Blogger Paige Bentley-Flannery

Tween Poetry Writing Camp

Today is the first day of National Poetry Month! Whether you’ve been sharing poems all year at story time, interactive poetry at schools or introducing new poetry books  to library customers, April is the perfect month to try something new! In January, I had a wonderful opportunity to observe a Tween Writing Camp, a new library program created by April Witteveen, Community Librarian at the Downtown Bend Branch at Deschutes Public Library.   The camp was one of the best Tween programs I’ve seen all year.   It was extremely well organized, filled with enthusiasm and so many creative stories.  Tweens were excited about writing – sharing their stories after each writing activity, working together on stories and talking about favorite books.   I knew right away I wanted to try a Tween Poetry Writing Camp at the Sisters Branch in April for National Poetry Month.  April shared her camp structure…

Blogger Paige Bentley-Flannery

Celebrate Women Artists!

Have you explored the amazing selection of famous women biographies in the past few years?  Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! by Kate Schatz,  Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer by Diane Stanley,  I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy and so many more! In December, I spent an afternoon at the Guggenheim exploring Agnes Martin’s art.  I enjoyed seeing her selection of paintings from the past 40 years – lines, grids, whites, grays to bold colors conveying “abstract emotions.”  It made me think of all of the other strong, persistent, creative women artists. What women artist do you think of during Women’s History Month? Louise Bourgeois and her huge spiders?  Meret Oppenheim and her fur dishes?  Frida Kahlo and her…

Blogger Paige Bentley-Flannery

School and Public Library Collaborations

As I participated in Kindergarten Round Up at Sisters Elementary School last week and recognized 90 percent of the families in the audience, I was reminded of the amazing connection the public library and the school have. This made me smile. Last year, my Get Ready for Kindergarten story time at the library had the largest attendance in years!   This was only possible with the support, time and enthusiasm of Stephanie Jensen, Title I Teacher and Becky Stoughton, Principal at Sisters Elementary School.  They talked with new families at the school, sent out an email and a voice recording to all families with students attending kindergarten in the fall.  The voice recording was amazing!  But this connection didn’t happen overnight. For the past six years, I’ve watched our relationship grow. What started out as a once or twice a year school visit or classroom(s) visit to the library has turned…

Blogger Paige Bentley-Flannery

Poetry Timeline: Slither, Run, Crunch, Flap, Slurp, Aaaaa, Hooray!

Do you have poems swirling in your head?  Do you have one poem memorized that you share every day with someone new in the library?   Do you dress up during poetry month?  Have you created a poetree display? There are so many amazing fun things to do during poetry month!  This year, I switched up my school visits a bit and added a poetry timeline. The poetry timeline works great with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders. Below are two options for adding poems to your timeline-Movement: Day 1 and Historical Events. Historical Events Poetry Timeline: Before your school visit, create your poetry timeline on a huge piece of colorful paper using makers or paint. Select a series of interactive poems that match up with a specific date. For example, Velcro by Maria Fleming invented in 1955. Start with a really really early date and end with 2016.  Add between 7-12 poems with a…