For the third spring break running, Forsyth County Public Library is rolling out some new programs and old favorites for school-aged kids and teens.
The three branches will hold 28 events Monday through Friday while local schools aren’t in session, giving kids who “are in school a lot of the time that we’re open” a chance to enjoy library programs, said Vanessa Cowie, youth services coordinator.
Attendance rose from 830 visitors in 2011 to 1,485 throughout spring break 2012, Cowie said.
“Obviously, this is something that the community is interested in, having something to do over spring break,” she said. “You don’t have to spend any money, you don’t have to travel; you can just stop in your local library and enjoy some fun times.”
The library will hold about the same number of programs as last year, Cowie said, but the week includes more arts events than in the past.
Some of the craft classes will be led by library staff, while others will have art teachers or professionals, like the teen program “Learn to Draw Caricatures” with artist Vincent Wolf.
Spring break also offers an opportunity to invite community groups to make presentations.
“So some of the ideas came from serendipity, [through] conversations with the humane society, the sheriff’s office,” Cowie said.
Humane Hearts, an outreach program of the Humane Society of Forsyth County, will host three types of children’s events and one for teens.
Jenn Von Esson, program coordinator, said working with the library is a good way to reach out to the community.
“Just a little bit of education goes a long way with kids in understanding a dog’s body language and how to properly approach an animal,” she said. “We’d really like to get the number of dog bites down in Forsyth County, so we think this program is going to help us do that in a fun way with the dogs there.”
Other than the Dogs 101 program, Humane Hearts will also offer two sessions of Paws to Read, in which kids can read books to a therapy dog.
For the first time, the group will bring a cat to the library for “Cats and Crafts,” a new program Von Essen is excited to offer.
One program for teens will present ways for younger animal lovers to get involved in rescue. Von Essen said the group will also be recruiting volunteers for the society’s upcoming Mutts and More Festival on May 19.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office will educate kids on “Stranger Danger” with one session at each of the library’s three branches.
Dep. Kevin Ferraro said the program has drawn about 100 participants per class in past years.
“The reason it is such a good session and partnership is it does get them ready for the summer time as well,” Ferraro said. “It’s a great spot for me to educate the youth on staying safe.”
He will talk to the kids about staying safe around strangers, but he’ll also let them practice some of those tips, like screaming and falling down in a store if separated from a parent and a stranger tries to lead them away.
For older kids, Ferraro will teach a course on self-defense for teen girls.
The class is part discussion of how to handle potentially dangerous situations, and part hands-on training of moves to get away from an attacker, he said.
“We have a lot of fun during that class,” he said.
Registration is required for some programs. A complete listing can be found at forsythpl.org.