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Library helps youngsters learn about giving back

By Jennifer Nicholson

Rowan Public Library

When Mr. Fred Rogers from “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” was young, he would often see or hear about events that would frighten him as a child. His mother would always say, “Look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping.” As the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma continue, many children might see or hear about events that frighten them. Having children look for helpers is way to help calm fears and worries, but can also help teach children to give and help others in return. While families can help by donating to the American Red Cross and other organizations helping those affected by recent natural disasters, there are plenty of opportunities for families to help those here in Rowan County.

The Children and Teen’s Departments of the Rowan Public Library are thrilled to introduce a new program for children to learn how to give back to Rowan County, and for teens to earn volunteer hours needed for community service requirements for school and scholarships. Give Back Saturday is a once a month program where children and teens will be introduced to local charities and organizations, and can give back to the community through various crafts and projects, which RPL will donate to the charity of the month. The first Give Back Saturday was held at Headquarters (201 West Fisher Street, Salisbury) on Saturday (September 23) and will continue on Oct. 14, beginning at 11 a.m. Children and teens of all ages are welcomed. For more information on Give Back Saturday, please call the Headquarters’ Children’s Departments at 704-216-8234.

There are many other ways that children and teens of Rowan County can give back to their community. Recycling at home or reading to a neighbor are some simple ways that even young children can help. Volunteering or donating to local organizations like Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary of Rowan County or to a local assisted living center are ways that older children can help, or for families to do together. 

For teens, the Salisbury Youth Council provides teens with the opportunity to help create a more positive community, by building leadership skills and team work, while creating service projects to help various community events such as Friday Night Out and Movies in the Park. The Salisbury Youth Council is open to any teens who live in Rowan County and are current 9-12th graders.  For more information on the Salisbury Youth Council or to apply, please visit: http://www.salisburync.gov/Government/BoardsCommissions/Pages/Salisbury-Youth-Council.aspx

Helping and giving back opportunities are not only available for children and teens of Rowan County; there also are many great ways for adults and families to help. The Friends of the Rowan Public Library is an organization that helps support the Rowan Public Library, by providing funding for various programs such as concerts, storytelling festivals, and RPL’s Summer Reading Programs.  Families and adults can join the Friends of the Rowan Public Library by visiting https://www.rowancountync.gov/772/Friends-of-the-Library, or can help by participating in the Friend’s Annual Book Sale. Preview sale starts on Friday, October 27, for Friends members’ only, public sale starts on Saturday, October 28 and runs until Monday, October 30. Individuals and families can become members of the Friends for a small annual fee.  For more information regarding the Friends of the Rowan Public Library, please visit their website or call your local branch location.

Having children look for helpers and becoming helpers themselves can be a way to help children cope with recent current events.  There are many ways for families, children, and teens, to give back to Rowan County, and to gain new awareness of their community.  For more information on organizations listed here, please visit their website, or you can call any RPL location for additional information regarding RPL programs and Friends of the Rowan Public Library.

PJ Storytime: Headquarters, Sept. 25, 6:30 p.m., Put on your pajamas, grab a blanket, your favorite stuffed animal and join us for a special evening storytime. Recommended for children 3-11 years old, but all children weolcome.

Baby Time: Birth-23 months. Highly interactive 30-minute program for children and their adult caregivers. Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays, 10 a.m.; South, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.

Toddler Time: 18 to 35 months. Highly interactive 30-minute program for children and their adult caregivers. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Mondays, 11 a.m.; South, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschoolers: 3-5 years. Highly interactive 30-minute program for children and their adult caregivers. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; South, Mondays, 10 a.m.

Noodlehead Storytime: Pre-K to fifth grade. Interactive storytime. Headquarters, Thursday, 4 p.m.; East, Tuesdays 3:30 p.m.; South Wednesdays, 3:30 p.m.

Art programs: Pre-K to fifth grade. Learn art terms, techniques and work on art projects; 30-45 minutes. Art in the Afternoon, headquarters, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; Bethany’s Brushes, East, Tuesdays, 4 p.m.; Canvas Kids, South, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.

Tail Waggin’ Tutors: 7 to 9 years old. Children can practice reading skills in a relaxed, dog-friendly atmosphere. Canine listeners provided by Therapy Dogs International. Headquarters, selected Tuesdays, 4 p.m. Call 704-216-8234 for details. East, selected Mondays, 3:30 p.m., Call 704-216-7842 for details. South, by appointment only. Call 704-216-7728 for details.

Teen programs are open to sixth- through 12th-graders who are 11-18 years old.

Chapter Chats: Weekly book club for teens 14-17, primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, though all are welcome. Mondays, 5 p.m. at East Branch, Rockwell. For more information, contact Tammie Foster at 704-216-7842.

The Write Stuff: Lessons in and practice with creative writing, led by Jenny Hubbard, young-adult novelist. Headquarters, Oct. 3, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Open to teens in grades six through 12.

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” book release party: Celebrate the release of the illustrated edition of the third Harry Potter book with crafts, snacks and a screening of the movie. We will not have copies of the book for sale. South, Oct. 3, 3 p.m.

Teen Hour: Bring your favorite games to challenge friends, talk about your ideas for upcoming events, or just hang out. Headquarters, Sept. 26, Oct. 24, 4:30 p.m.;  South, Oct. 26, 4 p.m.

Library Card Sign-up Month: At headquarters (201 W. Fisher St.), East (110 Broad St., Rockwell) and South (920 Kimball Road, China Grove) branches.

Displays: Headquarters, Constitution Week by Daughters of the American Revolution and Hispanic Heritage Month by Icela Trujillo; East, celebrating the octopus, by Emma Rose; South, artisan jewelry by Myrtis Trexler.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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