Library offering variety of hands-on experiences for youth

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Think that taking toys apart and making slime are things you wouldn’t do in a library? Think again.

This summer, the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library (PARL) is offering a new twist to its Summer Reading Program for children encouraging kids to have hands-on learning experiences the whole family can be a part of.

This year’s theme is STREAM; ‘s’ for  Science, ‘t’ for Technology, ‘r’ for  Reading, ‘e’ for new Experiences, ‘a’ for Arts, and ‘m’ for Math. With sessions like ‘Hogwarts Hijinks’ and ‘Creative Fun!’ the free program gives kids a way to explore their communities and have fun – all at the same time! It’s also a reminder that learning opportunities in local libraries take on many shapes and forms.

“Everyone has a different way of learning, and we try to take that into account when we’re creating programming,” says Kristel Fleuren-Hunter, Children’s Services Librarian for Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library. “STREAM is a new approach to the traditional summer reading program and our programs is modelled after the Chicago Summer of Learning offered through the Chicago Public Library. It encourages families to explore arts, science, technology and much more, not only at their public library but in their whole community." 

Sessions in the program for children ages 5+ include Hogwarts Hijinks, Slimy Science and Squishy Circuits, Minute to Win It!, Creative Fun!, Trash to Treasure and Toy Hacking and 3D Printing.

“It’s hands-on and the kids are fully engaged,” says Ashley Robertson, STREAM Program Leader and education student at St. F.X. “It’s ‘play with a purpose,’ and this program helps them with the skills they need to grow but lets them have fun at the same time.”

For children who complete their logbook with all their learning activities, their name goes into a draw for a brand new bike donated by Walmart’s New Glasgow store location. The STREAM summer reading program begins the second week of July and wraps up mid-August, dates and times vary for each branch.

For more information or to register, contact your nearest library branch for more details or visit PARL online at This PARL program is sponsored by Adopt-A-Library Literacy Program. 

Organizations: Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, Chicago Public Library, Walmart

Geographic location: Children, Chicago, New Glasgow

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