Friday, August 26, 2011

A look back, a look forward

As I look back on the summer of 2011, I feel so grateful to the kids and families of Amherst---my first summer program in a new community, and I had a blast! I just love getting a chance to see so many children, and to talk to them about the books they're reading. I was amazed by the level of enthusiasm the children brought to our goal of sending animals to families via Heifer Project International. When I was considering the idea, I wondered if the children would really understand, and feel excited about this kind of a summer reading goal, but they really did seem to "get it", and I felt so proud of them, as we tracked our progress.
I hope that everyone else enjoyed the weekly performers as much as I did---I really can't decide which one was my favorite--was it Odds Bodkin, with his amazing storytelling sound effects, or those wonderful Curious Creatures? Or Steve and Marty, singing their crazy songs, or Norman---absolutely magical!!--I loved them all, although I have to say, I had SO MUCH FUN visiting with our local farmers in our little back parking lot on PETTING ZOO day. It just felt like the ultimate "small-town" experience. You don't have to be fancy to have a great time with children! Now summer is drawing to a close, and "One World, Many Stories" is a wrap---I hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did!

Looking forward to fall, I have a lot to be excited about. Of course, storytimes will be starting up again soon. There are a few changes to last year's schedule, so be sure to stop by and pick up a brochure, click on the "Storytimes" tab above, or take a look at our web-calendar for the details. We have lots of fun, so please join us!
Our lovely therapy dog, Belle, and her owner, Nancy, will be joining us again in September. Call or stop in to sign your child up for a special reading session with this wonderful pair of volunteers.
Come October, our regular book clubs will be starting up--the Junior Book Club for kids in grades 2-4, and the Great Stone Face Reviewer's Club for kids in grades 5 and 6. Ask Miss Sarah for details.
There will be a couple of "special event" book clubs coming up this fall. In October, we'll get together to talk about the book Hide and Seek by Katy Grant. It's a great adventure story that involves geo-caching. If you're not sure what geo-caching is, read the book! Then get together with us on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 10:00am, and we'll chat about the book, make a "treasure" to put into a geo-cache, and go out and find one, right here in Amherst! All you need is the book, a GPS device, and a parent. Ask Miss Sarah for details.
As for the "special event" book club coming in November, stay tuned for details, but I will tell you that it involves CUPCAKES!

Friday, August 12, 2011


On Wednesday morning, we had a wonderful time getting to know some local farmers and their animals.  We tried to assemble the types of farm animals that our children will be sending to families overseas via Heifer Project International, and boy, did we have fun!

Tim and Dana from Purgatory Falls Alpaca Farm in Lyndeborough brought "Romeo" and "Casanova" to meet the kids---they were sooooo soft, and they loved to eat carrots! Thanks to a "Friends of the Amherst Library" gift, in memory of Kathy Wilkins Rios, we will be able to help Heifer Project provide an alpaca to a deserving family in South America.

Lin L'Heureux and her husband Moe brought two of their beautiful hens to visit---our children earned enough to provide 5 flocks of chickens to families overseas!  By the way, Lin is trying to organize a local 4-H club (as a former 4-H'er, Miss Sarah is enthusiastically supportive--it's where I learned all about gardening, goats, chickens, sewing.....!)  If you're interested, you can email Lin at for more info.

Local high-school student Victoria Chistolini, of Pheasant Hollow Farms,  brought an observation-hive with real live honeybees! The kids were fascinated---they've earned enough to send 4 beehives overseas.  Miss Sarah was thrilled to find a source of fresh, local honey!

Ellen Zorawowicz is also a beekeeper--she is a fount of interesting information, and brought the "tools of the trade" to show to the children. They loved getting their "hands-on" demonstration....
...and they loved dressing up in the gear!