This past week, the Michigan Library Engagement Ambassadors went to the Hamilton Crossing Community Center for their Family Reading Night event. We read "Jack and the Beanstalk", created arts and crafts, and played different games with kids from preschool to fifth grade. It was awesome to see how dedicated and patient the Community Center volunteers were with the kids. They understood each child’s individual needs and gave us some tips on how to be sensitive to varying abilities when doing activities. They explained that some kids were at higher reading levels than their peers, and it was important to help them with the activity without drawing attention to them. We had a ton of fun doing crossword puzzles and word searches, as well as making a beanstalk craft out of paper towel rolls, pipe cleaners, paper plates, and cotton balls. I think I speak for everyone when I say the best part was the “pot o’ gold” station, where each kid made a St. Patrick’s Day themed dessert out of Jell-O, whipped cream, gold sprinkles, and rainbow sour strips. Overall, the evening was a huge success and I hope we get to go back and volunteer again soon. Here are some quotes from the other Ambassadors who volunteered at the event:
Michele Laarman: "Spending time at Hamilton Crossing reminded me how genuine kids are. We were only there a few hours, but they really opened their hearts to us."
Katie Lehman: "I loved getting to work with the kids and help them with their writing. While some of them were hesitant, it was amazing to see them open up and create a story."
Abbey Warren: "I was excited to volunteer at Hamilton Crossing because the experience allowed me to expand the reach of library resources beyond the University of Michigan community."
Jenny Lee: "I showed kids how to measure with a ruler and make beanstalks out of Play-Doh."
Ngawang Tsetan: "Recipe for a Reading Night with Children: a classic (Jack and the Beanstalk), construction paper and pipe cleaners (to make beanstalks [of course]), Jello, Whipped Cream, Skittles, and Airheads (mainly for the adults, but also to make "pots of gold" for the children)."
--Written by Maggie Hafers, Library Student Engagement Ambassador