5th Element is quite the learning experience | PostIndependent.com

5th Element is quite the learning experience

Kelsy Been
Garfield County Libraries grant coordinator
Emily Hisel / Garfield County Public Libraries
Staff Photo |

Beginning last 2012, Garfield County Libraries offered the 5th Element, a series of math, science, social studies, and art programs for Garfield Re-2 students. This program provided free opportunities for fun and enrichment to these students who had Fridays off from school. Through the 5th Element, hundreds of kindergarten through fourth-grade students engaged in educational activities at the New Castle, Silt, and Rifle Branch Libraries over the last school year.

The 5th Element was designed to offer enriching programs that would support participants’ in-school activities and provide positive learning experiences. We contracted with Garfield Re-2 teachers — familiar with local students and curriculum — to teach these programs at the libraries. 5th Element teachers proved to be huge hits, leading students in everything from slime making and volcano re-enactments to pyramid building and fabulously fun art projects. For teachers, this program offered a chance to lead experiments and projects they might not have time for in the classroom. For students, this program provided fun educational activities that, we believe, truly impact a child’s attitude towards learning and school.

Throughout the school year, the Garfield County Libraries offered 5th Element programs on 23 Fridays. Program attendance reached more than 1,650, with almost 400 kids participating in the program week after week, leaving with smiles, excitement, and their own creations to bring home. More than 70 percent of the children who participated in this program attended two or more sessions, and almost 50 kids participated in 10 or more programs! We believe these attendance figures are a testament to the program’s value.

For this past school year, the Garfield County Libraries received grant funding from the Colorado Library Service and Technology Act and the Garfield County Federal Mineral Leasing District to support the 5th Element program. After such a successful first year, the Garfield County Libraries intends to reapply for grant funding to continue and, if possible, expand this program for the 2013-2014 school year.

Garfield County Libraries wants to thank Garfield Re-2 for its support and help in promoting the program. We also want to send out a huge thank you to the teachers, volunteers, parents, community members, and kids who made the program possible. Thank you, and we hope to be back this fall for more 5th Element fun!

Zinio How-To Workshop

Zinio is the ultimate app for magazine lovers, with digital magazines for Kindle Fire, iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac, and PC. With your GCPLD library card, you can now download digital copies of magazines like Food Network, Digital Photo, National Geographic, and more at no cost to you. The Gordon Cooper Branch Library is hosting a workshop where you can learn how to use this resource. Join us on Thursday, June 6 at 6 p.m. to learn about Zinio and how-to make it a part of your digital life. Space is limited. The library will provide some devices for this workshop, but please bring your own laptop or tablet device if you have one.

how-to festival: learn 20 things in 2 hours for free at your library

Kick off summer at the Parachute Branch Library’s first annual How-to Festival on Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to noon, and you’ll leave with a variety of interesting new skills. Ever wonder how to grill the perfect ribs, arrange flowers, or tie a fly? Come to the library to learn how to do all that and more — learn 20 new things in just two hours for free.

For bike enthusiasts, the day will begin at 9 a.m. at the Grand Valley Recreation Center where we will ride the trail down to the library. If you need a helmet, just call the library by May 25, and we’ll order one for you to keep! (Transportation will even be provided back up the hill after the festival.) Call the library at 285-9870 for more information.

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