School may be out of session, but that certainly doesn’t mean children should stray away from learning. Parents are always looking for ways to keep their little one’s engaged during their break — and one local resource is a go-to when it comes to summer learning programs — the Marshes of Glynn Libraries System.
With two locations — one at 208 Gloucester St., in Brunswick and another at 530A Beachview Dr., St. Simons Island — various activities are available for children of all ages.
For Karen Larrick, programs coordinator for the library, arranging the annual summer schedule takes a fair bit of planning.
Each year the itinerary is selected by a national committee of children’s librarians with individual locations offering their own spin. And mapping all of that out starts early — the summer of the previous year, in fact.
“Marshes of Glynn Libraries will develop our unique program based on this theme. Planning for next year will actually begin in August. Some of our favorite performers are so popular that they book up early. In order to get them on our schedule we will need to sign them up as soon as this year’s summer programing is complete,” she said.
“During the coming months library personnel will attend a performer’s showcase and talk with other libraries in the state as they search out new programs. The goal is to have the majority of the programs planned and on the calendar before Jan. 1.”
There are a number of programs that remain on the schedule throughout July for kids to enjoy. Considering the location, many revolve around stories and storytelling. Larrick notes that these programs are a great way for kids to keep their imaginations active during the summer.
For instance, at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, there will be a Children’s Story Time with KK at the Brunswick library, featuring regular storyteller Kelly Green. While this is geared toward school-aged children another regular activity — a baby story time — will be held at 10:30 am. today and July 26 at the St. Simons Island branch. The event sparks infants and toddlers’ curiosity at a very young age.
“We have long known that students who spend time reading while they are on summer vacation will begin the new school year at or near the reading level they had attained at the close of the previous school year. Children who do not read during this time will typically fall behind,” she said.
“The summer Reading Program also exposes participants to new ideas and interest. Maybe this summer we set a young reader on the road to becoming a NASA astronaut.
Some students have difficulty achieving their fullest potential in the traditional classroom setting. At the library, we learn in a less formal setting, perfect for hands on learners.”
There are plenty of those types of programs, which also promote physical well-being. One of those is Yoga for Kids led by local instructor Bitsy Moores. She will share the physical and mental practice with youngsters at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in Brunswick. Children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. All are encouraged to bring their own mats to this event.
Like yoga, another active program is geared toward both education and fun — Wildlife Wonders. Slated for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, little animal lovers will get up close and personal with various kinds of creatures.
Michael Rossi, who will lead the session, will bring along snakes and other reptiles to this popular event, which has already been held once this summer.
“His show is so popular that we bring him twice every summer,” Larrick said.
As the month comes to a close, kids can take a break from outdoor activity and enjoy a screening of “Planet 51,” an animated film about an astronaut that lands on an alien planet. The film will be show at 10:30 a.m. July 30 in Brunswick. And, on the following day, kids can join Tommy Johns for a magic and comedy program called Take Me to Your Readers. It will be held at 10:30 a.m. July 31 on St. Simons Island.
Once the calendar rolls into August, the offerings start to slow. School resumes and students head back to routine. But there is one final program that always draws a crowd — Reading to the Dogs. Held at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 6 in Brunswick, volunteers will offer up pups from Therapy Dogs International who will listen as children read them stories. It is a helpful — and adorable — way for students to sharpen their skills before returning to the classroom Aug. 8.
The rest of August ushers in recovery mode for the Marshes of Glynn Libraries, as they prepare for the start of the school year after hosting all their June and July events. However, the Brunswick library holds a kid’s spanish class at 5 p.m. every Tuesday year-round, along with other programming that serves to expose children to the joys and benefits of learning all year long.
For more information on future programs, visit www.moglibraries.org or call 912-279-3740.