Monday, 28 July 2008

Children’s Summer Project in deValera Public Library, Ennis

The Children’s Summer Project in de Valera Public Library, Ennis, has become an annual event in the children’s activities calendar. A programme of educational and entertaining events is put together annually by staff at the library and activities traditionally include puppet and magic shows, art and crafts and storytime. Educational visits to local places of interest are also a regular feature. These have included guided tours of Ennis Abbey, Ennis Sculpture Trail, visits to Clare FM and the Clare Champion Office in Barrack Street, Ennis, to name but some. From the 1st to the 11th of July 2008, children from Ennis and surrounding areas were treated to a whole host of events to kick off the long Summer holidays from school.
Mask making and paper sculpture were the featured craft sessions in this year’s programme for older children. Both events were perfectly suited to the age groups attending and the facilitators had lots of ideas and techniques to share with library staff for future craft classes for children. Library members and non members attended, some of whom used the opportunity to join the service and become regular borrowers. Many children who attended events also joined the Library’s Summer Reading Challenge, Team Read.
Younger children aged from 5 to 7 also enjoyed a special craft session, making Little Red Riding Hood book marks while parents, grandparents, and child minders took the opportunity to browse for the hour and explore and borrow from the library’s collection of books, DVDs and Music CDs.
Children joined in a guided tour of Ennis Abbey, meeting at the library and walking with library staff to visit the well-preserved 13th Century ruins founded by the Franciscans. This event was a valuable introduction to local history for young children who might not otherwise have visited the Abbey. Visits to Clare Museum were also organized, where Museum guides were ready and willing to explain the origins of all artifacts linked with the lives and experiences of the people of County Clare in times gone by. Ennis Fire Station visits are always guaranteed enjoyment for children. Each year the firefighters at the station make a huge fuss of their young visitors, allowing them to try on their fire helmets, operate the water hoses and of course exploration of the fire engine is a must. This year the firefighters spoke with children about the importance of fire safety in the home, safety on the roads and patiently dealt with questions from all the young enthusiasts.
Other activities this year included art classes, storytime for young children and a spinning and weaving workshop with hands-on instruction for the children attending on how to spin and weave and a chance to examine different types of yarn and wool.

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