By Julia Beauregard
Hometown Weekly Editor
As summer officially draws to a close, so does the Lil Readers program, hosted by the Girl Scouts at the Sherborn Public Library. The Lil Readers program commenced on June 22, 2023, and continued every Thursday throughout the summer vacation until August 24.
This program was thoughtfully crafted to serve as an enjoyable means of inspiring a love for literature and fostering a passion for reading among younger children. Ella, one of the Girl Scouts, shared that the program was conceived to support their troop in achieving their Bronze Award. She explained, "We needed twenty hours of charity work to earn our Bronze Award. We decided it would be fun to do something related to reading!"
The program, conducted from 1:30 to 2:30 pm, was structured to include twenty minutes of book reading, led by a different Girl Scout each week, followed by twenty minutes of crafting aligned with the week's theme, and concluding with twenty minutes of buddy reading. Group reading sessions took place in the library's conference room, while craft activities were held in the community room.
Another troop member, Kate, elaborated, "We have a theme each week," with a different Girl Scout selecting the theme. "A Girl Scout will read a book at the beginning of the program related to the theme." Each troop member was responsible for choosing a theme along with a corresponding book, craft project, and a selection of books for buddy reading. Themes ranged from dance and royalty to fables, fairy tales, dogs, and doctors. The librarians provided invaluable assistance to the Girl Scouts by offering a wide array of book titles for buddy reading, enabling the troop members to handpick the books they wanted to feature during the program.
In their final week of Lil Readers, the theme centered around doctors. The program commenced with one of the troop members reading "Zog and the Flying Doctors" by Julia Donaldson. After the storytime segment concluded, the young readers headed to the community room for a doctor-themed craft session. The children crafted their own doctor name tags and engaged in various medical tasks, such as using stethoscopes and applying bandages to stuffed animals. The troop members circulated among the tables, guiding the young participants through their exploration. Once the craft activities were completed, each child paired up with a Girl Scout buddy for the remainder of the program.
"It's important for them to read one on one so they can get into the story," Kate emphasized. She further noted that one-on-one reading encourages young readers to ask questions, enhancing their reading comprehension and fostering a sense of engagement with their reading buddy. All troop members expressed that this experience would prepare the young participants as they embark on their school journeys.