Things have been busy at your library this month as winter (hopefully) begins to wind down and our thoughts turn to spring. The Brokenicky Room is hosting English as a second language classes two nights a week, and a computer class for Spanish speakers is ready to go.

But the activity inside your library tells only part of the story. We also have an outreach program that so far this month has reached nearly 225 people who are not at the library.

Every Wednesday I travel to Schuyler Head Start where I read to two morning classrooms and two afternoon classrooms. It is one of the highlights of my week to visit these children and their teachers and interact with them. The children are limitless bundles of energy and excitement, who love listening to me read.

One or two Thursdays a month (depending upon the schedule) I visit classrooms at Schuyler Preschool and typically will share the same book I read at Head Start that same week. The children are a joy to be around and it is easy to understand why their teachers and paras might be exhausted at the end of each day. The children embrace learning and life with endless enthusiasm that can only be described as contagious. Oh, to be that young again!

On Thursday afternoons I journey to Schuyler Middle School where I am presenting a photography class (for lack of a better description) as part of the after-school program. “Focusing Your Eyes” is my attempt to shed some light (pun intended) on photography and looking at everyday objects, and life, from a variety of angles to get a different point of view. I have seen some genuine interest from some students, and I hope all of them are enjoying the sessions.

Friday afternoon I throw myself into the mix of the after-school program at Schuyler Elementary School. It can be a “madhouse” of noise and excitement when 50 or so children gather around the tables for 90 minutes of puzzles, card games, Legos, Tinker Toys and Jenga. Boy, do they have fun!

Without a doubt, my weekly Thursday morning visit to Golden LivingCenter is the most rewarding experience of each week. A group of residents, usually seven to 10, gather in the dining room while I spend 30 minutes reading a book aloud. The books’ topics generally relate to the “old days” such as growing up in a small farming community or a biography of someone in their past. I am currently reading “Gracie — A Love Story” by George Burns. As a baby boomer I remember watching Burns and Allen on television and thinking that Gracie Allen wasn’t very bright, but she was a comedic genius who was so smart she made playing dumb look easy. But most of all, she was the love of George Burns’ life, and that comes across readily in his words. It was a fairytale love story, and I enjoy it as much as the residents.

I hope that by getting out into the community and interacting with people who don’t or can’t make it a habit to visit the library, the message that your library is the place to be for relaxation, education and fun comes through loud and clear.

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