Libraries Offer Bountiful Benefits for Kids
Do your children a favor and check out a local branch
I’m a huge advocate of public libraries, which is why my children have had library cards since before they could even comprehend what I read to them. Every library system is a great resource for endless reading options for children. By borrowing instead of buying, you’ll have extra space instead of storing lots of books and movies—and think of all the money you’ll save!
Libraries, whether in a small town or a major city, give you a heap of benefits that go far beyond a massive selection of books. Here in Lee County, local libraries offer many fun and educational events for children. Best of all, the added extras are usually free because libraries want everybody to have access to a variety of learning opportunities.
FREE EDUCATION AND ENTERTAINMENT FOR ALL
From family dance parties to after-school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) clubs to genealogy classes to Lego-building sessions, your library is a trove of activities. Did you know that there is a large video selection of children’s movies and TV series that you can check out? Plus, Internet use is free on the computers at Sanibel Public Library and Captiva Memorial Library.
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ARTS—AND THE CREATIVES
Libraries are supporters of culture that extends beyond what is shared in books. Art exhibits showcase paintings, pottery, sculpture and architecture. Authors sign books and give readings. And since many of the artists and children are from the local area, youngsters have the opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation of the culture in their own communities.
FOSTERS LITERACY AND IMPROVES ACADEMICS
Libraries help enhance school performance through approaches such as story times, summer reading programs, homework help, reading contests and writing workshops. Digital learning programs—which typically would have a monthly cost at home—targeted for specific age groups are available at computer stations, allowing even the youngest learners to adapt to the skills of online learning.
Taking children to the library is fun, but that’s just a short-term benefit. By taking advantage of our local libraries and their many facets, we’re showing children that information, the arts, community, continuing education and diversity all matter. When you think about it, there’s no better starting point to teach children about our wide world than a place located so conveniently close to home.
Mandy Carter is a local mom with a passion for family travel, a popular travel blogger including her own family blog at acupful.com, and the managing editor for TOTI Media.