August 4th, 2014

Countdown to Kindergarten

IMG_20140311_115902_2435, 4, 3, 2, 1…the countdown has begun.  In just a few short weeks, school bells will be ringing for students in Cecil County.  Though each school year represents a new beginning for enthusiastic students of all ages, students heading to kindergarten for the first time may be among the most eager.  New adventures, new friends, and a whole new world of opportunities await this group who are just beginning their educational journey.

Going to kindergarten marks a major milestone in a child’s life and can be exciting.  However, it can also be an anxious time for both children and their parents who may worry about making new friends, meeting a new teacher, or finding their way around a new school.   Luckily, we have a number of books on this very topic, and sharing these stories together can lead to open discussions which can in turn alleviate some of these anxieties.  Find the book you need by going to any branch library, searching our online catalog, or by checking out our Getting Ready for Kindergarten Pinterest page where you will find recommended books along with numerous ideas for activities designed to help your kindergartener practice the math, reading,  and science skills needed for kindergarten.

Reading books together about going to kindergarten for the first time is just one way to help your child get ready for the big day.  Attending one of our Countdown to Kindergarten programs for students entering kindergarten in 2014 is another.   If your child is going to kindergarten this year, they will not want to miss sharing stories, songs, and crafts all related to their first kindergarten experience.  Register today.

When you visit the library, be sure to give your child some time to play and learn on our AWE computers found at Elkton Central, Chesapeake City and Perryville Branch Libraries.  Jumpstart Kindergarten, Getting Ready for Kindergarten, Millie’s Math House, and Sammy’s Science House are just a few of the preloaded educational games perfect for you and your kindergartener to play together.

Whether you decide to start with a special book, a library program, or a shared computer game, be sure to enjoy this special time in your child’s life, and remember the library is filled with resources and staff ready to give you a helping hand.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Still need to register your child for kindergarten?  Visit Cecil County Public Schools’ website for information on registration and for additional resources to help you and your child get ready.


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May 13th, 2014

Summer Reading, Summer Learning!

YouthFBCoverPhoto

10-9-8…Whether it’s counting down the minutes on December 31st to a brand new year, or counting down the days to a long awaited vacation, everyone loves a countdown because it means something great is on the way.  Never has this been more true than right now as we count down to the start of this year’s summer reading and learning program, “Fizz, Boom, Read” at the Cecil County Public Library.

This year’s summer reading program will kick-off May 31st when our branches will invite readers of all ages to register for this year’s summer reading program and participate in an array of exciting activities.  Be sure to check with your local branch for details of what promises to be an exciting day!

Planning for summer learning is just as important as planning for fun in the sun.  Recent studies show that children who participate in educational activities over the summer are less likely to lose educational ground.  Fortunately, providing your child with opportunities to continue learning over the summer has never been easier; here are just a few ideas to get you started and guaranteed to keep you busy all summer long.

1. Visit the local library and sign up for summer reading! It’s the perfect place to start when looking for ways to keep your child engaged in learning all summer long.

Brother Reading a BookResponding to your child’s interests over the summer is essential to keeping them motivated, and what better way to do that than by bringing them to the library? Whether it’s exploring the arts with Creative Experiments in Art, diving into STEM programs with Fun with Physics, Magnetic Attraction, and Your Amazing Body, or investigating our 3-D Printing Lab Friday, May 30th from 3:30 to 6:30pm, our programs offer something for everyone.  Click here to see details on our Summer Reading events for kids.

And, don’t forget the books. Want to learn to knit?  We have a book for that.  Want to explore the mysteries of space?  We have a book for that.  Want to learn to draw?  We have a book for that.  Want a recipe for healthy snacks?  We have a book for that, too.  No matter where your child’s interests lie, our librarians are delighted to locate books and resources that stimulate their desire to learn more. Self-directed learning is a very powerful way for kids to grow their skills while having fun.  Plus, when you register your kids and teens (and yourself) for our summer reading programs, you can get rewards and chances to win prizes!

2.  Seek out all that our local community has to offer.

Dad with little son walking outdoors at ocaenGo down on the farm to Walnut Springs Farm and make your way through a labyrinth of agriculturally-based interactive learning stations; travel back in time with a trip to Mt. Harmon Plantation and learn about days gone by as you tour an 18th century manor house; visit Elk Neck State Park and hike out to the historic Turkey Point Lighthouse; or explore Plumpton Park Zoo to observe and learn about the many different animals who are living there. No matter which path you choose, learning is sure to follow.  And, remember, this is but a few of the many local offerings to be found in Cecil County.

3.  Take advantage of the learning that can take place without even leaving your home or neighborhood.

In the house…
•    Girl And Mother With CookiesTry a new recipe and give your child the opportunity to practice math skills by weighing and measuring ingredients.
•    Get creative and make up a new recipe.  Write it down and share it with others.
•    Go on a scavenger hunt to find patterns, letters, and numbers around the house.
•    Make a map of a room in the house.
•    Write a story, draw a picture, compose a poem.  Plan a special night where everyone in the family shares their creative side.
•    Our Pinterest Page is full of ideas for fun learning crafts and activities, as well as reading suggestions.

In the yard…
•    Sit quietly and use your senses to explore the world around you.  Make a list of things seen and heard, create a graph, draw a picture, or write a creative story.
•    Go on a scavenger hunt.
•    Use a guidebook to identify the plants, flowers, and insects found around the house.
•    Learn a new game and teach it to friends, family, and neighbors.

In the neighborhood…
•    Take a walk and count the number of blue cars, or windows on houses, or children playing outside.
•    Use sidewalk chalk or wet sponges to practice writing letters and numbers or to practice spelling new words.

These are just a few ideas that will keep your child engaged in learning activities this summer.  Click here for another post with even more ideas for fun things to do in Cecil County. What are your favorite ideas for keeping your child involved in learning all summer long?