‘Imagine Your Story’ at the Cullman library

A table is set up at the Cullman County Public Library for families to pick up activities for their kids - adults can participate, too! (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – To make summer a little more interesting, the Cullman County Public Library’s main branch is offering a summer learning program for children dubbed “Imagine Your Story.”

The Tribune spoke with CCPLS Assistant Director Josie Harrington to learn more.

“This year our summer learning program’s theme is ‘Imagine Your Story,’ so it’s really themed around creativity, like creating your own things, which is partially why we’ve done make-and-take crafts, which are basically these little craft pieces that kids and take home and make,” said Harrington. “For example, this week was ‘moon sand,’ which was corn starch, colored sand and water. Another craft was paperback book hedgehogs which is kind of like origami- you just fold it and eventually it looks very hedgehog-like- that was this week’s craft. Kids have made binary bracelets, which teaches a little about binary code while they make bracelets. The instructions showed how to write the word ‘read’ in binary, but there are enough beads to write a number of different things. We’ve also had the option of kids (or adults who want to participate) of writing stories, doing art and turning that in and we’ve had a couple of stories turned in. We’re excited about those!”

She continued, “Earlier this week we had an event at the Festhalle where children colored in chalk drawings. We had a pretty good turnout for that event!”

Activities vary per group, which are younger child, older child and adult.

When activities are completed and turned in, participants can pick up “brag tags.”

Harrington explained, “Those are like our rewards or prizes, our incentives for the summer learning program. Since there’s so many of them, you can get them for doing just about anything. All sorts of activities can get you brag tags. They’re sort of like keychains, but you can also put them on maybe a necklace chain. They’ve been really popular; a lot of kids like them. There’s lots of themes, so we’re hoping we’ll have some brag tag that will cater to anyone.”

How do you earn brag tags?

  • Read five chapters in a book, or five books.
  • Complete make-and-take activities.
  • Complete bingo activity (found in activities folder given to participants).
  • Complete “Build your Quest” activity (found in activities folder given to participants).
  • Write a story.
  • Create art.

What are the story writing guidelines?

  • Turn in a story written on 8×11 paper any time during the month. The library will display it the following month. The library will keep it displayed until the first week of August, when you can pick it up.

What are the art guidelines?

  • Create art of any kind! Make a picture, build something!
  • Turn in a picture of your art. The library will display it the following month. The library will keep it displayed until the first week of August, when you can pick it up.


How to get started

“It’s really as simple as coming and taking the folders or activities when they’re out on the table, which is most of the week,” said Harrington. “Starting next week, we’ll be putting out more activities for the ending week of June. There’s really no registration or sign-up, it’s more of a come in and get it and complete it at home, return it later, and that’s how you get your brag tags or participation awards.”

Submissions don’t have to be made in-person.

“You can either send it to our email, which is on some of the activities in the folders, or you can show it to us on Facebook, or come to the library and show it to us on your phone, or just bring it in person if you’d like!” she said. “It’s pretty much any way you want to show us. Anyway, we’ll eager to see it!”

The library is located at 200 Clark St. NE, Cullman, AL 35055.

Learn more at  www.Facebook.com/cullmancountypubliclibrarysystem.

Copyright 2020 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

An up-close shot of “brag tags,” prizes for participants in the Cullman County Public Library’s summer learning program (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)