Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join PaLA!
PA Forward Commons
Group HomeGroup Home Blog Home Group Blogs
Sharing our common wealth of knowledge. Get great ideas, or send us your success stories. Click on a tag below, or do a keyword search using "PA Forward Commons" and your search terms.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: Adults  Children  Civic & Social  Teens  Basic  Health  Financial  Information  Basic Literacy  Civic Literacy  Social Literacy  Information Literacy  Health Literacy  PA Forward  Civic and Social Literacy  Financial Literacy  Book Discussion  Civic & Social Literacy  STEAM  Children's Programs  Civic and Social  Community Library of Allegheny Valley  Computer Basics  Medicare  STEM  Story Time  Storytime  Summer Reading  1000 Book Before Kindergarten  Adult 

We Are All Neighbors

Posted By Amanda Neeley, Pleasant Hills Public Library, 412-655-2424, neeleya@einetwork.net , Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Library Type

Public

Description 

Our library hosted this event as a Community Potluck Dinner, where each participant brought a different kind of soup to share. This was a relatively low cost program for the library to offer. The library covered the costs of the paper goods and beverages. We opened the event to all ages and encouraged conversation and community engagement with one another while sharing a meal together.    

Tags:  Civic and Social Literacy  We Are All Neighbors 

Share |
Permalink
 

Emotional Mechanics

Posted By Katherine Adriaanse, Ref Librarian, Haverford Twp Free, 610-446-3082, adriaanse@haverfordlibrary.org, Monday, January 14, 2019

Library Type

Public

Description 

This program runs about once a month for a set period of time (most recently, once a month for four months) and aims to open a discussion in the community about issues related to mental health. It is equal parts lecture and discussion. The former is led by Mike D'Angelo, a nationally-certified and professional licensed counselor. Past topics have included self-care, loneliness, depression & anxiety, and the "Helladays," a special two-part event for November & December. This program is geared toward adults. Funding comes from the library's yearly programming budget and is used to cover speaker fees. 

Tags:  Emotional Mechanics  Haverford  Health Literacy 

Share |
Permalink
 

Stop the Bleed

Posted By Karen Sourbier, Program Consultant, Grove Family Library, 717-264-9663, ksourbier@fclspa.org , Thursday, January 10, 2019

Library Type

Public

Description 

Part of a nationwide campaign, “Stop the Bleed” trains ordinary citizens – and potential bystanders – how to help during a severe bleeding incident before medical and emergency professionals arrive on-scene. This training empowers people to make a difference in a life-threatening emergency by teaching the basic techniques of bleed control. There are no financial costs to the library to host this program and it's done in partnership with Geisinger Holy Spirit Trauma Services. The program is geared toward teen and adult participants.

Tags:  Health Literacy 

Share |
Permalink
 

Imagination Station

Posted By Leigh-Anne Yacovelli, Dir, Wernersville Public Library, 610-678-8771, wernersvillepl@berks.lib.pa.us, Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Library Type

Public

Description 

Imagination Station is a storytime STEM program for children ages 6-11. This program has it all! It has stories! It has STEM! And it has snacks!


Twice a month, children hear a story of adventure with characters who have a problem that they need to solve. Children have fun interacting with each other while engaging in STEM activities that help the story characters through their journey. A whimsical and fantastic story keeps them laughing and engaged, while teaching them (though they don’t know it!). Every meeting is a new story with fresh characters, and children are exposed to scientific concepts, mathematical problems, and fun toys that vary from the latest tech gadgets like Little Bits to the mainstays like Legos and Keva planks.

Just as the Office of Commonwealth Libraries rolled out updated goals and measures for 2019, the Wernersville Public Library began a series of programs that introduced elementary school students to STEM in a fun and meaningful way. Since starting their positions in early 2018, the Director and Youth Services Coordinator struggled to find something that would bring children 6 to 11 years of age into the library. They realized there is a growing awareness of STEM, and that it was no longer just an industry tagline. STEM clubs are gaining in popularity in schools, and parents are interested in seeing their children do things that relate to one or more of these topics instead of just watching TV or playing video games.

The library already incorporated STEM topics and activities in the toddler through Pre-K storytimes, and it was believed this could also be done for older children who are exposed regularly to STEM in school. Having a program with a STEM theme, with heavy advertising at the schools, helped the library target this hard-to-reach demographic through the brand recognition of STEM. 

An additional draw is the stories. The characters are always boys and girls, who are the same age as the children attending the program. Tara Gouldey, the Youth Services Coordinator, is a budding writer. Instead of reading a storybook to the children, something with a definite beginning, middle, and end, she builds the story with the participants. 

Tara creates a brief outline of a story for each meeting; typically who, where, problem, and potential actions that lead to the solution. The names of the children and places where they live are completely made up, such as Tabitha (age 9) and her brother Andy (age 11) who live in Twintonia. When the children “pull into the station” (arrive to the library and head down to the multipurpose room), she begins her story with a brief introduction to the characters and a description of where they, and the participants, find themselves. For example, “Twintonia was a magical place, full of different creatures, colors and sights to behold. They lived in a small cottage below a large tree, and the sunlight shone through the branches and leaves, drifting down towards the children for them to bask in.” 

After the setting is established, Tara and the children dive into the problems and potential solutions. For instance, Tabitha and Andy were tired and wanted to go home. They needed to climb a tree to see how far away they were. The children were then told the characters “came to a clearing where 19 tall trees sat, growing taller every day. Which tree do you think they will choose to climb?” It is at this point the first STEM activity happens. The children are instructed to build the largest “tree” or “tower” that they can with Legos so that Tabitha and Andy can climb to the top, and look out below. They were given approximately 20 minutes to do this, so more of the story could be added and another activity introduced. In this case, the children had to build a path, which they figured out needed collaboration to accomplish, and move the characters (represented by hexbugs) down the path.

Regular storytime follows a traditional layout. Toddlers and pre-schoolers are read a book, followed by a song they can join in, and then all is repeated before breaking for a craft. Imagination Station follows a similar plan wherein at certain parts of the story, they do an activity in order to help the characters move onto the next step. By the end of the program, the children have learned new skills, including leadership and team work, and feel successful.

The program is simple in design, with minimal setup and clean up. Tara found a wonderful way to meld her love of writing stories with the need to create a STEM-based activity for school-aged children. Thanks to the generous collection of materials at System Headquarters, the library is able to put on this program while staying within budget. The only cost to the library is staff time and basic craft supplies.

The children who attend Imagination Station are not always the same from the visit before, which tells us we are not done growing our attendee list. Of the six times the program has run, there have been at least two new attendees (those never having attended an Imagination Station before); and two girls and one boy, not of the same family, have attended five of the six sessions. Even more people comment on the library’s Facebook event page, either in showing an interest or tagging friends by name to spread the word. 

Imagination Station is steadily gaining a following of regular visitors. It is also something that can be duplicated over the summer when larger groups of children are looking for something to do, which not only saves time in planning, but it also helps to convince children they want to return to the library for more once school is back in session. 

You will need some initial STEM materials (Keva planks, Hexbots, Legos, Little Bits, the board game Mouse Trap, etc.) and you'd incur a cost there if the library doesn't already have those accessible. Once those are secured, ongoing costs to the library are staff time and occasionally basic craft supplies. 

Tags:  Basic Literacy  Civic & Social  Civic Literacy  Social Literacy 

Share |
Permalink
 

Sheldon Club

Posted By Heather Wicke, Director, Brandywine Community Library, 610-682-7115, brandywinecl@berks.lib.pa.us , Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Library Type

Public

Description 

We have a library pet and wanted to encourage children to read to him. The Sheldon Club is a club where children of all ages can sit and read to Sheldon, our Greek tortoise. Once they read to Sheldon, the children receive a special invitation to an exclusive event. Reading to a tortoise is very much like reading to a therapy dog because the animal/reptile helps boost reading confidence and doesn’t correct the little readers. They just sit and listen and bond with the child. 


Children get six weeks to read to Sheldon.They sit with him in the library and read a book together. Sheldon usually sits and listens to the story. Little children who are not yet reading like to sit, and talk with Sheldon, showing him the book's pictures and creating their own stories to share with him.

After reading, the children (and their parents) fill out a reading slip with their contact information. They turn in the slip and instantly receive an invitation to the Sheldon Club special event. A special event is planned every six weeks and we host different kinds of activities to celebrate their reading accomplishments. The first event was a movie and our next one has a winter theme with decorating cupcakes and making winter-themed crafts. 

Tags:  Basic Literacy  Sheldon Club 

Share |
Permalink
 

Community Health Fair

Posted By Shelby Rozell, Memorial Library of Nazareth & Vicinity, 610-759-4932 , Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Library Type

Public

Description 

The library hosted a Community Health Fair sponsored by the Trumbower Hospital Foundation and many other local partners. Free screening for vision, hearing and more were available to all patrons. There was a Q&A session with several speakers, including presentations and interactive demonstrations. For the children, the library planned several games and activities as well as a photo op with characters from Doc McStuffins. To top it off, there were giveaways and raffles throughout the day for all ages. 

Tags:  Community  Health Fair  Health Literacy 

Share |
Permalink
 

Community Book Group

Posted By Rania Sullivan, Director, Avalon Public Library, 412-761-2288, sullivanr@einetwork.net , Thursday, December 20, 2018

Library Type

Public

Description 

Once a month a librarian leads an adult book discussion at a local YMCA community center. The book selection is usually fiction, but sometimes a non-fiction book is selected. The community center serves participants a hot lunch "sample", usually a pasta casserole. Participants often ask the librarian questions about technology/devices. The librarian brings the books to the center each month, and participants return their books at the next meeting. This location allows participation by attendees who could not walk the further distance from the main street (and bus stop) to the library. This is partnership between the library and North Boroughs YMCA Community Center. No direct costs were incurred by the library. 

 

Tags:  Adult  Basic Literacy  Book Discussion  Civic and Social Literacy 

Share |
Permalink
 

Hour of Code

Posted By Allison Mackley, National Board Certified Teacher Librarian, Hershey HS, allisons21@gmail.com , Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Library Type

School

Description 

Computer Science Week in December is the perfect time to host an "Hour of Code" with any age patron. Using the Google CS First Program, it is easy to set up a classroom and invite patrons to join a "classroom" to work on a project or module that focuses on themes such as animation, social media, sports, friends, the arts, and much more. In addition, the projects can be as simple as making your name jiggle to developing an animated game. Google CS First is a free product that uses the coding language Scratch. It is possible to add in challenges or competitions in your library. 

There was no cost for the program. We did, however, offer snack, drinks and prizes that were provided by an ALA Libraries [Ready to Code] Grant. 

Tags:  Civic & Social  Civic Literacy  Code  Information Literacy  Social Literacy 

Share |
Permalink
 

STEM Kits

Posted By Stephanie Bragg, Paoli Library, Children's Librarian, 610-296-7996, sbragg@ccls.org , Monday, December 17, 2018

Library Type

Public

Description 

The biggest buzzword of the decade in children’s learning is STEM, STEAM or STREAM. For those who may be unaware, the general concept is learning in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math with Art and/or Reading being added to round out the experience. Many of the younger patrons at Paoli Library have been enjoying the different programs that have been offered with STEAM learning integrated throughout the year.

At Paoli Library we decided to take it a step further and extend that STEM learning at home with circulating STEM Kits. At present we are offering four, soon to be five, unique kits. Each kit contains a book, DVD, and toy/activity in a particular area. The kits check out for 2 weeks at a time. I’m sure you have questions about missing pieces and the like. So far, since May, we have had limited issue with missing pieces. So far, we have been lucky with minimal missing pieces but the patron is responsible if it’s determined that the item is not able to be used by the next patron. Over the summer and fall the four kits have gone out a combined 40 times approximately.

To create each kit I chose a topic that fit into STEM and found a toy that demonstrated the principle, like Magna-tiles for magnetism. Then I found a book and DVD as well. I am partial to Bill Nye for educational videos. The pieces of the kit are contained in a large to extra-large plastic storage tub. The average cost of each kit is $75, which I used my collection budget for. If you have a friends group willing to sponsor the kits that would also be an option if your collection budget doesn’t have wiggle room.


The STEM Kits we have are:
Beginner’s Coding: Contains “My First Coding Book” by Kiki Prottsman, Scratch Coding Cards, and Code & Go Robot Mouse Game. Recommended Ages 6-12.
Electrical Current: Contains “Electronics for Kids” by Oyvind Nydal Dahl, Snap Circuits Jr, and Bill Nye the Science Guy: Electrical Current DVD. Recommended Ages 8-12.
Magnetism: Contains “Magnets Push, Magnets Pull” by David A. Adler, Magna-tiles 32 pieces, and Bill Nye the Science Guy: Magnetism DVD. Recommended Ages 6-12.
Engineering: Contains “Engineered!: Engineering Design at Work” by Shannon Hunt, Gravity Maze falling marble logic game, and Bill Nye the Science Guy: Simple Machines DVD. Recommended Ages 7-12.

Coming soon will be a Fossil STEM Kit with a fossil kit, two books about fossils, and another Bill Nye DVD.

After taking home the Beginner’s Coding kit a young patron named Erik, age 6, said “I find the STEM kits so fun! I am always excited to discover what’s inside!” He likes the kits because they’re just fun. While his mother, Ani told me, “The STEM kits that are available for checkout at Paoli Library are a wonderfully engaging and educational resource for budding scientists or any curious youngster. The package is well conceived of activities from different mediums which kids occupied for hours!” 

No matter how you put a STEM kit together the idea is to extend learning beyond the book, make it interactive. And who knows, maybe the grownups will learn something too! 

Tags:  Basic Literacy  STEAM  STEM  STREAM 

Share |
Permalink
 

Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus

Posted By Kari Hilt, Library Assist, Red Land Community Library, 717-938-5599 , Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Library Type

Public

Description 

Children were invited to visit the Red Land Community Library in early December to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. They enjoyed cookies and drinks with Santa and families were welcome to take photos for free with the special Christmas couple that visited the library. 

This program connects with PA Forward's Civic and Social Literacy.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Civic and Social Literacy 

Share |
Permalink
 
Page 5 of 43
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  >   >>   >| 

Contact Us

220 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 10
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
717-766-7663 Phone
717-766-5440 Fax
800-622-3308 (PA Only)