Decatur’s Library Offers “Oceans of Possibilities”
DECATUR – With summer fast approaching, the Iva Jane Peek Decatur Public Library will begin hosting the “Oceans of Possibilities” program beginning Monday, June 6. Library co-director Patsy Alleman-Hickson and her team have a full program coming their way, whipping up games and activities for kids and teens of all ages.
The idea behind the Oceans of Possibilities program is a metaphor for the many ways we can benefit from learning. Just as most oceans remain unexplored, children can discover new possibilities by combining fun and learning.
Alleman-Hickson said: “Kids…they see a cool rock on my desk or something somebody brought me and they’re like, ‘I want to touch this. I want to see that. That’s how kids learn… It feels good to be able to do this for kids.”
By creating a space where children can play games and do activities, they can enjoy learning.
In June and July, the program will target children and teenagers with ocean-themed games and activities. They will feature Teen Ambassadors, who will help the library choose activities and games for their age group. This allows visitors to engage in activities that interest them.
For ages 3-9, kids will play games, read books, eat snacks, and create different crafts.
Some boats will return on request.
“They’re going to make slime, which I’m excited about,” Alleman-Hickson said.
A new addition to the program will offer activities aimed at teenagers. The library will set up a teen night on Friday evenings.
“We’ve never had a teenager (program) and it’s only for teenagers. And a parent came up to me and asked me to do something for them.”
Activities for teens will include games – both tabletop and computer – and pizza. By popular demand, role-playing games will be added to the list.
“We think like Dungeons & Dragons because that’s what was specifically requested…I’ve had more requests for Dungeons & Dragons than anything else.”
D&D adventures will have nautical themes. This gives players an immersive experience while learning about the history of the seas.
Even though the library displays the recommended ages for each program. There is no age limit.
“We’re not going to say, ‘Oh no, you can’t do something.’ We’re going to have something to do for them,” Alleman-Hickson said.
The library encourages everyone to come and enjoy the activities, whether it is to play games or have a place to socialize and relax. It prides itself on a policy of no “hard rules” regarding what fun activities visitors can do.
“I really want it to be things that they want to do. Not just, you have to do it,” Alleman-Hickson said. “It’s really open to what they want to do.”
To participate in the “Oceans of Possibilities” program, registration is not required, but the library asks parents or guardians to bring their children. This gives them the opportunity to learn about the program.
The program for children – ages 3-9 – begins this week, June 6-10, 9-11am.
The program for teens — ages 13 to 17 — will take place on Friday evenings, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (excluding July 1).
The library continues to run “mini-programs” each month for all ages. One is to read a book from the “Books of the Month” chart and write a mini-report of what visitors have read. Each report or drawing based on the book will receive a prize.
For the library team, the “Oceans of Possibilities” reading program is a special event. This will be the first in-person event since the covid-19 pandemic.
“It makes me feel really good because you can tell the kids who come here that they want something to do…I try to take whatever they want and put it here for them, in this program “, said Alleman-Hickson. .
Now the library has more activities going on. Soon he plans to create a “science center” which will be a permanent feature after the summer reading program. More details will follow in the coming months.