Friday, January 14, 2011

Orange Library Awarded Prestigious Federal Grant for Very Young Children

Babies will be the focus of programming and purchases made possible by an important grant won by The Wheeler Memorial Library from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. Through the Library Services and Technology Act, as administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Wheeler Library Children’s Room applied for and was granted $7,500.00 to develop the early literacy program known as Mother Goose on the Loose. Created by Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen, this unique award winning program uses rhymes, songs, finger plays, puppets, musical instruments and more to help pre-reading children and infants get ready for speech and reading while they and their accompanying adults enjoy time together. Brain research shows immersing very young children in pleasurable language experiences on a regular basis increases the brain capacity that will prepare children and infants for later speech, reading and writing activities. And Mother Goose on the Loose aims to provide an educational model through which parents and other care-givers are empowered to be the first teachers of very young children. But best of all, the serious benefits of this time-tested program are all arrived at through joyful and nurturing, adult and child supportive events.

So starting January 24, 2010 every Monday morning at 10:30 in the meeting room of the Wheeler Memorial Library, Candy Cross will lead the group of gathered adults and children in a fun and educational half-hour of movement, music and words accompanied by age appropriate props and instruments. This all group activity time will be followed by the opportunity to socialize while playing with the library’s selection of toys intended for adults to explore with children up to the age of three years old. Being mindful of the fact that life with very young children is very unpredictable, no registration is required for the MGOL programs. Anyone is welcome to join in at any point in the series. Candy can answer questions at 978-544-2495 x103, Mon through Thursday. Of course, the children’s room at the Wheeler Memorial Library is open to babies and all others Monday and Tuesday 10:00am - 6:00pm, Wednesday and Thursday 1:00pm – 8:00pm, and Saturday 10:00am – 2:00pm.

As MGOL progresses, the grant funds will also be used to provide special programs for the very young, their parents and caregivers. For example, award winning musician and educator, Lui Collins will bring a series of her movement and music classes to the Wheeler Library. And at another time Tim Van Egmond will be with the group for an interactive and enchanting music morning. The library’s collection of board books, music, and toys for the very young will be further supplemented as Candy gathers input from those involved with MGOL. And already on hand are some materials Candy hopes will add to the coziness of the meeting room. Anyone involved in the life of a child younger than three is invited to participate in this exciting new offering at the Wheeler Memorial Library.

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