Tag Archives: kids

You’ve got a Friend in Me: Reading Buddies at the Library

This summer, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh launched a brand-new volunteer program called Reading Buddies. The program was developed out of an initiative called Hazelwood Reads Together, and here’s the gist: trained volunteers are stationed in the library to read to and interact with kids, one on one or in small groups.

We know that kids succeed when they read, and that having a caring mentor doing the reading can be a big part of helping children develop a long-lasting love of books and reading. What we were also happy to discover is that volunteers love the experience, too.

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Reading together at CLP – Hazelwood

One volunteer, Maddie, explains it like this: “I decided to become a Reading Buddies volunteer because I was working full time at a job that I was getting nothing out of … I decided to check out the library’s website and see if any volunteer opportunities were available. I saw the Reading Buddies post and was instantly drawn to it. I have always loved working with kids and I knew I would be a good fit. It became the highlight of my work weeks. My day would go faster knowing I was going to leave work and do something I actually enjoyed while giving back at the same time.”

Another volunteer, Sally, agrees: “The kids love to read, create puzzles and create stories … It’s nice to give all of the kids attention that takes them away from the computers.  The kids are appreciative of the time and I appreciate the opportunity to engage with them in a fun, relaxed way. Reading Buddies is enjoyable for everyone. ”

Besides having the opportunity to give back by encouraging youth literacy, volunteering to read with kids helped some volunteers reflect on mentors who played a role in their own learning.

“My fourth grade teacher used to read my class a chapter of a book at the end of each day. He almost always picked one of Roald Dahl‘s books,” Maddie remembers. “I was always a pretty big reader, but when I started hearing these stories I was hooked. I still think of that teacher today when I see someone reading a Dahl book or see the old copies on my book shelf. I think of how my teacher did a great job of picking books our class would connect with, and I try to do that as a Reading Buddy.”

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A kiddo relaxes in the reading nook at CLP – Hazelwood

Adrienne, a Reading Buddy and a twenty-year veteran of teaching, recalls: “As a child, I always enjoyed being read to or reading with someone.  Some of my favorite books were: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein,  the Dr. Seuss books, the Paddington series by Michael Bond, The Box Car Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner and books by Judy Blume.”

Since June, twelve Reading Buddies volunteers have spent more than 150 hours volunteering to support early literacy at CLP – Hazelwood.  As library staff, we appreciate and recognize the dedication of those who give their time and talents to support young minds in this way.

We’re currently recruiting Reading Buddies volunteers for three different Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh locations:  Hazelwood, Hill District and Sheraden. If you’re interested, you can apply online or contact us for more information.

-Ginny

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Red Sweaters

We don’t feature Children’s stuff on here often (check out our friends at Story Pockets!) but every now and then, something comes along that we just can’t pass up.

As some of you may know, a few years ago the wonderful folks at the Fred Rogers Company developed a new show featuring the next generation of friends from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I’ve seen a few episodes with my niece and nephew, and it is just as great as you’d expect.

In an upcoming episode of the adorable Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, one of the Red Sweater Kids pays a visit to the Carnegie Library to sign up for their first card. The Sweater Kids are featured at the end of each episode – exploring their Pittsburgh neighborhoods and interacting with neighbors in the same way that Fred Rogers did on the original Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

source: fredrogers.org

Good news – a few of our branches will be screening a preview of this special episode and will have some crafts on hand to enjoy after.

Saturday, November 14 (tomorrow!) at 11:00 am – Beechview

Saturday, November 28 at 11:00 am – Woods Run

Thursday, December 3 at 11:00 am – Mt. Washington

Friday, December 4 at 9:30 am – Downtown & Business

Wednesday, December 16 at 6:30 pm – Lawrenceville 

Saturday, December 19 at 10:30 am – West End 

So pull out your best red sweater and join us for some fun!

— Jess

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Halloween Movies (for kids!)

This year my daughter asked to see some Halloween-themed (scary) movies so I picked out several titles and we have been watching… or rather starting to watch and then stopping when they get too scary. Although she loves Halloween, my daughter, like me, is a huge scaredy-cat. Everything that goes bump in the night is elevated to serial killer proportions in our minds (I once stayed awake all night while camping CONVINCED that the shadow on the tent was a murderer; turns out it was a tree). I thought I would share some of our recent selections along with our personal ratings, in case you your 6 year old is also a scaredy-cat… you can use my mistakes instead of freaking out your own kids! Win-win.

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Black Cauldron: A 1980s-era Disney animated film about a vision-having pig and her knightly protector. I thought this would be a nice little story for my daughter. Having never seen it myself I settled in for what I assumed would be something similar to the Sword in the Stone. Yeah… no. Ten minutes in and my daughter was freaked out by the horned-king and his grim reaper-like appearance. She left the living room with the parting line “This will give me nightmares, are you crazy?” It does seem like an interesting story that we may be able to revisit once she is older.

Hocus Pocus: This movie really needs no introduction. It is a modern-day classic. My kiddo has caught it in the middle on TV, but never from the beginning. I forgot about the opening scene where a little girl gets her soul sucked right out of her and her brother gets turned into a cat. This freaked her out, but luckily Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are so outlandish and over the top even during this part of the movie that she quickly got over it and watched the rest of the movie. By the way… this news article broke my heart and smashed all my dreams.

Beetlejuice: Again, another classic film. I loved this movie when I was about my daughter’s age. As an adult I realized there was a TON of stuff that went over my head and luckily the same thing happened for my daughter. The scary stuff is scary but also so over-exaggerated that she found the movie hilarious. And remember this is a kid that got scared by a Disney movie about a pig.

The Witches: another classic (from my childhood) based on Roald Dahl’s book. As a kid I could. not. watch. this movie. Just too scary. Even as an adult something about it just spooks me. My daughter did exactly the same. She was uncomfortable through the whole set up and as soon as the witches showed themselves for who they really were she jumped up and ran out of the room.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: This is what started the whole “I want to watch scary stuff” fad in our house back in early September. We were on Sleepy Hollow Road and I made a comment about the story of the headless horseman, which fascinated my daughter. So after reading a few versions of the original Washington Irving tales (which went right over her head) I got the DVD. This DVD has the Disney version from the 1940s narrated by Bing Crosby. She loved this cartoon. It was really funny and not scary until the end and even the scary stuff is handled with a lot of humor. We really are spineless.

GhostBusters: Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Need I say more? My daughter LOVES this movie. She can’t sit through scary episodes of her favorite Nickelodeon shows, but Bill Murray having a proton pack showdown with Slimer, red-eyed murderous dogs, Zuul? She can’t get enough of it. Apparently 6 year olds really love live-action 1980s movies. Who knew?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: I know this isn’t technically a Halloween movie, but just try and tell me that this doesn’t make you think of fall and cold weather. My daughter loved this movie. I tried to read the book to her chapter by chapter, but it is still just a little too much for her. We haven’t moved on to the next movie either. I figure she has her whole childhood to be introduced to the HP world, why rush it?

The Addams Family: My daughter loves this movie, but it isn’t really scary. It is more about people who are different.

Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin: She loves this. Of course it is completely not scary and about as tame as you can be.

Hotel Transylvania: A story about a dad learning to accept his daughter as she grows up. But, you know, based around vampires and mummies. She gets a kick out of this, I think, because the scary monsters aren’t scary, they are just like you and me.

This is as far as we have gotten with our viewing and reviews, but just in case you have seen these or just really love watching seasonal themed kids movies here is the whole list I have on hold for us this October!

The Haunted Mansion

Corpse Bride

The Nightmare Before Christmas (I have tried to get her to watch this before and she never makes it more than 20 minutes in, we will see if she can handle it this year)

Coraline

Monster House

Paranorman

The Worst Witch (You know you love you some hunky warlock named Tim Curry)

The Vampire’s Assistant (PG-13)

Frankenweenie

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (PG)

Hope these movies help get you ready for Halloween!

-Natalie

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Scenes From Lucky Thirteen: Summer Reading Is Here!

Today at Eleventh Stack we’re happy to bring you a special report from the Communication and Creative Services team. Many thanks to Trina, Renée, Suzanne and Stephen,  as well as photographers Marc Soracco and Bridgett Kay.

After a long winter of anticipation…Summer Reading is finally here! This past Sunday, June 9, a few thousand of our closest friends joined us to “Dig Into Reading” at our 13th annual Summer Reading Extravaganza. Just like baseball games, picnics and visits to the local amusement park, Extravaganza (and summer reading) are part of the summer tradition for thousands of area kids, teens and adults.

Thirteen must be our lucky number–the weather was simply perfect for an outdoor festival, especially one that celebrates the importance of reading and learning.

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The Library Card mascot may have confused this little guy…

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…but the mascot also welcomed more than 4,000 people gathered on the grounds of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh–Main in Oakland to enjoy live music and hands-on activities, learn something new and enthusiastically jump into a summer of reading.

Summer Reading Extravaganza

More than 75 of Pittsburgh’s coolest organizations came to the event to share enriching activities including arts & craft projects.

Summer Reading Extravaganza

Meanwhile, mentors from The Labs @ CLP showed off cool technologies–burping plant leaves anyone?

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Experimenting with musical instruments–like maracas–is a great way to learn rhythm and coordination.

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And even more fun is creating your own instrument. Did you know you can make a harmonica from Popsicle sticks, rubber bands and straws?

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The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium brought a very friendly snake–and children learned to touch with just one finger or two.

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Did you know the Pirate Parrot is a summer reader? He rode all the way from PNC Park on his motorcycle to visit the library!

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You can’t “dig into reading” without a few earthworms!

Summer Reading Extravaganza

Building imaginations is all part of the fun!

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This dog sure seemed to enjoy his day at the library!

Summer Reading Extravaganza

This budding musician played the ukulele at the CLP-Music Department’s Hum and Strum Tent.

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While others made music on stage with professional percussionists!

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Even with so much noise and activity, a dedicated reader can always find a quiet spot…

Summer Reading Extravaganza

…or a unique perch to read–for hours!

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The Library is a cool spot to check out eResources. And for those preferring to stay outside, librarians demonstrated how to download their next read on portable devices. Today’s Library has books and so much more!

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This dapper-looking gentleman may have come inside to check his e-mail (or maybe he was creating a story with My Storymaker!).

Summer Reading Extravaganza

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s 13th Annual Extravaganza was a great day for the Library and the Pittsburgh community. We are so grateful to our sponsors and partner organizations, and we can’t wait to see you again at Extravaganza next year!

Summer Reading Extravaganza

Are you a summer reader? It’s not too late. Stop by your neighborhood library to sign up and keep learning and reading over the summer!

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