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Youth Programs

2020 Summer Reading Program

As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, all in-house events, such as storytimes and regular events have been postponed until it is safe for all of us to resume our normal programming. Some of these activities like Storytime at the Hen House, 2020 Summer Reading Program, and the We Be Book N' Tween Book Club are available online through our website, our Facebook page, or through Zoom and even YouTube! When we can resume in-house library programming and events, we will notify the community with the Indiana Gazette, this website, our local radio station at WDAD at 100.3 FM, and our Facebook page. Thank you for your understanding.

2020 Summer Reading Program: Imagine Your Story

Our Summer Reading Program begins on June 8, 2020 and runs through July 31, 2020. Our theme is "Imagine Your Story: Fairy Tales, Mythology, Fantasy".

Even though our building is closed to patrons for your safety, the IFL Children's  Department has many fun activities planned for this special summer. You will still be able to find great books to take part in these wonderful annual events. We'll help you find out how! Prizes are involved for our young readers with special recognition for participation in activities. We will spotlight local Indiana, Pennsylvania, and American folklore, fairy tales, and myths throughout the months of June and July. There will be visits from local experts in our area's history, legends, and folklore. We'll also visit some local areas and experience the mystery and history of the folklore and myths that surround these places. 

You can register for the programs by going to the "News & Events" page, click on the "Events Calendar" button, and then choose the program you would like to register for. Monday's are for the small ones, birth - 3 years of age and is known as the Fabler's Program, Tuesday's are for kids aged 4-6 and they are called the Bards, Wednesday's are for our oldest Storytellers at ages 7-12, and on Thursday's will be our Teen Program where they can register to be included in Hogwarts's 101. Click on the program(s) of  your choice and register. You will only need to register once (Not for each week's program), to be able to come in and get your Participation Bags for the month of June. July's activity bags will be available the last week of June and the first week of July.

When you pick up your Participation Bag on or after Monday, June 8th, at the library entrance, you will find it has fun items and instructions on how to participate from home. In addition to some fun crafts, you can log in your reading time on the "Summer Reading Log" and be eligible for more summer prizes and surprises! If you do not have internet capability and still want to participate in the reading challenge, there is a paper reading log included in your Participation Bag. Enter your name, barcode number, and the rest of the information on the sheet and turn it back into the library by using the dropbox. A librarian will then, log in your reading minutes for you! A fun Summer Reading Challenge is also in your Participation Bag. Look at the challenges and complete at least ten for additional prizes at the end of the event! Turn this in through the dropbox also. Make sure your name and barcode are on the Challenge.

You can pick up your Participation Bags in the Jimmy Stewart Museum Entrance starting Monday, June 8th at 11 AM. The bags will be on the shelf inside with your name and program title on them. Please only one bag for participant and one person at a time in the lobby. Please do not take someone else's bag. Our hours to pick up Participation Bags are as follows: 

Mondays, 11-7, Wednesdays, 11-4.

  • Campfire Stories - Take part in our Campfire Story Writing and Telling Contest this year and have your story posted online for others to hear! You can either write one of your own or recite one from memory for all to enjoy. Instructions and ideas on how to participate in this fun adventure are in your summer reading bag. Also included is your own campfire! Put it together to create the setting for your favorite folklore stories! Try setting up your tent in your yard and have a campfire story-telling contest with your family! Best for kids ages 8-12 because as we all know, some campfire stories can be a little scary!
  • Star Gazing - Did you know that mythology and stars go together? To find out more, download a Star App on your phone and see which constellations and planets based on mythological creatures and personas you can find and identify. Included in your Participation Bag are suggestions for the best FREE Star Apps you can use to observe the stars and planets in our universe. There will be weekly challenges and games in our Wednesday program for those who want to star gaze with us this summer. To round out the fun, we'll have a special End-of-Summer Reading event at Yellow Creek State Park!  Come out with us and really see the stars! This activity is for kids from 8-108, so the whole family is invited! **You will need a phone that can download an app to fully participate in the star-gazing program.**
  • Summer Reading Programs ONLINE! - For your safety, you will be able to watch our programs from home. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday they will be posted on our IFL Kids Summer Reading Facebook page by 3 PM. Since these are also on YouTube you may be able to watch on your television! Ask us! Programs are designed for particular age groups as follows:

Monday - Our Littlest Storytellers, The Fablers, Birth to 3 years old

Here is the schedule for our Fablers, those kids aged birth-3. Look at the craft activities and the list of items that parents will have to gather to complete the activities.

This summer, we will be enjoying lots of stories from Aesop’s Fables. Who was Aesop and what are his fables? Aesop was a storyteller who lived a long, long time ago. His stories feature animals who get into some very strange situations. More often than not, there is a lesson to be learned from these stories.

You’re probably wondering, what is the difference between fables, fairytales, and folklore? Aren’t they all just made-up stories? Yes, but there are some very slight differences. A fable is a short fictional work making a moral point, usually by animals who speak and act like people. Folklores and legends are old-fashioned stories, handed down verbally through the years. And last of all, a fairy tale is a children’s story about magical and imaginary creatures, people, and lands. And there we have it! On to Aesop’s Fables!

We will meet for a virtual fable and craft creating time on Monday’s at 3 PM on Facebook on our IFL Kids Summer Reading page and also on our website at indianafreelibrary.org under the 2020 Summer Reading tab. For our fables, we will be using the felt board and materials from our own collections to enjoy Aesop’s Fables. We'll also work on a simple, but fun craft together during the program. Most materials will be provided and each weekly program’s craft bag will be clearly labeled. There are some materials you will have to have in order to complete some of the crafts. Those are:

  • Glue stick or Elmer’s glue
  • Scotch tape
  • Markers or crayons (Or both)
  •  And on Week 4, you will need one tube of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and 8 Babybel cheeses.
  • Any additional decorating materials you’d like on your crafts like glitter or stickers.

**All activities or crafts can be modified by you for full participation.**

Monday, June 8, 2020—Town Mouse, Country Mouse.
Our summer reading adventures begin with an exciting story about two very different mice. One mouse, who lives in town surrounded by all kinds of stuff and a country mouse who lives happily with just the little he has. The moral of the story is that it’s much nicer to live with just what you need and be happy and safe, rather than live with a lot of things, but afraid all of your life. We’ll create our own paper mouse to play with during the story. Use the materials in the bag labeled, “Week 1” and we’ll make our mice together and then, read the story!

Monday, June 15, 2020—The Crow and the Pitcher.
In this very short story for small kids, a clever crow is flying and it feels thirsty. It sees a pot of water, but the water is too low inside the pot for the crow to reach. Discover how the smart crow gets to the water and also, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” Learn about the American Crow and how smart they actually are. Craft your own clever crow from a toilet paper roll and the materials in your, “Week 2” bag.

Monday, June 22, 2020—The Dog and the Shadow
This fable teaches us to not be greedy. A dog was carrying a piece of meat in his mouth to eat it in peace at home, but he didn’t make it home with his lunch. Find out why the dog wound up with nothing to eat at all and why wanting more than you have might not be a good thing after all. For today’s craft, look in your participation bag and find the materials labeled, “Week 3” I’ll show you how to have fun with shadows.

Monday, June 29, 2020—The Fox and the Crow
Discover why you shouldn’t believe everything you hear. The crow learns that she isn’t the only clever animal in the forest when she is tricked by the wandering fox. The fox was walking through the forest when he saw a crow sitting on a tree branch with a fine piece of cheese in her beak. The fox wanted the cheese and proved that he was clever enough to outwit the bird. Your mom or dad will have to help you with this next activity, but you’ll have your own piece of cheese when you make “Crescent Cheese Puffs.” The instructions are in your, “Week 4” bag. You’ll also need: A tube of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and 8 Babybel cheeses.

Monday, July 6, 2020--The Hare and the Tortoise
We learn a couple of things from this cute story. Slow and steady wins the race and never underestimate another person’s abilities no matter their appearance. One day a hare was bragging about how fast he could run. He even laughed at the tortoise, who was so slow. The tortoise then challenged the hare to a race. Can you guess who won? Stay after the stories and make a turtle sun-catcher for your window! We are on, “Week 5” now.

Monday, July 13, 2020—The Lion and the Mouse
The moral of this wonderful fable is: A kindness is never wasted. A teeny, tiny mouse teaches the big, fierce lion that it never hurts to be kind and good to all. There’s some yarn and a lion face in your, “Week 6” craft kit. Let’s make a lion wreath out of them!

Monday, July 20, 2020—The Boy who Cried Wolf
This tale teaches a very important lesson about telling the truth. A young shepherd boy repeatedly tricks the townspeople into thinking a wolf is attacking their flock. When a wolf actually does appear and the boy again calls for help, no one comes to help, and the sheep are lost to the wolf. Get out, “Week 7” bag and check out the Wolf Mask ready for you to color and wear!

Monday, July 27, 2020—The Astrologer
A man who lived a long time ago believed that he could read the future in the stars. He called himself an Astrologer, and spent his time at night gazing at the sky. One evening he was walking along the open road outside the village. His eyes were fixed on the stars. Then, he got into some trouble. Find out what happened to the poor Astrologer and why you should always pay attention to the things that are right in front of you. Look for stars at your house! Put together the telescope that’s in the, “Week 8” bag.

Tuesdays -The Bards, targeting kids 4 - 6 years old

This program will be for our Bards--those young storytellers who are four to six years of age. Shakespeare was the original bard. He wrote imaginary stories, plays, and poems and is considered the greatest writer of all time. Our fairy and folk tales are not as fancy as Shakespeare’s, but they still fascinate children and are familiar and loved by many of all ages.

You’re probably wondering, what is the difference between fairytales and folklore? Aren’t they all just made-up stories? Yes, but there are some very small differences. Folklores are old-fashioned stories, handed down verbally through the years. Folktales are usually specific to a country or people. The ones we tell in this program come from many countries. Fairy tales are a children’s story about magical and imaginary creatures, people, and lands. Like those ones with scary dragons, beautiful castles, and colorful unicorns in them.

We will meet for a virtual storytime and craft on Tuesday's at 3 PM on our IFL Kids Summer Reading Facebook page and also on our website at indianafreelibrary.org under the 2020 Summer Reading tab. We'll use our felt board and materials from our own collections to enjoy familiar folk tales. We'll also work on a simple, but fun craft together during the program. Most materials will be provided and each weekly program’s craft bag will be clearly labeled. There are some materials you will have to have in order to complete some of the crafts. Those are:

  • Glue stick or Elmer’s glue
  • Scotch tape
  • Markers or crayons (Or both)
  • And on Week 5, you will need a small amount of Teddy Grahams, chocolate chips, mini- marshmallows, raisins, and Chocolate or Honey-Nut Cheerios.
  • Any additional decorating materials you’d like on your crafts like glitter or stickers.

**All activities or crafts can be modified by you for full participation.**

Tuesday, June 9, 2020—Jack and the Beanstalk (English)
Jack, a poor country boy, trades the family cow for a handful of magic beans, which grow into an enormous beanstalk reaching up into the clouds. Jack climbs the beanstalk and finds himself in the castle of an unfriendly giant. Grow your own beanstalk with the things in your craft bag labeled, “Week 1.”

Tuesday, June 16, 2020-- Three Billy Goats Gruff (Norwegian)
The Three Billy Goat's Gruff is a familiar folktale that will fascinate any child. A mean and hungry troll lives under a bridge. He's hungry and would love to snatch a goat trying to cross his bridge to get to the yummy grass on the other side. How can the three goats get across safely? They must be clever! This program includes a fun activity along with the story. Look for your goats and troll in craft bag, “Week 2.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2020—The Emperor’s New Clothes (Danish)
A vain emperor who cares too much about wearing and displaying clothes hires two weavers who claim to make the most beautiful clothes and elaborate patterns. The weavers convince the emperor they are using a fine fabric invisible to anyone who isn’t as smart as him. Find out how the weavers make the emperor realize that all people are important. We’ll make our own woven bookmark from the materials in the bag marked, “Week 3.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2020—The Bremen Town Musicians (German)
This is the story of four old animals, who after a lifetime of hard work are mistreated by their former masters. Finally, they decide to run away and become town musicians in the city of Bremen. Follow along in the funny, but interesting tale of our four-legged (and one two-legged) musicians. Make your own musical windpipe. Watch me make a windpipe from plastic straws and then create your own! Use the bag marked, “Week 4.”

Tuesday, July 7, 2020—Goldilocks and the Three Bears (British)
Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a house in the forest. There was a great big father bear, a momma bear and a tiny, baby bear. One morning, their breakfast porridge was too hot to eat, so they decided to go for a walk in the forest. While they were out, a little girl called Goldilocks came through the trees and found their house. She knocked on the door and, as there was no answer, she pushed it open and went inside. Read along and see what the bears do when they find Goldilocks sleeping in one of their beds! We’ll make some yummy snack mix with the recipe in your “Week 5” bag.

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020—The Elves and the Shoemaker (German)
A poor hard-working shoemaker had so little leather that he could only make a single pair of shoes. One evening, he was so tired, he went to bed and left the shoes unfinished. After waking up the next morning, he found the shoes completely finished and sitting on his workbench. One evening, the shoemaker said to his wife, "Why don't we stay up tonight and see who is giving us this helping hand," and his wife agreed. Hiding in a corner of the room, they saw two little elves working quickly and nimbly on the shoes, then running away after their work was completely finished. What happens to the shoemaker and the elves? We’ll find out when we continue the story in this program. In the craft bag, “Week 6,” you will find your own pair of shoes to color, lace, and learn to tie. I’ll help you figure it out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020--The Three Little Pigs (British)
"Little pig, little pig, let me come in." "No, no, by the hair on my chinny chin chin." "Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in.” What’s going on with this mean wolf and those three little pigs? We’ll find out when we read this enchanting folk tale from long ago. While we’re at it, make the little birds in your yard happy with your bird feeder made from sticks! The supplies are in your, “Week 7” craft bag!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020—Chicken Little (Danish)
Follow Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddles, Goosey Poosey, Gander Lander, Turkey Lurkey, and Wise Old Owl along on their adventure after poor Chicken Little gets bumped in the head with an acorn and thinks the sky is falling! For our last craft, we’ll make cute little chicks by folding construction paper. Use the things in the, “Week 8” bag. How about going on a scavenger hunt and finding your own acorn to complete the story?!

Wednesdays - Storytellers, great for ages 7 and older

On Wednesday’s, our Storytellers from seven to twelve will get to have fun with Tall Tales and Mythology.

How do tall tales differ from folktales? A tall tale is a story that depicts the wild adventures of overly-exaggerated folk heroes. The tall tale is actually a form of entertainment; the tale is told mainly for the enjoyment of an audience. Associated with the lore of the American frontier, tall tales often explain the origins of lakes, mountains, and canyons; they are spun around such legendary heroes as Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack of the Pacific Northwest and many others. All of our tall tales and mythology come from American legends and folklore. A couple from Native American myths and legends. So, let’s all gather ‘round the campfire and listen to some stories handed down from our amazing American heritage!

We will meet for a virtual tall tale and legend telling time on Wednesday’s at 3 PM on our IFL Kids Summer Reading Facebook page and also on our website at indianafreelibrary.org under the 2020 Summer Reading tab. We’ll read tall tales from our own collection and also give you an extra enjoyable activity—learning about the stars or constellations in our skies associated with our tall tales and mythology! If that’s not enough, we'll also work on a simple, but fun craft together during the program. Most of your materials will be provided. There are some materials you will have to have in order to complete some of the crafts. Those are:

  • Glue stick or Elmer’s glue
  •  Scotch tape
  •  Markers or crayons (Or both)
  •  For Week 4, you will need a tube of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and a Granny Smith apple
  •  On Week 8, you will need water colors or poster paint (Water colors will work better, but use what you have)
  • Any additional decorating materials you’d like on your crafts like glitter or stickers.
  • You will also need to load a Star App onto your parent’s phone or yours if you have one so that you can follow along with our star discovery and mythology. The ones I recommend are:
  • Skyview Lite
  •  Star Walk 2
  •  Night Sky Lite

**All activities or crafts can be modified by you for full participation.**

Wednesday, June 10, 2020—Paul Bunyan (Our Mythology/Astronomy topic will be the constellation Taurus, the Bull.)
Read along and learn about a great American legend, Paul Bunyan. We’ll be reading Paul Bunyan by Brian Gleeson and discovering the exciting tales about Paul and his giant blue ox, Babe. Before we read our book, let’s make our own Paul Bunyan beard to wear while we enjoy the story! Use the materials in the, “Week 1” bag and also get out that winter hat to top off the lumberjack look! Checkered flannel shirts and Levi’s are optional!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020—Raven: (Our Mythology/Astronomy topic will be the constellation Corvus, the Crow.)
Raven, the trickster, wants to give people the gift of light. But can he find out where Sky Chief keeps it? And if he does, will he be able to escape without being discovered? His dream seems impossible, but if anyone can find a way to bring light to the world, wise and clever Raven can! Our story comes down to us from the Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest. We’ll make our own flying Raven so that the world can have light with the materials you have in the, “Week 2” bag.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020—Sal Fink (Our Mythology/Astronomy topic will be the constellations Andromeda and Cassiopeia).
Learn about the famous boatman, Mike Fink’s howling daughter! "Hiiiooowwweeeewhoooo," Sal Fink would yell, and whenever people heard that sound, they shook their heads with wonder, and they'd remember all her astonishing feats. Her daddy, Mike Fink, the keelboat man, was famous for his daring deeds on the rivers of Ohio and Mississippi. And Sal? She was as brave and bold as her daddy. People say she once rode down the great Mississippi on the back of an alligator, and I'm pretty sure that must be true. Let's make our own keelboat! There are popsicle sticks and a sail in craft bag, “Week 3.” You can color (or not), your keelboat however you like!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020—Johnny Appleseed (Our Mythology/Astronomy topic will be the star, Mira.)
Johnny Appleseed was actually a real person. His real name was John Chapman and he lived in the early 19th century. He was an American pioneer who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania and other Ohio Valley areas. He became an American legend while still alive, due to his kind, generous ways, his leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples. This week, we’ll carry on the importance of apples as we bake up some yummy Apple Pie Bites! Your recipe for these are in the bag and labeled, “Week 4.”

Wednesday, July 8, 2020—The Boy who Lived with Bears (Our Mythology/Astronomy topic will be the constellation Ursa Major, the Big Dipper, or the Bear.)
This story comes to us through the oral tradition of the Iroquois, the Native American peoples known as the Six Nations, who once inhabited the Indiana area. They now live mostly in western New York State. “There was once a boy whose father and mother had died and he was left alone in the world. The only person he had to take care of him was his uncle, but his uncle was not a kind man.” Read along with us and discover how the lonesome boy came to be cared for by an old, but kind and loving bear-woman. In the craft bag marked, “Week 5,” you will find some origami paper to fold to create your own bear. Just like the one that hangs on our animal mobile in the staircase in the library. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020—John Henry (Our Mythology/Astronomy topic will be the star, Regulus, the Heart.)
John Henry is an African American folk hero. He is said to have worked as a "steel-driving man"—a man tasked with hammering a steel drill into rock to make holes for explosives to blast the rock in constructing a railroad tunnel. According to legend, John Henry's prowess as a steel-driver was measured in a race against a steam-powered rock drilling machine, a race that he won only to die in victory with hammer in hand as his heart gave out from stress. It’s hammer time!! Get out “Week 6” bag and let’s forge a mighty steel-driving hammer. You can even use it at Halloween if you want to dress up as Thor! (More mythology there).

Wednesday, July 22, 2020—PA Legendary Creature-The Squonk (Our Mythology/Astronomy topic will be the constellation Lupus, the Wolf).
Our next tale is of a creature that supposedly roams the forest of our own state. The Squonk is a legendary creature story told in lumber camps when timber was the main industry in Pennsylvania. The poor animal is said to be so upset about how ugly it is, that it weeps constantly. As the legend goes, if you listen at night, this weeping can be heard in the northern forests of Pennsylvania. Nothing to fear though! The poor, lonely squonk is harmless! Let’s make our own squonk so you know what they look like if you ever see or catch one! Use the materials in the bag, “Week 7” to create your own squonk to love.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020—How the Stars Fell into the Sky (Our Mythology/Astronomy topic will be to find your own Zodiac constellation.)
This wonderful book by Jerri Oughton is a retelling of a Navajo folktale that explains how First Woman tried to write the laws of the land using stars in the sky, only to be thwarted by the trickster Coyote. For our very last craft of summer reading, let’s make a painted-paper star garland so that you can decorate the sky above your bed with stars. Find your “Week 8” bag and round up your water-colors. Cover your work area so that you don’t get paint on it and paint your stars!

For announcements and event dates, watch our website and Facebook page, the Indiana Gazette, listen to our local radio station- WDAD AM 1450 and 100.3 FM, and view the Library Sign at the front of the building to stay engaged this Summer. If you have any questions, please email Val at iflkidsfun@gmail.com or call our Children's Department at 724-465-8841.

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