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The Cordova Branch Library opened in 2004 and the neighborhood boasted (and still does) such a diversity, that Youth Services Librarian Sharon Evrard wanted to celebrate the various cultures. From this desire was birthed International Storytimes.
Schedule the Following Saturdays in 2013 at 11 am:
- January 12, 2013 - Syria
- March 9, 2013 - The Philippines
- May 18, 2013 - Georgia
- July 13, 2013 - Nicaragua
- September 14, 2013 - Uzbekistan
- November 10, 2013 - Canada
As soon as that following year, International Storytimes have been held monthly with a few special storytimes thrown in. During that first year, children and their parents were able to experience China, Mexico, and India and with the growth of the program from that day to this one, 34 countries have been "visited".
A typical program consists of presenters reading at least 1 book - be it folk or fairy tale - from their country. The stories may be read in English or the native language associated with the country. One fond memory Evrard recalls is during the Russian storytime: "During the . . . storytime, the presenter read the story of Little Red Riding Hood in Russian. While she read, her daughter . . . dressed up in red was chased around the room by her father, dressed up as a wolf."
There are so many great memories customers have had. Evrard recalls, "Programs celebrating China and Korea have included folk dance performances. The German program presenter taught us a folk dance, and we made gnome hats. For Holland we played with marzipan (think playdoh you can eat) and . . . for Japan we made lots of origami. At this (past) summer's Nigerian storytime, the presenters created a marketplace in the storytime room. Kids and their families could stop at a table with clothing and shoes, another that displayed musical instruments, or at a table with really, really strong coffee." More recently, she details, "At our India program . . . , we shared a folktale from India, Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young. We took turns trying on saris, learned to write our name in Hindi and made paper flowers."
The unique idea that started and was nurtured with Youth Services Librarian Sharon Evrard has grown tremendously as a fun-filled, learning experience that captivates and expands not just young minds, but the more mature ones of the parents as well.
So if you didn't know
- In Russia, Winnie the Pooh is a black bear.
- Korean is noted as one of the world's 5 perfect languages - the emperor who created the language did it so that all his people could communicate. Since the language is in pictograms, there is no illiteracy in that country.
- The national food of Haiti is Squash. The three countries that ruled there (England, Spain and Holland) considered squash too good for the original inhabitants. So every year on Independence Day, people eat squash all day long.
- Sequoyah actually created the Cherokee alphabet 3 times. The first two works were destroyed by his wife.
- People in Japan actually speak 3 languages.
- There are over 18,000 islands in Indonesia.
- In Israel, Sesame Street does not have Big Bird. Instead there is a giant Hedgehog.
- The Russian word for Grandfather is almost the same as the Greek word for Grandfather.
. . . you have been missing some wonderfully easy lessons and information that are easy to pick up in a great, stress free learning environment.
Since we know you are interested in this wonderful cultural experience, call the Cordova Branch at 415-8443 to get information or visit the Cordova Branch on Saturdays in 2013 at 11:00 am. They will be looking for you!
The Cordova Branch is located at 8457 Trinity Road.
Bring your gently used books to the nearest Memphis Public Library & Information Center location. Proceeds from Friends of the Library book sales benefit the Memphis Public Library & Information Center.