On a bright and sunny Monday morning earlier this week, eager pre-kindergarten students from The Community Synagogue L’Dor V’Dor Early Childhood Center in Sands Point skipped their way into the Port Washington Public Library for a visit.
Excited to be away from school for their first field trip ever, these four and five-year-old children were on a mission – to see their artwork on display in the Children’s Library.
For the month of May, the preschool, known around Port Washington as “the ECC,” has taken over the bulletin boards in the Children’s Room. Visitors to the library are treated to images of spring flowers, as well as student responses to the prompt, “I can help the earth by.”
“We used to come to the library for a field trip every spring before COVID,” ECC Director Jen Schiffer said. “We are thrilled to be back and that we are able to share this special community center with our students.”
Librarian Lesley Siegel, a frequent visitor to the preschool during the school year, was a welcoming and familiar face waiting to greet the students at the entrance to the Children’s Library.
As the children made their way downstairs, they practiced using indoor voices so as not to disturb the other library visitors.
The children were accompanied by their classroom teachers, as well as parent volunteers who helped transport the children to and from the library.
The children lit up upon seeing the ECC exhibition on the walls. While their teachers had told them beforehand that their work would be on display, the children could not contain their excitement as they searched for their pieces.
“I especially liked that the visit encouraged our students to visit the library often and to read more books,” Jacklin Robeny, a Pre-K head teacher at the school, said.
Miss Lesley welcomed the children by asking a very important question: “WHO owns the library?” More than one child responded by suggesting that Miss Lesley owned the library.
“The correct answer,” she said, “is that everyone owns the library.”
The Port Washington Public Library is part of a larger system of libraries throughout Long Island. Anyone with a library card may borrow books from the Port Washington Library, as well as from libraries in neighboring communities.
During their visit, Miss Lesley led a story time where she shared books and sang songs with the ECC children.
Miss Lesley read the books, “The Book that Jake Borrowed,” written and illustrated by Susan Holt Kralovansky, and “I Took My Frog to the Library,” by Eric A. Kimmel.
These books helped to provide context for a discussion about the proper ways to care for books. Some of the important things to keep in mind when handling books are as follows: do not eat or drink near a book, keep books in a safe place, away from pets, and always use a bookmark to save your place.
The children were eager to share the ways in which they care for their books both at home and at school.
While the internet provides easy access to information online, the library remains an important part of our community here in Port Washington. The Port Washington Public Library provides access to information and resources, while also serving as a community gathering space.
After exploring the library and reading books with Miss Lesley, the ECC students were sad to see their field trip end.
Miss Lesley explained to each group how to apply for a library card and encouraged the children to visit again soon.
As the children exited the library, they could be heard talking to their teachers and parent chaperones about plans for their next visit.
“It was so special to be able to join my daughter on her first field trip post-COVID,” ECC mom Talia Grossman said. “It was terrific to be out in the community with her and her classmates, and I’m looking forward to many more library visits in the future!”
The ECC already has plans to return to the library for another visit soon.