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February 5, 2020

Creating a Culture of Reading and Learning for Your Crew

By Mariah Shae Martinez

February is full of celebrations and holidays. Some celebrations honor history, storytelling and diversity, while Valentine’s Day and National Wear Red Day focus on matters of the heart. Tampa has its own celebration this time of year, and your public library has just the adventures for the little ones in your home.

Foster cultural experiences

During Black History Month, your local public library will feature a variety of ways to learn about and honor African Americans and their many historic and continued contributions to society. Many library locations offer exciting programs involving various African drums, dancing and storytelling. The Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library on Nebraska Avenue will host a special Puzzle Mania event featuring African American inventors.

Reading together is always a great way to learn something new. You can check out many children’s books that teach about race, cultural differences and celebrating Black History. One of my favorite books in our library is “My People” by Langston Hughes. This timeless book of photographs has simple, poetic prose that honors the strength and beauty of Black people in America. My daughter loved the expressive photographs and enjoyed trying to name the different emotions each person may have been feeling. This is a great book to start (or continue) a conversation with your little one of any age about diversity. You can find this book at your library by scanning the green QR code.

Share your love of reading

In February, hearts and symbols of love seem to float around everywhere. While you are thinking about your love for your friends and family, a fun activity to bring you even closer to the little one you love is reading together. Many of our libraries have special kids’ corners where you and your wee one can settle in and read a good book together. Read to your child early and enjoy these special times often. Reading with you helps your little one build confidence and is an easy (and free) way to give you quality time together.

Enhance your (pirate) language skills

You and your swashbuckling crew of miniature pirates can extend your Gasparilla traditions by learning the basics of speaking like a pirate. Our online language resource, Mango, prepares learners for realistic conversations and communication in over 70 languages, including Pirate. The orange QR code will get you started on your “Ship Talk.” Continue your adventure at the library where X marks the spot! Library staff can help you and your crew track down buried treasures of library books that highlight life as a pirate sailing the open ocean and Tampa’s own pirate history.

 

Whether you sail the salty seas together or honor African American contributions to the Bay area, be sure to check out HCPLC.org for creating a culture of reading and learning for your crew.

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