News / Arts & Entertainment

    US Libraries Offer More Than Free Book Loans

    US Libraries Offer More Than Free Book Loansi
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X
    July 15, 2013 3:51 PM
    Keeping kids occupied in summer when school is not in session can be a challenge for American families. Most summer activities cost money, but there's one place where children and teens can enjoy activities free of charge. That’s the public library. Faiza Elmasry explores what public libraries are offering this summer, beyond books.
    US Libraries Offer More Than Free Book Loans
    Faiza Elmasry
    Keeping kids occupied each summer while schools are not in session can be a challenge for American families. Many summer activities cost money, but the public library is one place where children and teens can enjoy activities free of charge.

    Giovanna Sauchek and her children are frequent visitors to the Bull Run Public Library in Manassas, Virginia.

    “We come here for books all the time,” said Sauchak, who is from Colombia. Her children, Daniel and Laura, are here to attend the Spanish Circle. “I want them to get involved more with the Spanish speaking people.”

    The weekly sessions, which feature stories and songs in Spanish, are among the library’s most popular programs this summer.

    “It's a lot of fun, a lot music, a lot of movement, a lot of crafts for the people to do,” said library spokesperson Nancy Schleh.

    Other programs include Sidewalk Chalk Day, when children decorate the library’s sidewalk with their chalk drawings, and reptile shows which feature snakes, lizards and other animals the children can touch while also learning about their life cycles.

    “You can see a lot of children here, children playing with our toys and literacy items," Schleh said. "We have a puppet stage. Their parents come to use the computers. We have a children's computer they come to use.”

    The library also offers special programs for teens where they can write their own songs, learn to play chess, or build structures with Legos.

    “We will provide thousands and thousands of Legos for teens to build whatever they like to,” Schleh said.

    Isabella Hyden, 16, one of 30 teenagers who signed up for the Lego challenge, is trying to build a Japanese pagoda. She has signed up for a number of other library activities, too.

    “I’m going to do this cupcake thing, you learn to decorate your own cupcake," Hyden said. "I’m going to this one circus workshop. You learn to juggle; you learn to do some of the circus things that they do.”

    Planning for the summer programs begins in September and the library staff is open to suggestions from the community.

    “On occasions we get emails from folks saying, ‘I have a great singing thing I put together for kids. I’m going to send to you a demo-tape, if you like me, would you please let me into your library?'” said Mary Tompkins, with the Prince William County Public Library System.

    Beyond the singing, drawing and building with Legos, Tompkins says summer reading programs remain the most popular for kids of all ages. Local businesses offer prizes for kids who read a certain number of books.

    “This year we had 70 businesses donate over $1 million in coupons and incentives for the kids,” she said.

    There other rewards for children who read during their summer vacation.

    “The point of that is not really the prize; the point is to encourage children to read over summer to maintain their literary level," Schleh said. "Research has shown that during summer some children fall behind up to two months. They lose that skill.”

    Whatever activity they choose, Tomkins says the overall aim of library summer programs remains the same. “The whole goal here is to keep the kids engaged so that they become lifelong learners.”

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.

    New in Music Alley

    Soul Lounge: Sweet Honey in the Rocki
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 10, 2016 1:48 PM
    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B. The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.

    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B.   The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.