay healthy and safe,
Spring into a New Season
Women’s History Month
Our Reading Challenges, 50 to Grow On for ages 7 and younger and Family Reading Challenge for students in grades 1 – 8, are ongoing. They will both end on April 4, but there is still plenty of time to participate. In fact, you need to read fewer than 2 books a day to finish 50 to Grow On! Join the fun today! If you already have a Beanstack account, you can register online and if you don’t, you can create an account at stoningtonfreelibrary.beanstack.org. There is an app for your devices that makes it very easy to log your progress.
Stop by and see our Women’s History Month displays and learn something new! We will also have St. Patrick’s Day and spring books spotlighted.
Our March Grab & Go is very special this month – we have desk pets and habitats for you to put together and decorate. Pick yours up on March 7 while supplies last. This month’s project is for ages 4 – 10.
As always, stay healthy and safe,
A Season for Caring
Valentine’s Day and Black History Month are both celebrated this month. We are reminded of the many ways we can show kindness, whether it is a hug or kiss for our family, a sweet card with friendship wishes, or expanding our awareness and appreciation of Black contributions to our world.
We have two Grab & Go options this month: sticker scenes for ages 2 – 8 and Valentine Make a “Love” Pet Craft for ages 5 – 12. Both will be available on February 7, while supplies last.
We have many books by black authors on display this month, so be certain to browse for something new. Some recent staff favorites in Young Adult authors are Tiffany D. Jackson and Angie Thomas, Jason Reynolds, Brandy Colbert and Kwame Alexander for teens and middle schoolers and Gaia Cornwall, Nikole Hannah-Jones and Winsom Bingham have wonderful picture books. And anything illustrated by Jerry Pinkney or Kadir Nelson is going to be magnificent. So many new and exciting voices to discover in children’s literature!
Our Winter Reading Challenges are ongoing. You can register for 50 to Grow On (ages 7 and younger) and Family Reading Challenge (grades 1 – 8) online on your Beanstack app or you can create an account at stoningtonfreelibrary.beanstack.org. There are selections from both challenges on our YouTube channel, so tune in!
As always, stay healthy and safe.
We are offering our Winter Reading Challenges and you can register now. 50 to Grow On (ages 0 – 7) and our Family Reading Challenge (grades 1 – 8) will begin on January 3 and run through April 4. Registration is online through Beanstack and all logging can be done online. We do have paper logs and stickers for 50 to Grow On if you would like to pick one up to bring home. All completion prizes for 50 to Grow On will be picked up at the library and your raffle ticket should be entered virtually for a chance at a stuffed animal by April 4. Family Reading Challenge participants earn a virtual ticket for each book read and they are entered for a chance for a Kindle Fire tablet. Look at our YouTube channel for books being read aloud for these challenges. We will also have copies on display in the library for check out. It’s a fun way to try out some new titles or authors and discover new favorites. Remember we always have curbside pickup available.
Grab & Go bags will be available January 3 with a sparkling snowflake to create for ages 4 – 12 and a little surprise for a healthy New Year from our own Millie Donovan. They are first come, first served while supplies last.
Thanks to the generosity of Tom’s News, we are trying out a new program, Zoom Minecraft Mania, on January 28, 4:15pm – 6pm. We are teaming up with the Mystic Noank Library and grades K – 5 can join our Zoom and play Minecraft from home. Space is limited for this program and registration will be online and open January 10. You can link to the registration by scanning the QR code on the flyer. We will send out the Zoom link a couple days before the event. We hope this is a successful program and that we can offer it again. Please join us for a fun Friday afternoon.
As always, stay healthy and safe.
The holiday season is upon us and with it comes joy, anticipation, and a celebration of family traditions. We are offering a fun activity and reading challenge, Holidays Around the World, that enriches knowledge of different cultures. You can sign up online through stoningtonfreelibrary.beanstack.org. All logging is online through Beanstack. The Grab & Go bags on December 6 will have many activities for this challenge included – first come, first served.
Our annual Gingerbread House Decorating workshop on December 9 (as a take home activity) is currently filled, but we are making a wait list. Life happens and we often have some unclaimed houses. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your family name, children’s ages, email, and phone number. We will call if there is an opening, but as always, we do not leave voicemail messages. The call will come from the library or my cell which has a 774 area code.
Our 50 to Grow On and our Family Reading Challenge will begin on January 3rd and run through April 4th. Registration is online through Beanstack and all logging can be done online. We do have paper logs and stickers for 50 to Grow On if you would like to pick one up to bring home. All completion prizes for 50 to Grow On will be picked up at the library and your raffle ticket should be entered virtually for a chance at a stuffed animal by April 4. Family Reading Challenge participants earn a virtual ticket for each book read and they should be entered for a chance for a Kindle Fire tablet by April 4.
As we move into January, we will have books from both challenges available on our YouTube channel playlists.
November is a month for gratitude – from Veterans Day to Thanksgiving, we recognize the many things we are thankful for in our world. There is always something that shines in our lives, sometimes we just have to pause and take a silent moment to find and acknowledge it. Let’s try to do that every day this month.
Thanks to all who participated in our first Hallow – Read challenge. We loved seeing your photos and hope you had some fun! We certainly did as we chose badges and activities. Our next challenge, Holidays Around the World begins on November 29. This one is for ages 4 – 12 and we will again include lots of fun activities for the challenge in our December Grab & Go Bags on December 6th. All registrations and badges are on stoningtonfreelibrary.beanstack.org.
We have a fun Grab & Go Bag this month, filled with a Thanksgiving Family Jeopardy game along with sticker scenes and coloring for the young family members. These are while supplies last. You can always email me to check if we have any left – email@example.com. Don’t forget to stop in or arrange curbside pickup for some great Thanksgiving books!
Registration opens November 19 for our VERY popular Gingerbread House Decorating program with a pickup on December 9! This is a free activity to enjoy at home and we do limit it to ONE per family. You can sign up online. We will send an email the week of the event to the address you provide, which will require a confirmation. We always have a wait list for this program and we do try to accommodate as many families as we have houses. We are SO grateful to Vesta Bakery in Westerly for making the cutest, most delicious gingerbread houses and we have so much fun buying all the goodies to decorate them! Please remember to email photos of your finished masterpieces to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy the month of Thankful.
Lots of things are happening downstairs as we move into autumn!
Registration for our new Hallow – Read challenge opened on Sept. 27; go to BEANSTACK to sign up. All registration and all logging will be online. This program is for children ages 2 – 8 and will run until November 1. There will be activities and crafts, so be sure to pick up a Grab & Go bag at the library on Oct. 4, while supplies last.
Remember we have a new story time posting on our YouTube channel every Monday morning, with the United Way doing a special read aloud on Oct. 4 online. Look under the playlist Story Time with Mrs. Frey, but check out other options in the Picture Book Story Time playlist. On October 18 and 25, we will have Halloween Story Times (no Story Time Oct. 11).
Mark your calendars now to pick up your Grab & Go bag on Nov. 1, with a Thanksgiving Jeopardy game for the family to play and a Thanksgiving sticker scene and coloring sheet.
Enjoy apple season and fall foliage!
Due to the Labor Day Holiday, our first Monday of the Month Grab & Go Bags will be available on September 13th. We are offering a Fall Leaf Craft for ages 2 – 6 and a Back to School Stress Ball for ages 7 – 12 (this was one of our most popular over the summer, so we are giving those who missed out a second chance). Both of these are available while supplies last.
Virtual Story Times will resume on September 13 on our YouTube channel on Monday mornings. We will be starting off with two brand new books, Noah’s Seal by Layn Marlow and Don’t Worry, Little Crab by Chris Haughton. Tune in and watch whenever is most convenient for your family.
Thanks to our new software, Beanstack, we will offer a fun month-long program – Hallow-Read! The program will begin on September 27 and run through November 1. You will sign up online via the Beanstack website or app (a tip – the app is much easier to use – download it now). If you already used Beanstack over the summer, please use your same user name and password to avoid duplicate accounts. There are activities, a playlist of music, crafts, videos and books to enjoy. Our Grab & Go Bags on Oct. 4 will have materials for crafts and some will even have a little surprise. These will be available as supplies last. Have some spooky fun!
I am also happy to report that overall, 79% of the children and teens registered for our Summer Reading Program participated by reading this summer! I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and found some good books.
Keep reading, my friends!
August brings an end to our Summer Reading Programs for Children, Teens, and Adults. We welcomed enthusiastic readers and shoppers to our Store and Basket Raffles and we were energized by your excitement. A second “Give Back Summer” involved many gift card purchases (and some donations!) from our local business friends who have always supported us in the past. It felt great to step up and help them through some tough times these last two summers. Those Mystery Bags just kept flying out the door!
If you are interested in our last few activities, stop in to pick a Stress Ball Grab & Go Kit on Monday, August 2 and be sure to sign up online for Teen Aromatherapy which is a ZOOM program led by Kim Larkin on Thursday August 5 @ 4:30 (ages 10+). Kits for this program are available to pick up in advance.
All Basket Raffle winners will be telephoned August 9. Please be sure to check your messages if you miss our call.
Looking ahead, we will offer monthly Grab & Go kits on the first Monday of the month, beginning Sept.13 (due to the holiday). Online Story Times will resume in September and they will be posted to our YouTube channel on Mondays. Thanks to our new software, Beanstack, we will offer a fun month-long program in October – Hallow-Read with books and activities to suit the season. Watch our website and social media for further details.
Keep reading, my friends!
Sum, Sum, Summertime!
Many things are happening this month for children and teens! Remember to sign up for Summer Reading if you haven’t had a chance to yet. Our new software, Beanstack, is proving to be a popular resource. You can sign up (all ages) at stoningtonfreelibrary.beanstack.org and then track everything when you download the Beanstack app. As a heads up, as the parent, you are creating the account for the family in your name (the “driver” or account creator) and everyone else is an additional reader in your “car”. That way it’s only one account, one user name, one password. The app is simple to use, colorful and fun without being too busy, and also has a built in timer! In this transition year, we are still offering paper logs and money to give everyone the opportunity to visually track their reading and reinforce their math skills.
Hula Hoop Dancing is back on the lawn July 7 at 1pm, weather permitting with a rain date of July 14. Online registration opens June 25. We have a ZOOM Chocolate Tasting Workshop on July 15 at 4pm for ages 8 – 14. Space is limited and online registration opens July 8 with kits available for pickup at the library beginning that day also. Candy Sushi will be a Grab & Go on July 29 with online registration beginning July 17. This program will be for ages 7 – 11 and also ages 12+. Again, space will be limited. A Zoom Teen Aromatherapy Workshop with both botanical pillow and soap making will be August 5 with registration opening July 24. This workshop is for ages 10+ with limited space. Kits will be available for pickup beginning July 28. Mondays will be our Grab & Go days with Placemat Coloring (ages 2 – 7) July 12, Kool Aid Playdough Making (ages 3 – 8) July 19, Candle Decorating (ages 7 – 14) July 26 and Waterbead Stress Balls (great for back to school!) (ages 7 – 14) August 2.
The last day for all Summer Reading redemptions is August 6 by 5pm.
Summer is Coming . . .
We paid close attention to all your comments in our survey last summer and with them in mind, we have a new, exciting, user friendly experience to offer this year. Our new software program, Beanstack will make participating in our summer reading programs faster and easier. You can register your entire family with one login and password and use a simple app on your mobile devices to log reading time. We will have paper logs for your child to keep track of their time and paper money to reinforce those math skills. The store will be back with social distancing guidelines and all patrons age 2 and older will need to wear masks covering their noses and mouths in the library. This is to keep everyone healthy and safe.
Registration Week will begin June 14 and the Store will open June 21. You will be able to register for the program online at Stoningtonfreelibrary.beanstack.org beginning June 14. Download the Beanstack app to any device, look for our library and you can quickly and easily log your reading (Adult Summer Reading also!) Look for further information to come home from school and on our website. Challenging times can provide opportunities for improvements and we are excited to share some of our new features. Sneak peek – the Littles group will have their own, exclusive raffle baskets with virtual ticket entries!
Our first program will be a Grab and Go Birdfeeder kit on June 29 for ages 4 and older, while supplies last. Can’t wait to get started!
Maris Frey and Cathy Taylor
Pequot Plant Farm donated some adorable succulent plants when our evergreen seedlings didn’t arrive in time for our Earth Day Grab and Go. Happy to report that our seedlings have arrived, so please come by the library starting Monday, May 3 to get your free tree to plant.
On the subject of Grab and Go, on May 7, we will have a great gift for the mom in your life – bath fizzie kits! Enjoy making and indulge Mom in a mini spa treatment.
We paid close attention to all your comments in our survey last summer and with them in mind, we have a new, exciting, user friendly experience to offer this year. Our new software program, Beanstack will make participating in our summer reading programs faster and easier. You can register your entire family with one login and password and use a simple app on your mobile devices to log reading time. We will have paper logs for your child to keep track of their time and paper money to reinforce those math skills. The store will be back with social distancing guidelines and raffle tickets will be digital. There will be some small changes in age groups and Littles will count books read, instead of time. We are adapting programs, as we navigate new elements that work and tweaking things to attempt to maintain the most enjoyable aspects of our Summer Reading Program. Registration Week will begin June 14 and the Store will open June 21. Look for further information to come home from school or on our website.
Spring is upon us, with the joys of emerging flowers, longer days, increasingly warm sunshine, and since we live in New England – mud.
It is a time of rebirth and an opportunity to take pleasure in all the beautiful sights around us. There is increased hope for relief from the COVID virus that has overshadowed our days. There is also a growing awareness that we have frequently overlooked the people and things that are truly most important in our lives. We have been given a chance to see that our families, our friends, and the small everyday interactions we have with those around us are truly what brings meaning to our lives. So let us move forward with a resolution to keep those “most important things” front and center in our lives.
Let’s live with
It is always a good day to see the world through the eyes of a child.
March is National Women’s History Month and a time to take note of the extraordinary and sometimes unknown roles that women have played throughout history. We have the opportunity to look at both the large and small differences women add to all our lives, every day.
We have a responsibility to reinforce to all our children that women are equal to men and to introduce them to women who have made contributions to our world. They may have worked to improve workers’ rights and safety – Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909, perhaps they opened up education to those denied – I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Freedom and Changed the World, Beatrice’s Goat, Temple Grandin or found paths to freedom – Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom, Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad. They may have played a sport or found expression through dance – Dirt on their Skirts: The Story of the Young Women Who Won the World Championship, A Dance like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream, Bunheads. They might have been notable in science – The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes: the Story of Dr. Patricia Bath, Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race, A Computer Named Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon. We can read short synopses of outstanding female contributors in Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women (Volumes 1 & 2), or Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls:100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World, and Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History.
There are many books in the library that introduce us to famous women and also many that show us the heroism of fictional women. Rosie Revere, Iggy Peck, Ada Twist and Sofia Valdez teach us that women can become engineers, architects, scientists or presidents. It is a good month for inspiring an appreciation for the women in our lives. Reading books to our children that showcase the many and varied roles that women play in both our past and present will help guarantee equal footing for women in their future.