Having children unplugged from electronic devices and using their imagination more is just some of the benefits an interactive troupe offers, according to staff at the Meadow Lake Library.
The Lakeland Summer Players are on a touring circuit to the libraries around the region, reading stories, doing puppet shows, experiments, and singing songs with children from the ages of four to nine.
Aliya Cooke and Liam Elias are the summer players this year, and both are happy to play the role. The group, based out of North Battleford, visited the Meadow Lake Library on August 9.
“It’s a great experience,” said Cooke. “Going to the different places, it’s fun to see. We’ve gone to Edam, Hafford, Speers, Meadow Lake, and have a few more.”
Elias said that he enjoys the performance part of his summer job.
"I enjoy doing the puppet shows,” he said. “It gives [kids] something visual to look at with the story, other than just the pictures in the books, and it’s very important to give the interactive part to reinforce a positive experience with reading. If you give kids a positive experience now, that reinforces the idea of keeping reading up later in life.”
Colin Evans is a community services librarian and interim co-manager with the Lakeland Library Region. He echoed Elias’s thoughts about the nature of the Summer Players program.
“Kids from this generation are very attached to their mobile devices,” he said. “It’s really nice to have an interactive show where there’s no devices at all, it’s just letting your imagination run wild."
The Summer Players program is one of many programs the library region offers, and Evans said the various programming is part of demonstrating the key and active role libraries play in communities.
“Given the recent budget cuts, it’s been imperative to show all the different resources and services we provide,” he said. “This [program] is a great way to reach out during the summer to let people know that libraries are important and that we consider children very important. It’s a good partnership.”
The Lakeland Summer players have a few more stops throughout August and have also worked with organizations that offer literacy camps.
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