Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Summer Reading 2021 When COVID met Summer Slide

covid slide projections, reading decreases 32-37%

COVID Slide and Summer Slide Meet There are no definitives in this article. I’m sorry. Some split infinitives assuredly, though. So, 2020 and summer reading was new for us. Most of our library systems are going to continue circling the in-person programming wagons in 2021 in favor of going online. The system I work for, in fact, is purchasing online programming, which was actually pretty well received. But, as in the past, I wanna light a fire under you. You’ve already met summer slide. And we’re pretty sure there’s a COVID Slide. So, what happens when they start dating? What do their children look like? Wallflower No More I understand why you may have sidelined yourself last summer. It was chilly water. We stood back and watched, waited, hoped, and tried to remain optimistic. We waited largely to see what other systems would do. But we didn’t do much else….

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Not Another “Best of” Post

large orange block letters spelling not another

This Is Not Another “Best of” [input year] Post I promise you this is not another Best of [input year] post. In fact, if I were to rename it, it’d be The Most Exciting Stuff in the Youth Services World, like, right now; right now. I like pointing these things out so much I create a biweekly Youth Services newsletter for my colleagues. [mysteriously] Who knows, maybe I’ll unleash it upon the internet in 2021? [strokes goat goatee] It’s loaded with all things frabjous, from live webinars with authors whose work we drool upon to easy crafts, programming ideas, news – [foreign accent] your interest is piqued, no? Oh! And this stuff is all totes free! Sans fees! Gratis! Famous Authors Live! This subheading should read “Not Another Webinar” Probably the most important webinars For the Parents and Caregivers we serve This is not a section about stuff to do…

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Summer’s Changing and It Should

For years, public libraries have been offering some form of Summer Reading Program for the youth in their communities. There is an abundance of evidence on the benefits of Summer Reading Programs in reducing the effects of summer slide and reducing the achievement gaps that can exist between students from low and middle income families. (For more resources look at http://www.summermatters.net/summer-learning-loss-increases-the-achievement-gap-diagram/ and https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/summerslide). In the last ten years, many public libraries and youth librarians have been asking the questions “Is a Summer Reading program enough?” and “How can we help reduce our students’ losses in mathematics and other subject areas?”  The evolving solution to those questions is the transformation from Summer Reading Programs to Summer Learning Programs.

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Fall Fun Preschool STEAM

The past sixth months, I’ve been finding my programming “legs” at a new branch.  With my team’s help, we had some wildly successful summer school age programs, but, with school now back in session, I wanted to offer some additional programming for our younger friends. A colleague of mine from Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Fairview Park Branch, Jennifer Haag, had presented on Preschool STEAM at an Ohio Library Council Chapter Conference a few years ago.  It was a wonderful presentation, offering a full year of monthly program plans.  So, to dip my toes in the water, I chose ONE of her programs—October—to try this year. Quite simply—it was a lot of fun. The families and staff performed all the science experiments together, and then participants had the opportunity to spend time at Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math stations throughout the room.   Which liquids will dissolve candy corn and peeps—water,…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

In Defense of Slime

In my June blog, I talked about a summer drop-in program pilot occurring in my library, including the successes and the challenges. Since that article, we have had several more popular and overwhelming programs, including one in which 75 people (!!) came to have Messy Science fun…including slime making.   As you might imagine, this was more than a bit overwhelming, and more than a little pricey. We went though 4 gallons of slime.  I had NO idea we’d get so many people, and luckily, I tend to overbuy and had enough.  I joke that it’s the same impulse my Italian family has to ensure 3 times the amount of needed food is available at every family get-together.   However, what I wanted to talk about was a comment I fielded the next day when a customer overheard staff talking about the huge turnout—why do libraries bother with slime programs?…

ALA Annual 2019

It’s All Fun and GAMES at ALA Play #ALAac19

I just got in from ALA Play, An Evening of Gaming, Maker, & STEM, sponsored by the Games and Gaming Round Table at #ALAac19.  Attendees got to watch demonstrations of and PARTICIPATE in different board games and card games.  There were games for young children as well as for adults.  We also got to paint our own Warhammer miniature.  (This was very relaxing and a good way to meet and interact with other librarians from around the country!)  There were also ten or more raffle prizes given out at the end of the evening. It was great learning about the new games that are available.  I was excited to see that a lot of the games for younger children incorporate STEM and problem-solving while making it fun–what kid wouldn’t love solving crimes committed by cats or designing their own working mini-rollercoaster?!  I got some great ideas for game nights(/afternoons!) at…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

STEM Teaching Begins with Preschoolers!

toddler interacting with science exhibit in Belgharia

STEM Teaching and Learning Begins with Preschoolers! So, I was explaining STEM to my dad, a retired physicist.  He’s skeptical by nature as any good scientist should be.  When I got to the part about teaching it to preschoolers, well, let’s just say I was bombarded by particles. But hear me out – it really DOES start with preschoolers!  And I can prove it! Penny Bauder, environmental scientist, teacher and mom of two, points out that “It is never too early to start STEM education, and an ideal way to teach STEM is to go out into nature!” Boston Children’s Museum, too, points out that children have a natural curiosity.  STEM is a great way to help 3-5 year-olds to focus and refine their naturally inquisitive behaviors. Linking it up to Summer Reading 2019! Even a pre-schooler can be a NASA citizen scientist!  Download and install the GLOBE Observer app…