For outreach programs, my focus is for children birth to 5th grade. This kind of outreach doesn't include a senior citizen unless they are at a daycare. Librarian outreach should be for all people, most of what I see is for shut-ins, seniors, etc. Very few libraries around the country have outreach to children, parents and teachers. Public libraries need to rethink their position on programs that go on outside of their buildings. Just like the 'church' is NOT the building, it's people, the library needs to take this tactic and realize that the building or buildings, in our case, are great but not the end all- be all. I'm for outreach services to shut-ins, seniors, detention centers, etc, no doubt about it, those are good things, but why is there so few public librarians, especially administration that think we need new and better ways to get people in the buildings? Maybe the new way of thinking is to actually take yourself out of your big beautiful building and go to a home daycare and sit on the floor and reach children through books by taking the books to them.
Enough of my soapbox. Today's outreach went to 6 different places and reached 156 children and caregivers. We shared songs, fingerplays, and books about scarecrows. I used Scarecrow's Hat by Ken Brown, Scarecrows by Lola M. Schaefer, and The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown. I used some of the following songs and fingerplays:
Down in My Garden
by Durby Peterson
Down in my garden, row by row,
I planted seeds and watched them grow.
Big crows came and began to eat.
They pecked my corn and poked my beets.
I stuck a scarecrow between the rows,
In a big straw hat and funny old clothes.
My scarecrow now keeps the crows away,
And my garden grows bigger, day by day.
The Old Scarecrow by Paul S. Anderson
The old scarecrow is such a funny man.
He flops in the wind, as hard as he can.
He flops to the right, he flops to the left.
He flops back and forth,
Till he’s almost out of breath.
His arms swing out; his legs swing too.
He nods his head in a ‘how-do-you-do?’
See him flippity-flop when the wind blows hard.
The funny scarecrow in our backyard.
(tune to teddybear, teddybear)
Scarecrow, scarecrow, turn around.
Scarecrow, scarecrow, jump up and down.
Scarecrow, scarecrow, arms up high.
Scarecrow, scarecrow, wink one eye.
Scarecrow, scarecrow, bend your knees. Scarecrow, scarecrow, flap in the breeze.
Scarecrow, scarecrow, climb into bed. Scarecrow, scarecrow, rest your head.
I’m a Little Scarecrow
(tune: I’m a little teapot)
I’m a little scarecrow, raggedy and worn.
I wear a hat and a shirt that’s torn.
When the crows come, I wave and shout,
“Away from my garden—go on get out!”
Five little scarecrows
Five little scarecrows standing straight and tall, the wind blew hard and 1 did fall.
(do the same for 4,3,2,1 and now there’s none)
No little scarecrows standing straight and tall, the wind is blowing, so don’t you fall!
It was a fun and tiring day. Outreach is tiring, but so rewarding!