February 16, 2016

Community activities keep students busy during break


legosPhoto by Leanna Hlebica/contributing photographer
Aurora Chamberlain, 5, shown at right, listens for instructions Monday afternoon while children start selecting Legos during Lego Day at Cortland Free Library. The event was one of several activities for children during this week’s school vacation.

Staff Reporter

Aurora Chamberlain dug through a large tub of colorful Legos, carefully picking out the red pieces.
“I wanna spell out the letters L-O-V-E, for Valentine’s Day,” she said.
Chamberlain was among the group of seven children participating Monday at Lego Day at Cortland Free Library.
Chamberlain’s mother explained that she brought her to Lego Day to help her interact with other children. The 5-year-old is being registered to attend school in Homer in the fall.
“We are in the process of starting a Lego club here at the library with the interest we’ve seen at our multiple Lego Days,” youth services librarian Tammy Sickmon said Monday.
The first Lego Day was held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, another Monday where students had a school vacation.
“We are trying to help provide activities to the families in our community,” Sickmon said.
The library uses donated Legos, and includes a snack for the children while they build their Lego creation.
This Monday had a valentines and gingerbread theme with graham crackers, frosting and candies.
The event was one of several regularly scheduled, along with special programs that parents and children are participating in during this week’s school vacation.
“Ready, Set, Read,” is another program offered on Monday nights for 4- to 7-year-olds to have them participate in an hour-long reading skills program. Sickmon explained this Monday’s theme was the letter O, and the children had different activities all about that letter. The library is just starting to build an after-school program for the community, Sickmon said.
The J. M. McDonald Center is also offering February break programs, with winter skate sessions and a lacrosse camp this week.
The Cortland Homer Afterschool Mentorship Program, or CHAMP, at the center is extended to a week-long session, providing child care opportunities to families during the break.
The week-long program offers physical activities, games and crafts, a healthy snack and educational choices.


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