Summer Library Program ends August 14

Congratulations to the Summer Library Program participants (ages 0-18) who have completed their summer reading goals! If your family is not quite finished, no worries! You have until August 14 to complete your goal and collect your prize at the Youth Services desk. All you have to do is show a Youth Services staff member your completed paper reading record or Beanstack app. Be sure to check library hours before your visit.

Teens (students entering grades 6-12) are also eligible to win one of six cool raffle prizes, sponsored by the Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library. How do you participate in the raffle, you ask? Good question!

  • If you’re using Beanstack to track your reading, submit your raffle entries in your account there. Mark off the activity you have completed under the “Activity Challenge” tab or achieve your halfway reading Challenge Badge, then pop over to the “Ticket Drawings” tab to enter the prize raffle.
  • If you’re using a paper or pdf reading record to track your reading, submit your raffle entries through the web form here.
  • You also have the option to complete three bonus activities for more raffle entries. Find out more here.

You can do it! Finish up those reading goals, enter the teen prize raffle, and pick up your prize by August 14 before we say goodbye to another awesome Summer Library Program.

Questions? Give us a call at 715-839-5007 or email ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us.

NEW! In-Person Storytime

Storytime Song

(Tune: London Bridge)

Monday morning storytime

Owen Park, Owen Park

It’s in-person storytime

Come and join us!

That’s right, folks! In-Person storytime* returns at 10 a.m. on Mondays, July 12 – August 9 at Owen Park (1st Avenue) near the playground. Enjoy playful stories, songs, rhymes, and movement. This storytime is great for families with children ages 0-5, but the whole family is welcome. Spaces will be marked to help with social distancing. No registration required.

Extra! Extra! Our BookBike will also be in Owen Park near the playground on Monday mornings (9 a.m. to noon) and our Dabble Box staff will be on hand to offer creative play and projects such as coding and robotics, water coloring, button making, and more. While you’re at it, enjoy a story while you stroll through Owen Park with our new, permanent StoryWalk®.

In-Person Storytime, BookBike, and Dabble Box activities are all weather permitting.

*Virtual storytime on Zoom will continue through July 28 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

Librarian reading book during Storytime

Storytime is back!

Our Youth Services librarians are back online, bringing families stories, songs, and storytime magic to foster of a love of reading and promote the development of early literacy skills.

From June 7 – July 28, we will offer interactive storytime on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. on either Facebook Live (Mondays; no registration required) or Zoom (Tuesdays and Wednesdays; registration required). Find all the details here: https://www.ecpubliclibrary.info/kids/storytime-online/

Check out a summer Storytime Kit! Packed with activity scarves, music makers, bubbles, song and rhyme sheets, and other items, our Baby/Toddler Storytime Kits and Family Storytime Kits are designed to enhance your storytime experience and provide continuous opportunities for early literacy fun at home. It is not necessary to have a Storytime Kit to participate, but it does up the fun factor! Pick up a kit at the Youth Services desk starting Tuesday, June 1, while supplies last.

New this summer! We are thrilled to partner with Family Resource Center to offer “Practical Parenting” facilitated discussions after Baby/Toddler storytime on Tuesdays. A parent educator will present a brief parenting topic and lead an interactive discussion. Come meet other parents, discuss common parenting issues, and get your questions answered.

If you have any questions, please contact Youth Services at 715-839-5007 or ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us.

Read with us this summer!

The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library’s annual Summer Library Program kicks off today!

Nurture your child’s interest in reading by signing them up for the Summer Library Program. Reading during the summer months helps prevent summer slide, a decline in reading ability and academic skills. Research shows that participation in summer reading programs can increase reading skills, motivation, confidence, and enjoyment. Find out how to get started below!

Summer Reading Program

Youth ages 0 to 18 can earn a free book this summer by participating in the Summer Library Program.

It’s as easy as 1–2–3!

  • Sign up anytime, June 1–August 14.
  • Read (or be read to) and complete activities.
  • Complete your reading goal and activities by August 14 to earn your free book!

How to Start…

Want to know more? Check out our Summer Library Program page to sign-up, download our event flyer, and so much more.

Questions? Call 715-839-5007 or email ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us

Two New Permanent StoryWalks®!

The library’s Youth Services team is delighted to announce the installation of two all-new, permanent StoryWalks® in Eau Claire. The walks were created in partnership with the City of Eau Claire’s Parks & Forestry Division and made possible through a COVID Recovery Grant from United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley.

StoryWalks® combine literacy with physical activity, placing large, colorful book pages at regular intervals along a walking route, encouraging users to walk (or run or skip or hop) as they read the book and/or enjoy the pictures.

Andy Neborak, Executive Director of the United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley, says, “We’re honored to support this project. The StoryWalk® project advances the development and learning of children and also supports the mental and physical well-being of these children and their families. These were all primary goals of our recovery grant process. After a long year, people are eager to get outside and enjoy a wonderful Wisconsin summer.”

Open now, locals will find the walks in Owen Park and Carson Park. The Carson Park walk is located around the main playground. The Owen Park walk can be found along the Chippewa Valley State Trail, starting near the playground. Each park features a different story, which will be switched out on a regular basis.

Extra, extra! The library’s popular BookBike and Dabble Box team will be visiting the StoryWalks® this summer so you can check out books, sign up for a library card, register for the Summer Library Program, grab a take and make bag, ask reference questions, and more. Beginning June 1, the BookBike and the Dabble Box will be in Owen Park on Mondays, 9 a.m.–noon; and in Carson Park on Wednesdays, 9 a.m.–noon, weather permitting. Learn more about the BookBike here.

Try it out with your littles! Take a pic of your family enjoying the StoryWalks® and tag @ecpubliclibrary on social media or email it to Youth Services (listed below). We may feature your photo on our website and social media pages.

Contact Youth Services at 715-839-5007 or ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us to learn more. The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

Meet the Parenting Collection

Parents and caregivers, let me introduce you to Youth Services’ new(ish) parenting collection!

Launched at the end of 2019, this collection contains materials for both children and adults on a range of family topics. You’ll find picture books for children about welcoming a new baby, potty training, adoption, divorce, and managing emotions. You’ll also find informational books for parents and caregivers of children ages 0-8 that focus on four main categories:

Click on the links above to see book suggestions in each of those categories.

Browse the whole parenting collection online, or visit the library in person during our appointment-free library service hours. Find our current schedule here.

Great Books for New Readers

One of the most common questions I get from parents in the library is how to help their child learn to read.

The first answer is that reading out loud to your child early and often is the number one way to help them become a good reader. Not only do they learn many pre-reading skills by watching you read aloud, but they also very importantly learn the love of reading from you. For more early literacy tips, check out these recent blogs from Jerissa. TalkReadSingPlay

When my own son was learning to read, he started by pre-reading books like “Great Day for Up,” where he gleefully picked out every occurrence of the word “up” and read it to me as I read the story. He also loved “reading” the book “Bears on Wheels” back to me, reading the pictures and telling me the story as he went.

When he was ready to start really reading and decoding the words on the page, he started with the Bob Books from the library. These super short books with just a few words per page really helped build his confidence as well as his reading ability. He loved when he could declare that he read a whole book by himself!

I have compiled a list of great books to help get your child started on their reading journey. These books range from those with one or two words per page to some with easy sentences. I hope that these books can help start your child on their lifelong love of reading!

Storytime OnDemand with Miss Kelly

It is fun to tell a story, but did you know that you can tell a picture, too? Join Ms. Kelly for Monkey’s Picture, a silly story about a monkey who makes a gift for his mama.

The Animal Antics full storytime line-up includes:

  • Monkey’s Picture
  • Roly Poly
  • Put Your Hands Up High
  • Tiny Tim
  • Going to Kentucky

When you are done quacking like a duck and swimming like a turtle, be sure to check out our other Storytime OnDemand and Fingerplay Fun videos!

Book Recs from our Young Adult Advisory Board

Did you know that Youth Services has a special advisory board for teen services, run by the teens themselves? The Young Adult Advisory Board (YAAB) meets each month to discuss ideas for programs, teen materials, and much more! Teen members recently created a booklist of some of their favorite teen reads to share with you all.

Check out these book recommendations for you or the teens in your life. Teen reads recommended by teens for other teens. What’s better than that?

Young Adult Advisory Board Teens Recommend…

To find out more about our current Young Adult Advisory Board, head over to the Teen Lounge @ Home Blog for member profiles.The Young Adult Advisory Board (YAAB) is open to teens in grades 6 through 12. YAAB currently meets virtually on the 1st Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. to discuss ideas for programs, materials, activities in the Teen Lounge and ways to make the library a better place for teens. Always accepting new members: apply today!

Building Brains by Reading with Your Children

Parents, did you realize that children develop essential skills that help them learn how to read long before formal reading instruction begins? These are called early literacy skills, and they include vocabulary, print motivation, phonological awareness, print awareness, letter knowledge, and narrative skills.

How do children gain these skills, exactly? The answer is simple. Through everyday nurturing interactions with you! When you talk, read, sing, and play with your children, you are helping them build these foundational skills, and you’re strengthening your bond with your child in the process. Win, win!

*This is the second post in a series of blogs about utilizing the early literacy practices (talk, read, sing, play) to foster your child’s development. This entry focuses on the practice of reading.

In “Becoming a Nation of Readers,” a landmark 1985 report, experts declared that “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” The positive effects of regularly reading aloud to your children are numerous and include the following:

  • builds connections in their brain
  • develops their language and vocabulary skills
  • supports their social/emotional development
  • strengthens their relationship with you
  • teaches them about themselves and the world in which they live

There is simply no denying the incredible and dynamic power of reading aloud to your children.

But with so many books and so little time, where does a parent begin? A great answer to this question is only three words long: your public library. Library staff is knowledgeable about the collections and eager to help your kiddos find books that match their interests and abilities. Reach out to us by phone (715-839-5007) or email (ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us) to start a conversation.

In the meantime, check out our staff curated book lists on a variety of topics for a variety of readers on our website and on our Bibliocommons profile. You’ll find great books to share with babies, toddler-tough picture books, funny stories, books for dinosaur fans, not your average lift-the-flap interactive stories, and so much more.

Okay, I’ve got some great books. Now what?

The greatest benefits from reading aloud can be achieved when you and your child are engaged in the reading experience. Enhance your child’s engagement and your own enjoyment by utilizing these tips:

  1. Read with expression! This may take some practice, but your kids will love it! 100% money back guarantee! Here are some vocal contrasts to add expressive flair:
    • Play with your pitch. Experiment with using a high voice and low voice to add depth to a character.
    • Adjust your volume. Perhaps you’ve reached a suspenseful part of the story and want to speak quietly for dramatic effect. Perhaps a character is surprised and speaks at an elevated volume.
    • Consider your speed. Avoid rushing. Relish each word. Make use of pauses and silence. Read quickly only when the action of the story calls for it. In general, a slower rate of speed gives your child more time to process what they are hearing and seeing on the page.
    • Experiment with your tone. Play around with the quality of sounds your voice can make. Gravelly, airy, nasal, etc.
  2. Be interactive! Invite your child to actively participate in the read aloud experience by doing the following:
    • Discuss the cover art and illustrations. Remember, while you focus on the text, your child is “reading” and deriving meaning from the illustrations. Talk with your child about the art and how it relates to the story.
    • Ask open ended questions. These enable a child to demonstrate their understanding and practice their narrative skills. Here are some examples:
      • What do you notice? They may observe something you haven’t yet noticed.
      • Why do you think he feels sad? This can help build emotional intelligence.
      • What do you think is going to happen? This is an opportunity to use critical thinking skills.
    • Include your children by inviting them to:
      • Do the actions. Many picture books include bold actions. Don’t just read it, do it!
      • “Read” the repeated phrases. Your child will quickly learn any repeated refrains in a story. After two or three times, start the phrase and let your child finish it.
      • Finish the sentence in a familiar text. Likewise, your child’s favorite books will soon be memorized. Invite them to finish the sentence or even “read” the book to you.
      • Complete the rhyme. Rhyming books are great for developing phonological awareness—an early literacy skill. Start the rhyme, but pause at the end to see if your child can finish it.
    • Discuss the book afterward. What did your child like? Dislike? What was their favorite part? What do they think the characters will do next?

Reading aloud with your children every day is beneficial for their development and can be both joyful and rewarding for you and your child. For more information and ideas on this topic, check out these great additional resources:

Enjoy reading with your child! Find information and tips about the other early literacy practices here: talking, singing, and playing.