“What is the tallest building in Steinbach? … The library, because it has the most stories!”
Jokes, stories, crafts, games and laughter: these are the things that fill my summers at Jake Epp Library.
My name is Madison Redekopp and I have the great pleasure of working with our wonderful, young patrons throughout the summer months.
Summer Reading Club is a FREE home-based literacy program for children to participate in during the summer months. It is meant for children who have just finished kindergarten through grade 8. The purpose of the program is to continue the maintenance and improvement of their reading skills and levels. It is statistically proven that children who do not read during the summer months will drop back 1-2 reading levels by September. Our goal is to prevent this fall back and help children find and/or maintain a love of reading and learning.
Along with the home-based program, my fantastic interns (I couldn’t do it without them!) and I run craft classes twice a day, four days per week. Children sign up to come for one hour per week for seven weeks. In each class, we do crafts, games, trivia, experiments, and more. Our theme for this year is The Natural World and every week has its own theme within that, such as ocean, space, or dinosaurs.
Our Summer Reading Club is the biggest program that we run all year. It takes the most work and the largest percent of my programs budget but it also gives the best rewards. I have the joy of helping children make new friends, have new experiences, learn new things and watch as they grow and mature, both academically and socially. Year after year, I have the privilege of spending time with these children who are smart, creative, and unique beginnings of our future.
If you encounter me and ask me about my job, you will often hear me talk about “my kids”. I have not yet had the pleasure of having children of my own, so for now, “my kids” are the children that I get to spend time with at the library. I call them mine, not because I feel that I have had a significant impact on them (though I hope that I have helped some along the way) but because these kids have left a lasting impact on me. The laughter, creativity, eagerness to learn, and freedom to be yourself without fear of judgement, are qualities that they have shown me. The love and honesty that these children share with me gives my job purpose and passion to see them succeed. I can honestly say that I love my job!
To the parents who have committed to bringing your children to the library and allowed me the wonderful gift of spending time with your kids, it has and continues to be a true pleasure and joy. Thank you!