POINCIANA, FL –Once a month, Osceola Public Library branches invite children of all ages to come in their PJ’s, to enjoy an evening of story time and crafts during its Jammy Jamboree event.
Kimberlee Lewis, Youth Specialist for the Poinciana branch organizes this event to enhance the desire to read among young children. With Internet research available in most every home it is up to the library to find creative ways to draw children in.
“While having reading tools and games online may have some benefits, having the interaction of actually hearing and watching someone tell a story and the back and forth that comes with it, makes it more fun” Lewis explains. Children learn comprehension, which is a big thing right now. While students can read something to you they often have a hard time explaining what it is they have read. “ Jammy Jamboree provides visual stimulation and Q&A throughout.”
The library’s outreach programs extend to teens as well. Lewis goes to local high schools to engage teen readers in her “Book Tasting” event. Six chapter books are presented along with six different foods. Teens are encouraged to match the food they try along with the book – based on title, color or character. The exercise opens a dialogue with students to have them read books they may have once passed over. The event has drawn over thirty new teen readers to the library since its inception.