Beverly library expands after school programs
BEVERLY — Children looking for something to do after school can look no further than the Beverly branch of the Washington County Public Library.
Susan Chipps, branch manager, has come up with creative ways to keep area kids busy with games, clubs and crafts. The After School Adventures are held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays.
For instance, the Lego Club began at the end of the last school year. On the first Thursday of every month, students in first through sixth grade can visit the library and work on a Lego build, such as Hogwarts Castle or a dragon.
Chipps said the adventures aren’t just to bring more youth into the library.
“We could have all the programs we wanted, but if the people aren’t interested…it brings people interested in the same things together,” she said. “We have one set that comes for Anime. We have a set that comes for Lego. We have another set that comes for the other programs.”
The Anime Club started this past fall and is held every Wednesday. Kids gather together and watch episodes of Japanese animation.
Chipps said the library had an Anime Club years ago, but when the members started getting older, they weren’t as interested. When she noticed children were interested again, the club was started back up.
Those in the Anime Club are from first through sixth grades, but since the episodes are subtitled, the children need to at least be able to read.
“The older kids help the younger kids,” Chipps said.
The clubs average 10-15 students after school.
Christian Theiman, 11, a fifth grader at Beverly-Center Elementary School, said he started coming to Anime Club after his friend told him about it.
“My friend and I like anime and he told me about the club at the library,” he said. “I came that Wednesday and I’m now here every Wednesday. I walk over from school.”
Thieman’s friend, John Gilcrist, 12, also is a fifth grader at Beverly-Center Elementary. He said he and his sister were visiting the library when he heard about the club.
“I came here everyday and I saw an anime that I watch at home,” he said. “I chose to come every Wednesday. I’ve seen several episodes of ‘My Hero Academia’ at home.”
Other adventures on the schedule through the end of April include a pet toys craft on Feb. 20 and mini golf on March 12.
For mini golf, the course will be set up inside the library.
“We’ll put one hole in non-fiction and different places,” Chipps said, laughing. “I don’t know if you’d want to use the library at that time.”
The pet toy craft will have participants making chew toys, cat toys or pet beds out of recycled materials for Pet Appreciation Day.
Chipps said she looks through the calendar and adds in activities that correspond with a holiday or event. They will celebrate Irish Heritage Day on March 26 and Earth Day on April 23. To come up with ideas for each adventure, Chipps said she searches Facebook and Pinterest for inspiration.
“Anything to keep them busy for an hour and a half,” she said.
Michele Newbanks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After School Adventure Programs
All programs held at 3:30 p.m. at the Washington County Public Library’s Beverly branch.
* Lego Club, first Thursday of the month
* Pet Toys, Feb. 20
* Trivial Pursuit game, Feb. 27
* Mini Golf, March 12
* Spring craft, March 19
* Irish Heritage Day, March 26
* Trekking Trivia game, April 9
* Paper airplanes, April 16
* Earth Day, April 23
* Game Day, April 30
Source: Washington County Public Library, Beverly