Ecorse Town Hall Meeting, “Bettering the Community” February 28, 2005

In early 2005, I designed the attached three-fold brochure to showcase the Ecorse Public Library as a clearinghouse for community-leaders and private citizens alike seeking to revitalize the Ecorse area by fighting blight, creating economic opportunity for small-business-owners and job-seekers, providing constructive activities for young people, etc.  The 2003 Dick Johnston Grant (also posted below) was a part of this same effort.

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I am a proud public librarian with nine years of experience, chiefly in youth services. As of October 1, 2014 my position at my present library will be cut from the budget. I hope to find other library work in which I can help people of any age to realize their full potential, and to continue to find some way to help people in economically-depressed communities who are trying to re-invent themselves, whether by gaining parenting or work skills, basic literacy or English-as-a-Second-Language skills, etc.

After school activities for Grades 4-8

Please Note: The activities detailed below originally were intended as Ecorse Public Library Events for “Hangout Time” suggested age-range: 4th -8th Grade, and were to be held Thursdays as noted, from 4-5 p.m.  These activities can, however, be adapted to any library interested in providing constructive after-school activities for youngsters during the early after school hours, a time when there often is less adult supervision in the home and kids need a chance to have recreation before settling into homework.

Program #1) – October 2 – Space Craft

Craft- Activity – “Invent a New Constellation” from pg. 45, and  “Build a Box Full of Stars” from pg. 47 of Constellations : a glow-in-the-dark guide to the night sky (Book info. below) after showing kids the pictures in the book, and very short (as in a sentence or two) descriptions of the following books (Below):

Title

The mighty Mars rovers : the incredible adventures of Spirit and Opportunity

Author

Rusch, Elizabeth.

Publisher:

Houghton Mifflin Books for Children,

Pub date:

2012.

Holdings +/- Libraries
Ecorse Public Library (Wayne Co. Library)  Copy   Material  Location/Due Date
J 523.43 R 1  Juvenile Book  Juvenile Collection

Title

Kingfisher voyager : space 1st ed.

Author

Goldsmith, Michael Dr.

Publisher:

Kingfisher,

Pub date:

2005.

J 629.45 G +/- Libraries
1  Juvenile Book  Juvenile Collection

Title

Constellations : a glow-in-the-dark guide to the night sky

Author

Sasaki, Chris.

Publisher:

Sterling Pub. Co.,

Pub date:

c2006.

  • Holdings +/- Libraries
    Ecorse Public Library (Wayne Co. Library)  Copy   Material  Location/Due Date
    J 523.8 S 1  Juvenile Book  Juvenile Collection

     

    Title

    Atlas of the universe 1st U.S. ed.

    Author

    Garlick, Mark A. (Mark Antony), 1968-

    Publisher:

    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,

    Pub date:

    2008, c2007.

    Holdings +/- Libraries
    Ecorse Public Library (Wayne Co. Library)  Copy   Material  Location/Due Date
    OVERSIZED REF J 523.1 G 1  Reference  Reference Material

    Fiction books include:

    (For younger end of 4th-8th Grade age range)

    Title

    Trash crisis on earth! 1st ed.

    Author

    Stadler, Alexander.

    Publisher:

    Scholastic Press,

    Pub date:

    2008.

    Pages:

    123 p. ;

    • Meet Julian Rodriguez, an extra-terrestrial genius trapped in the body of an eight-year-old human boy. A hilarious, fully illustrated series for young chapter-book readers that’s out of this world! Julian Rodriguez is on a mission for the Mothership. He’s been sent to Earth to study human lifeforms and their bizarre habits–from their disgusti … (to read more see “A Look Inside”)
     

    Ecorse Public Library (Wayne Co. Library)

     Copy   Material  Location/Due Date
    SCI FIC J FIC STA 1  Juvenile Book  Juvenile Collection

    (For older end of 4th-8th Grade age range)

    Title

    Journey between worlds [1st ed.]

    Author

    Engdahl, Sylvia.

    Publisher:

    Atheneum,

    Pub date:

    1. (PLEASE NOTE: This book was updated in 2006, to be more contemporary, include modern means of communication such as cell phones and internet. I have it checked out at the moment.  It is the story of a young woman, between high school and college, accompanying her dad on a trip to the Mars colony, and learning to live in a space-bubble, or to make brief trips outside with an oxygen tank, all the while making choices about the guy in her life who is right for her and will understand her need for freedom and being curious about the new planet.  She also has to decide many other things about her future such as whether she is willing to never go back to Earth again, much like her pioneer ancestors out West.  I think the plot and theme are pretty timeless, and teens today will relate to this character.)

    Pages:

    235 p.

    Holdings +/- Libraries
    Ecorse Public Library (Wayne Co. Library)  Copy   Material  Location/Due Date
    SCI FIC J FIC ENG 1  Juvenile Paperback  Due: 9/15/2014

    Program #2) Thursday, October 16 – Act Out Short Scenes from Favorite Books

    (Kids can show up in Halloween costumes and get a piece of wrapped candy.)

    The kids will be welcome to suggest books from which they can describe the scenes, provided they follow a few ground rules (no offensive language, keep noise level to normal conversational level, “Stage” area is between the picture books and the Newbery and Caldecotts and no further, no running or roughhousing, plus we will divide up the time so that every kid present has a chance to suggest/direct or to act in a scene he or she likes, assuming maximum of ten kids present.  If more kids than ten show up, we may have to vote for our favorites and do other scenes another time.). Of course I realize that nobody may have ideas for scenes from favorite books.  Therefore, I’ve thought up a couple ideas, (and will add more) as follows:

    • Jackie and Me by Dan Gutman – The scene where Jackie Robinson (who broke the color barrier in baseball) is being taunted by the opposing team when he is up to bat. Jackie Robinson, who joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, always kept his temper.  In this, his first season, instead of getting mad, he gave the other team a challenge by stealing bases.  In this scene he scampers back and forth between the bases so that all the players on the opposing team wind up trying to tag him out, instead of concentrating on the batter.  The other team look foolish, (we will do this scene in slow motion to simulate the other team’s players running into each-other, without anyone actually running into each other.  I can act as sports-announcer).  At the end of the game, the Dodgers have won, and Jackie’s teammates accept him as one of their number and an equal.
    • 13 Gifts by Wendy Mass – In this story a girl named Tara is sent to stay with some relatives for the summer. The relatives have their live-in housekeeper, an Australian young man, pick up Tara from the train station.  He uses a lot of Australian phrases that Tara doesn’t understand, and has to figure out (I could play the Australian guy if none of the kids wants to, and the other kids could guess what I’m saying based on context.  Then they could try saying some of the phrases. (All the dialogue is clean and inoffensive to anyone, other than the fact that there is the cultural difference between American and Australian English, and both parties feel respected.)

    Program #3) Thursday, November 13 – Mystery and Riddle Day (NOTE: This program has been moved up a week from Thursday, November 6, when I will be on vacation).  We can try solving riddles and short mysteries from some of the books the library owns, eg. the “Encyclopedia Brown” series, or the puzzler book we have in our professional collection.  I also have a new book of mazes and other board games (erasable) to add to the professional collection.  The book’s mazes and puzzles are all about the prehistoric period.

    Program #4) Thursday, December 4Joint Craft program for PreK-3rd Graders AND 4th – 8th Graders to make cards and gift bags for their friends and family for the upcoming holidays.  Kids of all ages will be doing this program on their own ability-level, and I’ll have an array of papers, fabric-scraps, yarn for bag-handles, stencils, etc. and possibly a little glitter glue.  The kids can create something of their own choosing – no fast and hard rules except “Share, And Clean up After Yourself.”  I may need about 10-15 dollars for plastic table cloths, glue, scissors etc.  Also, I think for this PreK-3rd Grade age-group I should strongly recommend that an adult attend along with the child to give help with the crafting.)

    Program #5) Thursday, December 11 Window-painting of winter scenes (Santa Claus, snowflakes and snow people, Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, etc.)  This program is definitely recommended for 4th Grade on up, and should be limited 12 painters.  Kids who are younger than that should bring an older person to help them to paint the windows (and also should be aware that the windows may be too high for them to reach very far.  No ladders and no lifting people – for safety reasons everyone has to stay with their feet planted on the ground).  We will paint the windows in the kids’ play area and, if time permits, in the magazine and biography area of the adult-section.  I will need to buy tarps to protect the floor, acrylic paints, paint-brushes, and perhaps some season-themed stencils or sponges.  However, our old newspapers can be used to protect the window-ledges, and I can supply small containers for water for cleaning brushes.  I expect the cost of supplies to come to about $60.

    Francine Joy Allen

    Youth Services Librarian

    Ecorse Public Library

    4184 W. Jefferson Ave.

    Ecorse, MI  48229

    313-389-2030

    http://www.ecorse.lib.mi.us/

    Baby-Toddler times which can be used at YOUR public library (originally intended for Ecorse Public Library, Ecorse, MI)

    Little One Time at Ecorse Public Library (1)

    Four half-hour programs are described in my project URL. As with “Family Time” (April 2012 at Lincoln Park Public Library), the purpose of “Little One Time” is to encourage interactive activity beyond the traditional library story time. My purpose in creating “Little One Time” is to inspire very young children and their regular caregivers to bond together over conversations which can be sparked by stories, songs, finger plays and age-appropriate games such as “Peek-a-Boo”. In encouraging conversations, I realize that the youngest babies will be limited to pre-verbal skills such as facial expressions and sounds such as “goo goo” and “waaah!”. However, when a loving caregiver talks to a baby and mirrors the baby’s actions back to him/her (eg. “Yes, you’re my little goo-gooer”), the caregiver builds trust in the child’s mind, as well as setting the stage for verbal and social skills to take root. These skills, combined with the sharing of stories, rhymes, songs, etc. also eventually will help with school-readiness – and school-eagerness – in that the “Little One Times” help caregivers learn how to present literature, conversation and other verbal and interpersonal activities in a way intended to be enjoyable for both caregiver and child.

    Sadly, as I was completing the “Little One Time” programs, I learned that my position as Youth Services Librarian at Ecorse Public Library is to be eliminated on October 1, 2014. Although I am disappointed that I will not be able to implement the programs at Ecorse library, I have saved them on library files in hopes that one day the library will be in a more sound position with regard to staffing and programming. The first three years of a child’s life are increasingly known to be the most important time in a child’s intellectual and psychological development, and I would be eager to promote my programs in any library or child-care setting which seeks programming that encourages this type of early childhood development.

    Libraries in Low-Income Communities

    I think it’s time someone wrote on the issues facing public libraries in low-income communities.  To some extent most American public libraries have dealt with budget cut-backs in recent years, but this is problem is much more extreme for libraries in poorer communities.  I would like to share feedback and solutions.  After all, the public library is one of the greatest means by which people can “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps”.  Librarians can help in poorer communities with information-literacy, teaching basic computer skills, gathering consumer and community resources (eg. information about block clubs, legal aid clinics, etc.) and, of course, getting children interested in reading, telling their own stories, being creative with crafts, dramatic activities, etc.

    But all this good work can come to a screeching halt in recessionary times as property values decline, especially in poorer communities.  I’ve seen more than one public library whose millage now brings in less than half the revenue it did before the Recession of 2008.  These libraries have had to cut hours and staff, leading to less programming which serves the needs of the community as I have described them above.

    Since I’ve never been an administrator, I have less knowledge of solutions, but the American Library Association is calling on all library supporters to write to our elected officials about the need for public libraries, and I intend to share my above thoughts.