by Isabel Trujillo
Librarian Rachel Reyes resigned our library and cultural center in early January to live and work in Santa Fe. Prior to leaving, she trained Tara Reyes to continue with the special programming with young people and how to proceed with a newly-organized book club of 13 local women.
One of Tara’s first tasks was to immediately begin working with the kindergarten class of 17 students, ages five and six, at the Abiquiu Elementary School. She also met with the Headstart class of 15 students and initiated a project inspired by the book, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you see? After reading the book, Tara introduced a cotton ball project that represented a polar bear. The book explains the habitat of polar bears and other animals in that ecosystem. The session with the elementary school is scheduled on Wednesdays from approximately 1 to 2 p.m. Tara also meets regularly with Headstart students each Monday from 10 to 11 a.m.
Another project for both classes involved penguins and/or a snow man and the book, Winter is the Warmest Season. In this project, children cut circles of various sizes to create snowmen or penguins. This book addresses how food keeps people warm and how working together helps the entire group. Ducks and the book, “Ten Little Rubber Duckies,” instructs the children to cut out yellow squares, fold these pieces, and glue them onto the duck to make feathers. This book emphasizes counting after the animals are scattered and lost in the sea and the story points out necessity of making sure everyone returns.
La Puerta School of Agriculture and Science also visited on January 3, 2012 from about three miles south. The students’ current study centers around biographies and family trees. Analinda Dunning, (local coauthor of The Genizaro and the Artist) is new to the library’s Board of Directors. Analinda guided the 12 students, ages 5 through 10, on how to put together a family tree. Special guest Napoleon Garcia, a local elder, participated in the storytelling of actual events in his lifetime of approximately 80 years. Analinda assembled biographies for the young people to check out. These works included Anne Frank’s diary, books on Helen Keller, Georgia O’Keeffe, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King, Lewis and Clark, Alexander the Great, Harriet Tubman and others. The program emphasis in February is on New Mexico becoming a state.