From the Director…

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 6:00 am

Nancy Ledeboer, Director of Spokane County Library DistrictTrent, my grandson, just turned five, and his mother is wondering if he’ll be ready for Kindergarten in September. When I read the Ready, Set, Kindergarten! blog by our librarian Rachel Edmondson, I knew I needed to share it with her. I hope my daughter finds comfort in knowing that other parents are concerned about their child making this big step into the classroom. Luckily, in addition to the wonderful resources that Rachel mentions, the library has some wonderful programs to promote learning while school is out.

Summer is a perfect time to learn while having fun. It is amazing how much a child can learn and grow over the few short months of summer. Bring your budding architects, scientists, and mathematicians to build with Lego, go on a Dinosaur Dig, or create a monster mash-up. We hope these activities will inspire young minds. Whatever intrigues your child, our librarians will help find books and other resources so that your child can explore and discover more about that topic.

The library has always been a place to pursue lifelong learning. Today we are expanding the services and programs to increase learning opportunities. Washington and Virginia are expected to have the highest number of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) jobs in the future and we all want our children to be prepared for these careers. The library is part of the Spokane STEM Network which is made up of schools, businesses, and community organizations working together to expand opportunities for young people to engage in STEM learning and activities. Their newsletter provides information on activities happening in our region throughout the year.

Today, librarians throughout the country have fully embraced the idea that children learn through play. One of the ways we foster play in our libraries is to offer Play & Learn in addition to Storytime, where preschoolers, parents, and grandparents engage in math, language, and science activities.

Learning through play doesn’t stop when a child enters school. This summer we are offering a series of programs that make Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) learning fun for children of all ages.

By encouraging children to have fun with science we hope to spark their imagination. Attending library programs and reading over the summer fosters lifelong learning. Children whose minds are engaged this summer will start school in the fall well prepared to begin the new school year. As Rachel points out in her blog, the library (and other community-based organizations) offers many resources for parents to prepare a child for Kindergarten and beyond.

We know that children learn by doing and participating in new experiences and that these activities accelerate formal learning. Did you know that this is true for adults as well? The National Center for Creative Aging has conducted research showing that we continue learning throughout our lives. They recommend engaging in creative endeavors to maintain good health and an active mind. This summer, you can come learn how to brew your own beer, listen to the fusion rhythms of Latin America, or find out how to improve your golf swing. No matter what your age, the library has something for you to enjoy this summer.

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  • Karen B

    The joint City-County Libraries Business site is very impressive. It is good to see business resources available from Deer Park to Spangle, East Side and all places in between. Sharing resources makes it happen.