Thursday, August 4, 2022

Local Author

            Local author Monica Roe visited the Calhoun County Library to discuss her newest book, Air, last Thursday.

            Monica Roe is a resident of Calhoun County and is a pediatric physical therapy consultant as well as an advocate for the social model of disability. She explained in an interview with teen volunteers Sara Birch and Sarah Nell Walling that her motivation for writing this book was because she was tired of people thinking that they knew what the disabled need and therefore ignoring their voices.

            Air is a junior fiction novel about a young girl named Emmie who is confined to a wheelchair and is growing up in rural South Carolina. We follow her as she faces discrimination and oversight due to her disability. As she overcomes these challenges, she teaches us the importance of respecting the needs and wishes of everyone. Many of the problems Emmie battles aren’t what would first come to mind when we think of the struggles that are the most obvious for a person with a disability. Monica does an excellent job of creating awareness by allowing the reader to see life from the perspective of a disabled person.

            Our community came together to discuss this award-winning book on Thursday, August 4, 2022. We celebrated with an ice cream social under the oak trees as Monica answered questions and read excerpts from Air. A lucky few won an autographed copy of Air and other books written by Monica Roe.

            As an added surprise, Roe announced that she has just released another new book! As part of the Jake Maddox JV Girls series, she published Snowboard Balancing Act on July 31 of this year. Be on the lookout for that book to be added to the Calhoun County Library’s collection. If you can’t wait, it is already being sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, and other online retail stores.

            In the meantime, go find Air by Monica Roe in the library today and enjoy the story of a strong girl who earns the respect of those around her!

            Thank you to Monica Roe who shared her work with our community and thank you to Save the Children who made this event possible.




Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Summer Reading Program Finale

            The Calhoun County Library held a finale to celebrate the success of its great readers throughout the summer reading program last Thursday.

            The end of our busy summer reading program was a reason to celebrate with a ceremony to honor all participants. For the summer, we had more than 200 participants who ended the summer with a great understanding that reading holds oceans of possibilities and books can take readers on many adventures.

            During this year’s finale held on Thursday, July 28, 2022, we welcomed the University of South Carolina’s mascot Cocky. With the help of Cocky’s Reading Express staff, Cocky read a story to the audience, took pictures with the readers, and helped give out the summer reading prizes. These prizes included Kindles, bicycles, tricycles, and two $50 Piggly Wiggly gift cards. Cocky also helped present summer reading completion certificates and gave away books to everyone in attendance. Following the program, all received school supplies and enjoyed local favorite “Cookie Monster” ice cream from Harmony Ice Cream.

            Calhoun County students received an additional surprise. For Calhoun County students, our team has made a special deal with their schools. Each student who shows their summer reading completion certificate to their teacher gets a bonus grade! What a great way to start the school year.

            We hope all had a great time participating in the 2022 Summer Reading Program at the Calhoun County Library! Let us know what you thought of the programs this year so we can continue to grow and meet the needs of our community next summer.

            This project was made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the South Carolina State Library. Thank you to Dollar General Literacy Foundation and to Save the Children for funding, as well.






Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Creepy, Crawly Crazies

            The Calhoun County Library hosted the Critter Keeper as the final performer for the summer reading program last Thursday.

            The Critter Keeper visited the Calhoun County Library on Thursday, July 21, 2022, with an abundance of live animals. Among those were scorpions, tarantulas, lizards, and snakes. As he was showing off these animals, the Critter Keeper shared interesting facts about them and emphasized that he learned a lot of his information from books. At the age of only five years old, he even learned what a Jacobson organ was because he read it in a book. (Do you know what a Jacobson organ is?)

            As he showed off each animal, the crowd of more than 120 people filled the room with ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs.’ There were occasional screams as well, but the Critter Keeper emphasized how important it is to face your fears and to control how you react to those fears.

            Each new animal allowed an opportunity for the crowd to interact. At the very end of the show, a few brave guests were chosen to help lift up one of the biggest snakes in the world: a Burmese python. Named Julius Squeezer, this snake needed seven people to hold him up, but our patrons, including toddlers, did it!

            The Calhoun County Library had the max capacity of viewers for each of the two shows, and all attendees had a blast. While the animals weren't as cuddly as dogs or cats, the patrons still loved seeing and learning about them.

            One piece of advice from the Critter Keeper is, “always be aware of what you say because the only animal that can hurt you with their tongue is another human being.”

            We hope you all had a great time participating in the 2022 Summer Reading Program at the Calhoun County Library! Let us know what you thought of the programs this year so we can continue to grow and meet the needs of our community next summer.

            This project is made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the South Carolina State Library. Thank you to Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Funding received will support our summer reading program. Special thanks to Save the Children.




STEM Program and AUTHOR MEET & GREET

            The Calhoun County Library held STEM and STEM, Jr. programs last Thursday that taught children aged 5 - 12 about local vegetation.

            The young scientists of the Calhoun County Library visited on Thursday, July 21, 2022 to learn about local plants, leaves, and stems. Plants have a very important role in the world, and we want to educate all of our children about them. Our biologists had to identify what kind of plant it was, label the parts of a plant, and what each needs to thrive in our community. Doctor Lesa Rice-Jackson conducted this program specifically for students to understand more about our local vegetation as it is very important in Calhoun County’s agricultural landscape.

            Join us for the next STEM and STEM, Jr. programs taught by Doctor Lesa Rice-Jackson on Thursday, August 4, 2022, at 11:45 AM - 12:30 PM. Our scientists will be learning about geometry with simple shapes. Following that program, we will be having a pizza party for all participants. At 1 PM, local author Monica Roe will be doing a meet and greet. You may be the lucky winner of a copy of her newest release, Air. You can also purchase books, have them signed, and ask her any questions you may have about her books, her life in Alaska, and writing. You won’t regret coming to the library on Thursday, August 4, 2022!

            The STEM programs are made possible by an awarded grant from Save the Children to encourage learning and understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math.




Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Waves of Fun

            We had a magical time with humorist and magician, Tim Sonefelt, on Thursday, June 14, at the Calhoun County Library. Tim travels throughout North and South Carolina as a children’s magician, an author, and a lecturer. In fact, he was the first to be named as South Carolina’s Magician of the Year!

            Children anticipated being amazed with magic tricks, and they were not disappointed! Tim Sonefelt entertained a packed house at the library with astounding tricks and whimsical tales. His performance included one-of-a-kind silks that he used with his magical act. His approach to performing magic in schools, libraries, and churches is to not only entertain, but also to teach life lessons through magic.

            One of the best parts of his performance for us was the fact that he incorporated multiple books into his act. He took a moment to showcase several books that went along with his narrative while he introduced valuable skills for children and adults! Tim Sonefelt was able to capture and hold the attention of an audience of all ages! Children were laughing and squealing with delight at his tricks while parents and grandparents were chuckling at his funny puns. Audience participation was also key to his performance, and children anxiously waited to hear him say, “I need a volunteer!” His programs were intentionally written for preschool audiences, keeping their attention spans in mind, but he also threw in many hilarious puns and jokes that were tailored for the adults in the crowd. 

            The audience most definitely enjoyed Tim’s educational and amazing magic show while also being  motivated to read throughout the program. 

            Join us Thursday, July 21, for the Critter Keeper who will be doing two performances. Reservations are required, and the only seats left are for the 1:30 PM show. Call to reserve your spot for the 1:30 PM program, 803-874-3389.

            Thank you to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation; the funding received will support our summer reading program! Special thanks for support from Save the Children!



Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Tub Troubles

            The Calhoun County Library welcomed Grey Seal Puppets who performed for the Summer Reading Program on Thursday, June 30, 2022, with a packed house!

            Grey Seal Puppets performed Bathtub Pirates and had kids in awe with their unusual puppet stage. Instead of a typical puppet show on a stationary stage, Grey Seal Puppets had a moving stage. With a harness, the performer could walk around and make the bathtub move all about. Even the adults were amazed by the creativity involved with all of the moving parts.

            The puppet show featured a boy taking a bubble bath as pirates suddenly came through the bathtub drain to take over. Blackbeard the pirate needed this tub to continue his travels and that is exactly what he did. With a shower massager as a rudder, soap on a rope as an anchor, and guest towels as sails, the group made an excursion with the Jolly Roger flag blowing in the wind.

            A detail that the children thought was cool was that all of the puppets used in the Grey Seal Puppets’ show were crafted using common household items that could be found in the bathroom.

            Join us at the Calhoun County Library next week for a fan-favorite, Critter Keeper! He will be here with creepy crawlers. Are you brave enough to face them? Come find out! On Thursday, July 21, 2022, there will be two programs. The first is at 10:30 AM and the second is at 1:30 PM .Registration is required for these programs. Call us at 803-874-3389 or visit the library to register for one of the viewings.

            Plan to let you kids stay for STEM and STEM, Jr between the two shows, Children ages 5 - 12 will be learning about local plants, leaves, and stems from 11:45 AM - 12 PM. This program is immediately following the first Critter Keeper show. so children can attend both Critter Keeper and the STEM and STEM, Jr. program without having to leave the library!

            This project is made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the South Carolina State Library. Thank you to Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Funding received will support our summer reading program! Special thanks to Save the Children!



Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Red Clay Saves the Day

            The Calhoun County Library held a STEM Science Camp June 27 through July 1 to educate children about the amazing properties of local red clay.

            Everyone here at the Calhoun County Library had a terrific time at Science Camp. It was a huge success, and all of our STEM students had a blast while learning about their own environment. This was definitely one of the Calhoun County Library’s biggest successes with hands-on measuring, calculating, and analyzing - all while using test tubes, beakers, and gloves. Students also kept a lab journal to record results of their experiments. The camp was open to children ages 7 - 12 and lasted one hour for four days last week.

            Dr. Lesa Rice-Jackson, former chemist, created the curriculum for the entire week of Science Camp and provided instruction along the way. The week was packed with fun activities to do every day.

            Day one was the science of red clay. This was the local red clay that we are all familiar with in Calhoun County, and our scientists performed acid and base experiments based on the pH of water and water combined with red clay.

            Day two was the technology of red clay. The technologists created red clay robots and made animations in five different positions.

            Day three was a skip day. Students did not come into the library on this day, but they did have a take-home experiment to conduct. This project incorporated engineering principles using projectile objects.

            Day four was arts and mathematics with red clay. Our artists painted with red clay, and our mathematicians explored geometric figures with red clay.

            Day five was the science expo where everyone got to display the week’s projects, awards, and recognitions. Everyone won a prize based on interviews with the student scientists and the physical clay robot each had made.

            “The air we breathe, the water we drink, the vegetation we see around us, all of that is important, and all of that adds to the betterment of our lives," commented Dr. Lesa Rice-Jackson about the importance of STEM Science. We certainly appreciate her sharing her expertise and enthusiasm with our area children.

            If you missed Science Camp, don’t worry! The Calhoun County Library will be hosting STEM and STEM, Jr. on Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 11:45 AM. The topic is local plants, leaves, and stems taught by Dr. Lesa Rice-Jackson. It is open to ages 5 - 12, and no registration is required.

            We want to extend a HUGE thank you to Dr. Lesa Rice-Jackson. We are very lucky to have her in our community and so are all of our STEM students. This project is made possible by an awarded grant from Save the Children to support early childhood literacy particularly in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).







Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Candy Statistics Made Easy

            The Calhoun County Library held STEM and STEM, Jr. programs last Thursday following the Summer Reading Program to teach children statistics in an easy way.

            From 11:45 AM to 12:30 PM, we were counting candy at the Calhoun County Library! . Keeping busy schedules in mind, we scheduled these programs back-to-back so that children could attend the Summer Reading Program and then go directly to STEM and STEM, Jr. without having to come back later. Children ages 5 – 12 got to work hands on with candy as they learned everything about basic statistics. By dividing up the candy by color, the children were able to find out percentages based on how many pieces of a certain color they had. STEM documented their findings through bar graphs and pie charts while STEM, Jr. placed colored circles on the white board to make a conjoined bar graph. 

            We were fortunate enough to have Dr. Lesa Rice-Jackson and Janice Baskin as our instructors. They will be teaching the STEM and STEM, Jr. program again on Thursday, July 21, at 11:45 AM which will be right after the 10:30 AM program with the  Critter Keeper. We hope you will join us to learn about local plants, leaves, and stems.

            This project is made possible by an awarded grant from Save the Children to support early childhood literacy.




"The Fisherman and his Needy, Greedy Wife"

            The Calhoun County Library had Porkchop Productions perform a play as part of the Summer Reading Program last week.

            The second program for the Summer Reading Program was Porkchop Productions who performed their play titled, "The Fisherman and his Needy, Greedy Wife." On Thursday, June 23, 2022, at 10:30 in the morning, we had a great crowd laughing their fins off!

            This fisherman was a bad fisherman who never caught fish and his wife was not happy. She gave him the ultimatum that if he didn’t catch a fish by the end of the day, they were moving away from the sea. He was very nervous and anxious since he didn’t want to leave his home. Luckily, he caught a fish…but not just any fish… a magical fish who granted him three wishes if the fisherman would agree to throw him back into the water. The fisherman agreed and gave the three wishes to his wife to try and make her happy.

            The first two wishes were easily granted. First, the wife became a young and beautiful social media influencer with more followers than Ariana Grande and Tom Holland combined. Second, she got a mansion with 15 bedrooms, 3 pools, a personal chef, and a voice-activated flat-screen television. With her third wish, the wife wanted to be the queen of all the land with a fancy crown, cape, and many jewels. The magical fish refused to grant the third wish as the wife was getting greedy.

            After some turmoil and a little self-reflection, the wife returned to her old self and finally realized that she should be happy with what she had.

            This play, "The Fisherman and his Needy, Greedy Wife" by Porkchop Productions had a great message for everyone. The actresses also promoted an anti-pollution message, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute.” Because fish only have one home, they shouldn’t have to live in our trash that we carelessly throw away.

            Next week, in observance of July 4, we will not be having a Summer Reading Program on Thursday, July 7. The following week, we will host Mr. Tim Sonefelt and Larry the Duck for a spectacular show! That’s on Thursday, July 14 at 10:30 AM. Don’t miss it!

            Thank you to Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Funding received will support our summer reading program! Special thanks to Save the Children!



Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Summer Reading Touch Tanks

            The South Carolina Aquarium visited Calhoun County Library last Thursday to educate everyone about the animals that live in our oceans.

            The first program for the Summer Reading was the South Carolina Aquarium on Thursday, June 23, 2022. With a crowd of over 100 people, we were all educated about many things about the ocean.

            The equipment used to dive into our deep oceans is called remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). They have cameras, lights, and arms to inspect as much as possible. However, a huge portion of our oceans is still undiscovered because of the immense pressure that is at the bottom of the ocean. We know more about space than we do about our oceans. Isn’t that crazy?

            What we have found at the bottom of the ocean is shocking. We would expect there to be tons of creepy creatures down there and there might be, but it has been made known that even our trash has made it that far. That is why it is important to always recycle and reuse. We don’t want to harm an environment before we can uncover what it has to offer.

            Fun facts:

                1. Sea stars (starfish) have an eye on each end of their arm.

                2. Horseshoe crabs have blue blood that is used for many medical inventions such as vaccines.

            The crowd got first-hand views when the animals came out! A few touch tanks were available for people to see how certain creatures felt. There was a sea urchin, sea star, hermit crab, conch crab, and horseshoe crab. Many children and adults came up to the table to touch these harmless animals. It was a huge hit with hands-on learning from the South Carolina Aquarium for our Summer Reading Program’s first performance.

            Each week, we will have a fun in-person program that starts at 10:30 AM on Thursdays with a provided snack. Next Thursday, June 30, 2022, is the “Bathtub Pirates” puppet show by Grey Seal Puppets. Come watch a kid save the day against pirates using only a bathtub toy as his ship!

            We would like to thank everyone who came to enjoy our summer reading programs. These programs are made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the South Carolina State Library. Thank you to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation; the funding received will support our summer reading program! Special thanks for support from Save the Children!





Tuesday, June 14, 2022

A Splashy Kickoff

            Last Thursday, the Calhoun County Library celebrated the beginning of summer reading with a splash!

            On Thursday, June 9, at 10:30 AM, the Calhoun County Library held an outdoor kickoff party. There were little pools for young children to splash around in, and the St. Matthews Fire Department created a fun splash zone by spraying their hose for people to run through. There were also crafts for all ages, water games to be played, giveaways from the Save the Children Foundation, and a frozen treat from Pelican’s SnoBalls of Orangeburg.

            This kickoff party was a fun start to our summer reading programs that are now in full swing. This year, we have two simultaneous summer reading programs for some extra competition for adults and children alike. These programs are entitled Oceans of Possibilities and Adventures to BOOKland. They are both in progress, and we are ready for patrons to register and join in on the fun!

            To register and start logging your and your children’s reading time, visit the Calhoun County Library website to get the account link, or you can download the Beanstack app directly on your phone. Registering is simple, but our Library staff is here to help if you need it. Once your account is set up, it’s time to read! When you reach the pre-set reading time goals, come to the Library to get a weekly prize and craft to take home. A drawing for the grand prizes of bikes and Kindles will be at the finale.

            Each week, we will have a fun in-person program that starts at 10:30 AM on Thursdays with a provided snack. Next Thursday, June 23, 2022, is a hilarious skit by our perennial favorite, Porkchop Productions. Everyone is sure to laugh so come on down and enjoy!

            We would like to thank everyone who came to enjoy the celebration kickoff party. This program is made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the South Carolina State Library. Thank you to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation; the funding received will support our summer reading program! Special thanks for support from Save the Children!






Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Start Reading This Summer

            Two summer reading programs are now in full swing at the Calhoun County Library, and we’re ready for everyone to make a splash! We know our patrons are avid readers, so we have added a second summer reading program for some extra competition: Oceans of Possibilities and Adventures to BOOKland. They have both started, and we are ready for patrons to join in on the fun!

            To register and start logging your time, visit the Calhoun County Library website to get the account link, or you can download the Beanstack app on your phone. Once you have an account, it’s time to read! When you reach the pre-set reading goals, come to the library to get a weekly prize and craft to take home. The drawing for the grand prizes of bikes and Kindles will be at the finale.

            Each week, we will have a fun in-person program that starts at 10:30 AM on Thursdays with a provided snack.

June 9, 2022 is our Summer Reading Program Kickoff Party full of water games, crafts, frozen treats, and even a firetruck. Wear your swimsuit and prepare to get wet!

June 16, 2022 features the South Carolina Aquarium who will be teaching about ocean habitats with fun activities and live animals.

June 23, 2022 is a very funny skit by Porkchop Productions. Everyone is sure to laugh!

June 30, 2022 is a show by Grey Seal Puppets about a kid saving the day against pirates using only a bathtub toy as their ship.

There will not be a program on July 7, 2022!

July 14, 2022 we welcome magician Mr. Tim and his sidekick Larry the Duck as they catch waves and perform magic right in front of your eyes.

July 21, 2022 is a creepy, crawly favorite. Join us for two shows with the Critter Keeper! The first is at 10:30 AM, and the second is 1:30 PM.

July 28, 2022 is our Summer Reading Program finale! It is going to be packed full of games, treats, awards, prizes, and will even have a special reading with Cocky. Come celebrate all the reading you accomplished!

            Come have loads of fun at the Calhoun County Library and enjoy a summer of reading and learning.

            This project is made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the South Carolina State Library. Thank you to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation; funding received will support our summer reading program! Special thanks for support from Save the Children!

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Buzz! Buzz!

            The bees are back and buzzing at the Calhoun County Library thanks to the generosity of the C.F. Evans Construction Charitable Giving Committee and their gift of $500. Committee Chairman, Kendall Perrow, has shown a particular interest in the Library’s observation hive, and this is the second time this committee has sponsored our beehive revitalization. Last year, our hive unfortunately got into some pesticides and did not survive. We hope that this year’s new family of honeybees finds a safer food supply as they venture out from the safety of their library home.

            C.F. Evans Safety Director Hank Rhame is also our own kind of safety director as he handles the heavy lifting of our Library’s beekeeping program. As part of our pollinator initiative that began in 2016, the Library worked with The Bee Cause to install an observation bee hive that displays eight frames of honeybees in a safe manner. In April, Hank helped install this new hive after a little hardware renovation and spring cleaning. It is located in the children’s section of the library with special access to the outside world. Peek behind their protective cloth to see the busy bees at work. You might even get to see the queen bee in action. Will you be able to spot her laying her eggs?

            In 2015, the Calhoun County Library raised awareness about the importance of pollinators through the creation of the Gressette Children’s Garden for Pollinator Education. This garden brought together people of all ages as they worked together to create something beautiful and educational. The Calhoun County Library urges you to come to walk through the Gressette Children’s Garden to try to spot all kinds of pollinators and come inside to watch a bee colony hard at work. At the library, we have many books on the importance of bees and pollinating so come pick up a copy today to learn more!

            Thank you again to the C.F. Evans Construction Charitable Giving Committee for the donation so we could bring back our bees, and thank you to Hank Rhame for being such a fantastic beekeeper!

(Hank Rhame and Benjamin Young assisting with the observation hive installation)

(From left to right: C.F. Evans Construction Charitable Giving Committee’s Safety Director Hank Rhame and Chairman Kendall Perrow and Calhoun County Library’s Melissa McLeod.)