Freshwater Theatre at Manor Farm Library

Fresh MFOn 22nd of August the Manor Farm Library was visited by Vicky from Freshwater Theatre for a workshop in which many children took part in.

The workshop was booming with awe-filled wonder at various unbelievable records that were broken by both animals and humans!

Vicky drove the children on with her record breaking boot-camp in which the children learned what to pack for a trip to make the ‘ultimate’ phone call from Mt Everest and what to do if they saw a goat skateboarding! The children loved singing, dancing and enacting current records along with their parents who were laughing at Vicky’s hilarious jokes.

Overall, the children thoroughly enjoyed the one hour session and along with having fun they learned some important facts as well. Well done to all the children who took part!

By Shania Ghosh (SRC Volunteer)

Sunshine House at Northwood Library

NDThese lovely butterflies were made by the children of Sunshine House RNIB School during their visit to Northwood Library to participate in the Summer Reading Challenge.

Every year Northwood Library plans a special visit so that they can participate in the Summer Reading Challenge. This visit was themed on the world’s largest butterfly.

The children listened to stories about butterflies, joined in with songs using musical instruments and then made their fantastically colourful and tactile butterflies.

ND 2       ND 1

By Wendy (Northwood Library)

Horrid Henry’s World Records

MF 1The event that took place today in Manor Farm Library was one of the most awaited events on the Summer Reading Challenge scheme: Horrid Henry’s World Records!

MF 2Today’s events involved solving ‘horridly’ difficult word-searches,’spot-the-difference’ worksheets and completing fun-filled activity packs. The enthusiastic, library assistant Barbara entertained the children by telling them about world records broken by both famous people and by the famous Horrid Henry along with his crew!

MF 3The children enjoyed this workshop that enriched their writing skills along with using their imagination. The children created their own ambitious records that they aspired to break along with a detailed set of instructions about how they would practise and develop their skills to break the created record. The children thoroughly enjoyed this session which was not only filled with fun but also gave them some amusing facts to remember.

MF 4     MF 5     MF 6

By Shania (SRC volunteer)

Diary of A Wimpy Kid Comic Workshop at Yeading Library

Ye 1It was an exciting day at Yeading Library today, as a group of kids were sucked into Greg Heffley’s world! They got a chance to create their own character, to hang around with Greg and Rowley, if they so choosed, to do a Word Search on terms from various books, or design their own cover for a Wimpy Kid book, or even make their own book!

Ye 2The only limit was their imagination, as they created their very own entry to the popular Jeff Kinney series! It was smiles and great ideas all around, and a lot of ear-to-ear smiles at the end of it all! The end results were amazing, as the kids got to draw whatever they wished to be part of the series! Sadly, this is the last event at Yeading Library for this round of Record Breakers, but this will certainly be a day to remember for these lucky kids!

YE

Mashhood  – Volunteer at Yeading Library

Zoolab at Botwell Green Library!

BGOn the 27th August 2015 during our Record Breakers summer challenge, we at Botwell Green Library were fortunate to host Zoolab from 2-3pm as they brought in a host of unusual animals to entertain the children. Instead of the household animals we are all accustomed to, we were able to view some incredible animals: a tarantula spider, a rat, a bearded dragon, a Madagascar hissing cockroach and even a corn snake! All the animals had unique characteristics and we were told some fantastic facts. In the tarantula species, for example, the female spider lives to the age of 25 but the male only lives to the age of 5 because the female eats the male, a scary thought indeed! The Madagascar hissing cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa) can eat anything but glass, metal and minerals and is the fastest 6-legged animal on the planet – if it was the same size as a human, its top speed would be 200 miles per hour.  The bearded dragon has rows of spiked scales which when puffed up resembles a beard. These scales can also become darker or lighter, according to what the lizard needs.

 After we had been told about each animal, the children were given the opportunity to examine all the animals from a closer angle and touch some of them. The bravest souls were able to touch the bearded dragon, the cockroach and even hold the corn snake, which has its name due to the distinctive patterns on its stomach. 15 children attended and loved this rare experience to get so up close to some amazing and unusual animals that one does not simply see every day!

By David & Daniel Larbi – Volunteers at Botwell Green Library

Record Breaking Fun – Thoughts from a volunteer

Over the summer I embarked on anRecord Breakers logo for web exciting adventure. It would take me to exotic places and new people. As I counted down the days, feverish with anticipation, I could only imagine what it would be like and pray that it would fulfil my expectations.

But no, I’m not talking about a trip to the Amazon Rainforest or a hike through Vietnam. I’m not even talking about the Glastonbury music festival. Quite simply, I’m referring to my experience as a volunteer at my local library.

Over the past six weeks or so, I have sung at Storytime (complete with actions!); fashioned paper dolls; built sky scraping towers; starjumped; talked in assemblies; given more high fives than I can remember; laughed; joked and generally had the most fantastic fun. Everything, from the kindness and enthusiasm of the general public to the smiles of the library staff welcoming me, has made the volunteering experience so wonderful.

IMG_4499         My role as a volunteer was simply to promote the Summer Reading Challenge; a country wide competition for 4 – 11 year olds designed to promote reading and the use of public libraries. The theme this year was ‘Record Breakers,’ so on top of the usual gifts for each part of the challenge, there were mini challenges held in the Hillingdon libraries, competition related Storytimes and events to inspire individual and group achievement. Promoting the challenge was a key part of my role as a volunteer at the start and as a result, I was lucky enough to attend some of the promotional school assemblies. I was amazed by the way the news of the challenge was received, with both teachers and pupils showing great interest and promising to visit the library over the summer.

However, the best part of my time as a volunteer was yet to come…

As the Summer Reading Challenge gained momentum, so did my volunteering. I started helping out at Storytime on Monday and Wednesday mornings. I can genuinely say this was one of my favourite parts of volunteering. Not only did I learn all twelve verses of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ complete with actions (yes, really!), but I also had so much fun helping the children with their crafts, whilst some of the stories brought back some fond childhood memories for me.

paper doll    Crafts and creativity were also a large part of the events the libraries did to promote the challenge. I attended the Paper Dolls and Record Breaking Buildings events, both of which were thoroughly enjoyable in their own ways. For the Paper Dolls event the children had to roll a dice and the clothes they received for their paper doll would correspond with the number rolled on the dice. Suffice to say, there were some fantastically creative and unique paper dolls, but all were very stylish! The Record Breaking Buildings event was perhaps a little less sedate, but no less enjoyable for it. PVA glue, cardboard boxes and about twenty excitable children was a challenging mix but after two hours, our towers were both extremely tall and extremely covered in glue! Constructing the towers required patience and cooperation, but I was impressed to see how well the children worked together to create some truly great works of architectural prowess.

The events were not the only excitement in the library however. The weekly ‘Mini Challenges’ provided much frivolity and a sprinkling of competition on occasion. From star jumps to jigsaw puzzles, there was enough variety to appeal for everyone. My personal favourite was a challenge where you had to move marbles from one bowl to another using only chopsticks! One quiet Saturday morning was spent with me endeavouring to master this art (with little success) so that I could perform a demonstration for anyone who wanted to try this fiendishly difficult challenge. Suffice to say, the next time I eat Chinese food I will be using a fork!

However, using a chopstick to pick up marbles was not the only skill I acquired in my time as a volunteer and as I approach the end of my volunteering for the summer, I realise just how much of an adventure the experience has been for me. It may not have taken me to jungles or rainforests, but it took me on a far more demanding, yet rewarding journey. Before starting my volunteering, I was more than a little reluctant to give up my precious six weeks of freedom. However, as the weeks have progressed and I have immersed myself in volunteering, I have realised just how much I have enjoyed the entire experience. The library staff are so friendly; the children so enthusiastic about the challenge; the general public so willing to get involved in the scheme and support their children that my job as a volunteer has been easy. I have loved every minute; the experience has far exceeded my 20150801_151702expectations. Not only have I been able to give back to my community, but I also believe that I have grown as a person: now I feel more confident and more comfortable interacting with people of varying ages. Volunteering was definitely the best thing I’ve done all summer and I cannot recommend the experience highly enough. As for me, I can only hope that the library staff will have me again next year. As it is, I’m already counting down the days…

By Enia – Volunteer at Manor Farm Library

How To Be A Space Explorer Workshop at Yeading Library

Space Explorer 2Children at Yeading Library got to make their own rocket to fly into space! They also got to make a bookmark using cut outs of space ships, rockets and aliens which some added googly eyes on!

They drew their own space suits and space ships using their creative minds in this fun packed session!  Space Explorer 12

The children were very active and there were a wide range of age groups involved!

Using equipment such as plastic bottles, tissue paper and bright stationery, there were some very colourful results at the end!

By Janoyinee and Mashhood, Volunteers at Yeading Library

Reading Hack Volunteer Blog

Record Breakers logo for web

This is the first time I have ever volunteered and therefore I had mixed emotions when I was due to start. I did not know what would be expected of me or what my responsibilities would be like, but I saw this as an opportunity to conquer my fears and try something that I have never tried before. On my first day, I was really struggling to communicate with strangers as I am a very timid person, nevertheless, the longer I spent with them, the more secure I became with their presence and even started to hold spontaneous conversations with them and interact with them on a more physical basis, an example being high-fiving mini-challenge participants upon the completion of the challenge – I adore the enthusiasm all those little people are full of, and quite frankly I’m slightly envious of it as well.

Mikolaj, aged 16, volunteer at Oak Farm Library

Meet the Starborgs – S-Car-Go

Record Breakers logo for webName: S-Car-Go

Age: 6

GirlS Car Go

Habitat: Roads and Racecourses

Artist: Rosemary Marchant

Bio: Wow what was that flashing past? It was S-Car-Go the superfast snail! She moves so fast that she was only discovered when she accidently crashed into Frilly-silla and sent him on a rampage across the city. S-Car-Go loves to race and is always trying to find a new competitor, so far she has raced F1 cars around a track, a jumbo jet flying across the atlantic and a rocket to the moon! She won every time.

Vote for your favourite Starborg here