Children's Services includes children from birth to age 12, as well as their parents and caregivers. Adams County Library System (ACLS) offers storytimes, books, electronic resources, and activities to help nurture a love of reading and learning. Children's areas in every Library offer spaces where parents and children can read, play, and learn.
Early Literacy (ages 0-5)
Learning begins at birth and parents are a child's first and most important teacher. Early literacy encompasses what children need to experience†before†they learn how to read and write.
Early Literacy programs at Adams County Libraries incorporate five basic practices that help your child get ready to read:
- Talking - Talking, telling stories, and stretching conversations are ways children learn new information, new vocabulary, and other early literacy skills.
- Singing - is a natural way for children to learn about language.
- Reading - together is the single most important way to help children get ready to read.
- Writing - and reading go together. Scribbling and writing help children learn that written words stand for spoken language, and help develop fine motor skills.
- Playing - helps children put thoughts into words and think symbolically so they understand that spoken and written words can stand for real objects and experiences.
School-Age (ages 6- 12)
As our children grow and develop in their literacy independence, Adams County Libraries support them through a variety of resources and programs. Among them:
- A wide variety of materials (print and electronic) to support the different learning styles
- Commitment to learning experiences that expand upon childrenís school experiences
- STEAM programs (Block Party, LEAP Into Science, among others)
- Book Discussion Groups
- Summer Quest Program
- 24/7 Homework support through Power Library and Ask Here PA (chat live with a librarian)
- Program support for Back-to-school nights and Title 1 evenings
- Visits to the library
- Interlibrary loan - if we don't have the item you want, we can borrow it for you from another library
1000 Books Before Kindergarten
1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a program designed to help parents prepare their children for an important milestone: Kindergarten! Research has shown that children get ready to read years before they begin their formal education, and an excellent way to get your child ready to learn is by reading to them.
So how does 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten work?
- Register online at www.adamslibrary.org or stop by the desk at any Adams County Library to register your child and pick up the first log sheet. Each log sheet has room for 100 books.
- Stock up on books! The library staff is here to support you and we can recommend plenty of titles.
- Read with your child whenever and wherever possible.
- When you have read 100 books, you can log your accomplishment at adamslibrary.org or visit your Adams County Library and we can help you log your progress.
- You can also celebrate your accomplishment by taking a picture of your child with our achievement signs for every 100 books that you read together!
- At 500 books and 1000 books, visit your library to receive special prizes!
Any book that is read at any library storytime that you attend counts towards your 1000 Books Before Kindergarten goal. Also, books that you read more than once, books on CD, eBooks, books read by other family members, any book read to your child counts towards your goal. The idea is to read, and don’t stop reading. Each story you share will benefit your child.
You are your child’s first teacher and your home is where your child begins to learn. When you talk, sing, read, write and play together, you are helping your child get ready to read! By reading aloud with a child, you are helping your child begin to develop background knowledge about a variety of topics, build vocabulary, become familiar with language patterns, develop familiarity with story structure, acquire familiarity with reading and identify reading as a pleasurable activity.
In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement recommending parent-child home reading beginning at birth and continuing at least through kindergarten. Behavioral evidence has shown that children who are read to, especially before school entry, experience stronger parent-child relationships and learn valuable language and literacy skills. Reading exerts a positive effect on the developing brain. Children who enter kindergarten with poor emergent literacy skills are at a significant disadvantage and are unlikely to catch up with their peers if not addressed early.
Research indicates that block play helps children develop multiple skills including: social-emotional (cooperation, self-confidence, initiative); social studies (how people live, work, and function in society); physical development (eye-hand coordination); mathematics (shapes, patterns, space); science (gravity, weight, balance); language arts (exchanging ideas, talking about buildings); and art (patterns and symmetry).
Children move through distinct stages of block play. Toddlers love to carry them around, becoming acquainted with these building tools, while three year-olds are ready to begin constructing. Children learn to think both critically and creatively in the building process. How high can I stack these blocks? How many blocks do I need to place side-by-side to make a road? How many uprights are required to build a bridge?
Thanks to the Cruise into Kindergarten initiative from The Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Adams County Libraries possess materials to offer a series of "Block Parties".
These free programs are designed for children 2-6 years old and their caregivers. No registration is required. Please visit our Events page to find out where the party is!
LEGO at the Library
For more than 75 years LEGO has been providing the world with opportunities to put pieces together in an almost infinite number of ways that help unleash our powers of creativity. Adams County Libraries understand the fun and fascination these interlocking blocks hold for young and old alike.
Therefore, we offer special LEGO programs at our libraries, as well as make them available for free play during storytimes and regular hours of operation.
What are the skills LEGO develop? A beautiful graphic (from Daily infographic) has answers to these questions. Read on to learn more.
Skills Lego develop :
- Lego provides tools that develop lateral thinking in a fun environment
- It teaches kids to think in three dimensions
- It improves literacy as kids work with instructions
- It develops problem-solving, organization, and planning by construction
- It improves creativity
- It enhances communication and critical thinking
- It boosts kids motor development.
My 1st Card
When I got [my] library card, that was when my life began.
Rita Mae Brown, prolific American writer, most known for her mysteries and other novels (Rubyfruit Jungle). She is also an Emmy-nominated screenwriter. Brown was born in Hanover, PA.
First grade is a time for children to learn to read. We want to join in encouraging a thirst for reading by introducing every first grader in Adams County to the abundance of books, programs and electronic resources available through library membership.
With this initiative, all 1st grade children in Adams County Schools will receive an informational packet and application form to apply for a new membership and library card at their local libraries. Children with pre-existing memberships may also take part in the My 1st Card events and activities.
Annual Events and Prizes
With your first three visits to the library, you will receive a new prize to take home with you! Our third and final prize will always include the featured book of the year. This featured book becomes the center of our Campaign Celebration at the end of the 3-month program.
Clifford the Big Red Dog Visits Your School
In the first month of the program, our furry friend Clifford the Big Red Dog will be making his way to all the Adams County Schools to encourage reading and promote My 1st Card!
Campaign Celebration & Author Visit
At the end of our 3-month program, the whole family is invited to join us in celebration of their hard working first-grade students! While you are at the event, you will get the chance to meet the author of this year's featured book and get your very own copy autographed!
Check our Events page for more information about this year's My 1st Card Celebration.
One Book, Every Young Child
Through Pennsylvania's One Book, Every Young Child program, adults with preschoolers ages 3 to 6 discover opportunities to read aloud and share books, stories, and related activities with preschoolers.
One Book, Every Young Child has been developed by librarians and museum educators from across Pennsylvania to promote the value and benefits of reading early and often to preschoolers and to encourage family bonding through books and reading.
The program is made possible through a collaboration of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Please Touch Museum, and State Museum of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Library Association, Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children, The Pennsylvania Child Care Association, and Pennsylvaniaís Promise for Children and PennSERVE.
Get ready for Kindergarten with one of our Play K programs! With these programs developed by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, we provide families and young children the chance to play and learn the skills children need to be successful in school. With the experiences gained from these Play K sessions, children will be better prepared to start school ready to read†and†ready to learn in all subject areas. The Play K curriculum provides support for Pennsylvania's Learning Standards for Early Childhood.
The Play K curriculum consists of materials and activities for six different playscapes, or play and learn centers. Each playscape is designed around an early childhood theme, or topic, to explore. A big idea (central understanding), together with one or more essential questions, provide focus for the learning experiences. Programming options are provided for each playscape to support a range of implementation based upon library staffing and community needs.
The following playscapes help create inviting learning spaces where families can talk, sing, read, write and play as they cruise into Kindergarten!
- A Home for Me, A Home for You
- All Aboard
- Amazing Animals: Pets
- All Around Town
- Let's Go Shopping
- My Colorful World
Please visit our Events page to locate upcoming Play K programs.
STEAM is the abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math. Itís an integrated approach to learning that encourages students to think more broadly about real-world problems.
STEAM programs help students:
- Ask questions
- Connect the dots
- Problem solve
- Think creatively
- Be innovative
Throughout the year, Adams County Libraries offer children the opportunity to explore the world of STEAM through programs that challenge and enlighten.
In addition, families can check out selected STEAM materials and continue the discovery process at home.