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By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Kindergarten and first graders excitedly await the third Thursday of every month for Susan’s Surprise. With Children’s Librarian, Susan Allison, kids enjoy a crafty activity and a chance to meet other children their age.
In September, the students at Susan’s Surprise K – First Grade Fun made crafts using their initials. This month, Susan brought miniature pumpkins for the children to decorate, using glitter, feathers, stickers, scraps of paper, googly eyes, and plastic spiders.
“What’s amazing is watching these kids’ creativity,” said Susan. “I set the crafts up, but they get to do whatever want with the materials.”
With what seemed to be a tub of glue, one girl stuck feathers onto her pumpkin and arranged them to look like a crown for her princess-inspired design. Meanwhile, another student used brown crinkled paper to make his pumpkin into a scarecrow.
“It’s something different each month,” Susan continued, as one child exclaimed his pumpkin was going to look like Frankenstein’s monster. “They don’t know what they’re doing until they show up.”
It appeared, too, that some of the children projected their personalities onto the orange gourds. When Susan complimented one girl’s pumpkin adorned with multicolored feathers and sequins, the young girl flipped her hair and sassily proclaimed: “That’s because I’m an artist!”
As the children were nearly finished decorating, Susan walked around the Children’s Programming Room distributing foam bases for the young crafters to decorate and place their pumpkins on.
Even with the uncertainty of a surprise craft, Susan’s program was fully attended and thoroughly enjoyed by the participants.
Although the program was exclusively for kindergarten and first grade students, the library offers other monthly crafting session for children of different ages. On the second Thursday of each month, Children’s Librarian, Nina Taylor, hosts an afterschool craft program for fourth and fifth graders. For second and third graders, Bernadette Foley, Head of Children’s Services, holds a craft session on the last Thursday of the month.
With the library’s programming keeping children of all ages in mind and always introducing new activities, the pumpkin decorators will surely be returning for Susan’s next surprise, and eager to see the other events at the library.