Instead of worrying about buying new school supplies or clothes for the upcoming school year, librarian Rhonda Giles is in her element.
Giles began drawing jellyfishes and divers with her daughter, painting the caricatures in the Beaver Valley Library with summer student Amanda Pourmokhtari, suspending them from the ceiling with fishing line and preparing a series of after-school reading programs.
Exactly one week after students return to classes, the Beaver Valley Library will embark on a series of new reading programs with a salt water air to them.
“We’re going to have an underwater theme,” Giles said, gesturing towards pirate-themed books and an assortment of colourful cut-outs.
“We even built a cardboard yellow submarine so I’m probably going to be humming in the background and the kids won’t even know about the song.”
Each of the programs are geared towards different age groups, including story time for newborns and their mothers, ages three to five and ages six to 12.
Each program will be completing reading assignments, doing experiments and making crafts until mid-November.
Some participants will read ‘The Terrible Horrible Smelly Pirate,’ ‘Pirates Don’t Change Diapers’ and ‘Rainbow Fish.’
Children between the ages of three to five can attend the Underwater Adventure program between 10 and 11 a.m. on Sept. 11. In addition to reading about marine life, children who participate will be exposed to books about underwater mysteries and animals.
And after the success of the province-wide Strange But True summer reading program, Pourmokhtari’s science background will remain an integral part of the programs despite her return the University of Northern B.C. (UNBC) in Prince George.
After the children got past feelings of betrayal about incorporating science into the summer program, it was a huge success that is expected to continue.
“We’re going to do an experiment with submarines to show the kids how they go down and why they come up,” said Giles. “And I’m sure we’ll come up with a few more.”
Children between the ages of six and 12 can attend a similar program, Shipwrecked Craft Hour, geared towards their age between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.
But Pourmokhtari saw other advantages of the program.
“It gets the kids out with their friends in a safe environment,” she said. “It’s so nice they come in after school with their friends and make even more new friends.”
There is no fee to participate in the Beaver Valley Library’s fall reading programs.
For more information, call Giles at 250-367-7114, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by the Beaver Valley Public Library at 1847 1st Street in Fruitvale.