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ATTENTION: Important CSLP website information!

We are doing some fall cleaning on our website and removing inactive users. If you have or have had a login to the CSLP website, and are interested in keeping your account active, please log in by December 31, 2019. If you have not logged in by that date, your account will be deleted. You will be able to re-sign up in the future if you would like to.

Please log in today!:
The 2020 Incentive Catalog is live! Click here to view!
Ideas needed for the 2021 Program Manual: Tails and Tales. Click here and submit your idea today!

Important Update on the CSLP 2020 Artwork and Products

If this is the first you have heard of the necessary changes that were made to the 2020 program, please read this letter for context:

Products containing the offensive imagery have been removed, and the new poster and reading record design have been added to the online store. Essentially, the product line up has stabilized, and you can resume using the CSLP online store to place orders:

For a quick guide to the products in question:

Thank you for your patience as we have made these important changes to our program.

Library Space Camp!

Sherry Scheline of the Donnelly Public Library District, Donnelly, ID, shared this amazing use of funds provided by their Friends Group. Instead of purchasing prizes for anyone who read more than 50 books this summer, they decided to provide a two day Space Camp!

Children were given space suits and had to train to be astronauts. They started with yoga in the mornings, had rocketry, drone training, robot battles, and ate lunch on the I.S.S. (dehydrated food on the school playground). What an amazing memory!
Did you have a program that was out of this world? Please send your photos and any informative details to Luke Kralik at: I would love to share them in our newsletter.

Looking for some ideas to use or share?
Increasingly, public libraries are feeding hungry bodies as well as hungry minds during the summer – and throughout the year. The CSLP’s ad hoc Child and Community Well-Being committee is developing resources to support and encourage library participation in the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and other initiatives to help kids and teens stay nourished, active, and healthy when school is out. These resources include the Libraries and Summer Food page on the CSLP website; a new Facebook group for news, support, and resource-sharing; and a series of stories showcasing the experiences of libraries around the country.

Central Arkansas Library System Helps Young People with Food While School’s Out

By Kay Kay DeRossette, Project Coordinator, Be Mighty Little Rock

Over the past year, Be Mighty Little Rock created an unprecedented partnership of organizations across the City of Little Rock to help kids, teens, and their families. The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) administered the program, and with the help of crucial partners, Be Mighty connected kids and teens with nutritious meals throughout the summer months.

Be Mighty meal sites serve young people all year round, but summer months are a special high-risk time for food insecurity. Kids who ordinarily get much of their nutrition through school meals during the school year may face challenges during the summer that leave them hungry. In 2019, summer meals were served at sixteen schools, eleven libraries, five community centers, several Boys and Girls Clubs, and one park.  

To get the project started while school was still in session, CALS worked with the Little Rock School District to send an informational text about free summer meals to all parents of district students.  In addition, Central Arkansas Water placed an insert featuring summer meal information in water bills sent to 90,000 households.

Because transportation challenges can prevent many young people from reaching meal sites, CALS received a grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to provide kids and teens free transportation during summer months.  The grant supported a partnership between CALS and Rock Region METRO to distribute free bus passes to Summer Reading Club participants. Those bus passes enabled many families to travel to the meal sites where food was being served. To hear from the families about their positive experiences, see this video from NRPA.

CALS has been serving summer meals for several years now, but in 2019, the Be Mighty campaign connected the meals with Summer Reading Club for the first time. Be Mighty hosted activities during the annual summer reading kickoff event known as CALS Kidstock. At the event, elected officials helped families prepare healthy snacks like trail mix and smoothies, while a photo booth with fruit and vegetable cut-outs made for a funny and popular attraction.  And throughout the project months, CALS staff partnered with meal sites to deliver 24 hours of NRPA’s Commit to Health nutrition literacy curriculum to kids.
To conclude the summer project, Be Mighty partnered with Little Rock Parks and Recreation to host an end-of-summer celebration at War Memorial Splash Pad.  The event featured a cookout, sprinklers, the Little Rock Fire Department, and team sports, games, and dances. It was the perfect way to end an epic summer for the Be Mighty kids.  

To read the entire article:

Bilingual English & American Sign Language Storytime: Creating a Model

Maranda Schoppert, Children's Librarian, Germantown Library, MD

More and more children’s librarians are incorporating American Sign Language into their storytimes. Sign language can be a great early literacy tool because it helps babies express themselves before they can use spoken words. Because of this, I wanted to create a bilingual storytime model that would be accessible for both hearing and deaf families, creating an inclusive community event. 

First and foremost, it takes two to make this program work—a children’s librarian with a passion for ASL and a native ASL storyteller who is Deaf. The children’s librarian provides his/her knowledge and best practices of children programming, while an ASL storyteller contributes the bilingual/cultural/deaf awareness aspect for the program. By collaborating together, the pair can present an integrative storytime that meets the needs of all who may benefit.

The trick is to use rhymes, songs and stories that will be familiar to your patrons, but will also lend itself more easily to introducing signs. Having a common thread in the theme that lends itself to sign repetition (i.e. farm animals or colors) is very important. Pick stories and rhymes that will encourage the audience to use the same signs again and again. Introduce key signs before every story, song, or rhyme.

When selecting books to read, we’ve found that stories that include a dialogue going back and forth work best. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See” or “I Went Walking” are prime examples of picture books that can be read/signed as a conversation between the storyteller and the librarian. In both of these books, the librarian doesn’t have to learn to sign the whole book. Instead they learn a single phrase, which is repeated throughout the story. For example, in “Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?” the audience can join in by signing along with the librarian. The audience and librarian can ask the performer, “What did you see?”  The ASL Storyteller will then respond by giving the sign for the animal, color, or object.

Another strategy is to pick a fun song like “The More We Get Together” as an anchor for every bilingual storytime. We’ve found that bookending our storytimes with the same rhyme, gives the audience something familiar at the start and end of each storytime. Repeat the rhyme—starting out slow and get faster and faster each time to make it fun, while still reinforcing the signs.

A dress rehearsal an hour before the performance is extremely important especially when using an ASL interpreter.   During the rehearsal, the librarian, storyteller and interpreter will work on the timing, tune alignment and choreography to the songs to ensure that they each are in sync with one another. This can be achieved through cues from the interpreter and eye contact between the storyteller and the performer.  

Make sure there is always signing on stage. If the librarian is speaking without signing, either the storyteller will mimic or integrate the verbal delivery via ASL or the interpreter can come up on stage. 
Integrating these bilingual storytimes into your regular programming can be challenging and working this through, we’ve found that incorporating this program into an already established storytime slot, works best. Promote it ahead of time, so that your patrons won’t be taken unawares.

Ultimately, these storytimes should be fun and engaging. You want to give the crowd something familiar while seamlessly integrating American Sign Language into your rhymes, stories and songs. The more you get into it, the more they will get into it too!
Full STEAM Ahead with STAR Net: Sky Heroes: An Activity Reinventing the Constellations
In this hands-on STEAM activity, patrons celebrate their heroes (fictional and nonfictional) by creating connect-the-dot star patterns to represent them. By using the printable “Sky Heroes” Star Charts, patrons can go out and find their new constellations in the night sky! This is a great summer 2020 activity – it helps patrons learn about constellations and it gets their own creative juices flowing by allowing them to create a story. Try pairing this activity with a story-time about constellations; suggested books can be found on the STEM Activity Clearinghouse.

What is on the horizon for CSLP?

2020: Theme/Fairytales, Mythology, Fantasy; Slogan/”Imagine Your Story” Artist/LeUyen Pham

2021: Theme/Animals; Slogan/”Tails and Tales” Artist/Salina Yoon

2022: Theme/World-Social Justice-Unity-Kindness-Inclusion-Change-Diversity-Equity-Make a difference-Embrace different cultures; Slogan/”All Together Now” Artist/Sophie Blackall

2023: Theme/Oceanography; Slogan/TBD; Artist/Frank Morrison
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