Thursday, July 9, 2009

Safari Greg and the Cheatham County Library Build Assets for Children

The Cheatham County Library has an amazing calendar of Summer Reading Programs each year. Today they hosted Safari Greg from Urban Safari. He kept 100+ children (ages 6mo to 60 years) completely enrapt with his humor, his magic, and of course his animals.

You can see some of the children holding his 13ft banana python snake in the picture below. The close-up picture from his website gives you a better picture of the snake.
But he wasn't just showing animals to the kids, he was building the asset of commitment to learning with the attending families. He ignited their curiousity and engaged them in learning about the animals' diets, habitats, and physiques. He involved the children in the show, so they were 100% active learners.

It's not surprising to hear that a library is building the commitment to learning asset, because libraries are places that we learn. But the Cheatham County Children's Librarian goes to stellar efforts to inspire these kids to read. Each week, children keep a log of the books they read (or have read to them), documenting the book title and the # of pages. The two children who read the most pages get gift cards donated by local businesses - and they are nice gifts like a $25 to a child-friendly restaurant or a 4 tickets to the Blue Heron cruise line. And she also does a drawing to give gifts to children who come to storytime and parents who make the effort to get children there. Most of all, the children's program just reinforces the idea that reading is FUN!

Their summer theme is imagination, which is a direct link to the Constructive Use of Time Asset of Creative Activities. The whole storytime room is filled with imaginative artwork, so it's a delightful atmosphere.

Isn't great that asset-building can be so full of energy and so fun?