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Paynesville Press - August 13, 2003

Programs for children held at public library

By Andy Jones

Reading Chinese story Each Monday for the past 10 weeks, an average of 40 kids have come to the Paynesville Public Library to learn about different cultures during one-hour programs.

The programs have taught kids about different regions of the world, including China, ancient Egypt, and the rainforests of South America. One week, 65 kids crowded the library.

Ann Lemke read the Chinese story Tikki Tikki Tembo to some younger kids. Lemke, who was born in China, dressed in costume for the program.

Ann Lemke and Molly Zimmerman have organized these one-hour programs, which are sponsored by the Paynesville Public Library.

This past week's program was about China. Kids listened to stories, ate Chinese food with chopsticks, made kites, played Chinese jump rope, and learned about things that Chinese people invented. Each week kids had numerous activities to enjoy, according to Zimmerman.

Next week's program about Native Americans will mark the last of the programs at the library for the summer.

Chinese noodles This is the first summer that programs have been held at the library. The purpose of these programs is to expose the kids to library, while having them do something productive for at least one day of the week in the summer. The programs teach kids about far away places without leaving Paynesville.

"It's a lot of work, but . . . we hope to continue these programs," said Lemke, about programs for future summers. "At least 100 children have benefitted over the summer," she added.

Kids have traveled from as far away as Sauk Centre to attend these programs in Paynesville.

Zimmerman thinks the programs are quite educational for kids because of their hands-on structure. "If they see it and touch it, they'll remember it," said Zimmerman.

Molly Zimmerman, one of the program's organizers along with Lemke, holds a box of noodles and asks Claire Landsteiner, sitting with her mother Denise, if the Chinese invented noodles.

Every week, each age group has its own story time, which differ in length to suit their attention span.

Lemke and Zimmerman would like to thank the librarians for their support of these programs, as well as the many volunteers who came every week to help.

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