Future Reflections Spring/ Summer1989, Vol. 8 No. 2

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WASHINGTON LIBRARY INITIATES CHILDREN'S READING PROGRAM

by Beth Eisenhood

Sixty-two young readers gobbled up 721 books in the first children's summer reading program at the Washington Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Seattle, Washington. Taking advantage of Seattle Public Library's summer reading club theme, "Put a Monster in Its Place," staff created a reading club by mail which began in June and ended August 31,1988. Staff members "adopted" young patrons ranging from three to eighteen years old so readers could receive personal attention. Program information went out to readers on staff-dramatized tapes, in Braille, and in large print. The number of books read by each club member was tallied monthly; dinosaur prizes and puzzle pieces then were mailed out based on numbers of books read.

The club's successful completion was celebrated with a program by well-known folk singer Nancy Raven, who shared her collection of folk instruments and led the crowd in songs from many nations. Names were drawn for three grand prizes -a pair of walkie-talkies and two Walkman radios--and twelve large dinosaur toys. Afterwards the partygoers enjoyed dinosaur cookies and browsed in the new children's reading area recently created in the library lobby.

Every library department contributed to the success of this program by calling and writing children, keeping statistics, Brailling twin vision books and other program materials, taping, mailing, and helping with program details and producing edible works of dinosaur art. Staff agrees with Director Jan Ames that this should be called the first annual reading program since plans are already under way to help readers have monstrous fun again next summer.

NOTE: For more information about the summer program at the Washington Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, write to: Jan Ames, Director, Washington Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 821 Lenora Street, Seattle, Washington 98129. You may also call: (206) 464-6930. Have your child put on some old clothes and let him or her begin. Finger painting doesn't have to be messy. Put the finger paint on a cookie sheet or tray and have your child paint right on that. Or, let your child paint on smooth paper. If the paint begins to dry, add a few drops of water. Talk to your child about the colors and textures. Ask questions such as, "How does the paint feel -slippery, wet, smooth?" Cleanup is easy. Just take the cookie sheet to the sink and rinse it off, or wash the tabletop. The soap in the homemade paint makes cleaning even easier.