Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Pull of the Taffy The Roar of the Crowd

Our summer programs have begun! We have had a terrific response to our call for summer readers. Recently, I read some blog posts about school visits to promote summer reading and if it made a difference. It gave me pause and I reflected on the years of visits we have made every May. Does it make a difference?

This year the question was answered for me when I talked to the families that have come by to sign up for our program. We always tell a story when we do school visits, and it ends with a surprise (squirty shark, squirting camera, and this year, snakes in a can).

The stories and visits have been memorable for the children (also gives me a new appreciation of how much kids love storytelling and do not get enough). They do not forget the shock of being engaged in a story, and then having snakes pop out at them! So the question was answered for me. We do not have many opportunities to visit the schools, so in our case, it has made a difference.

The kids have come to the library full of excitement and enthusiasm. They remember the stories from year to year. They are excited to recognize us when they come in with their family.  Sometimes they ask if I remember seeing them at their school, and of course, I always do.
 How could I forget those faces?

Soooooooooooooooo...... about the taffy. There have also been blog posts about prizes for summer reading. Still thinking about that one. But.................we will never give up the taffy! Never! Several years ago we started hiding a picture every day during SRP. The instructions include: no need to move anything, look carefully high and low, when you find the picture tell a librarian,whisper where you found the picture and we will give you a piece of Laffy Taffy, please read the jokes to us because we are always looking for new material.  : - )

 This very inexpensive, easy peasy, simple game is a hit! Kids look forward to this more than anything else we do. Better than jugglers, better than magicians, better than prizes, better than animals. Taffy. That's it. The thrill of the hunt. We get the chance to chat with them about books, and share a laugh.

Having the library filled with children  again this summer has made my heart smile.

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