John Sheridan looks at some of Enumclaw’s historical photos with Enumclaw History Museum docent Reid Peterson for his puzzle program idea with the Enumclaw library. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

John Sheridan looks at some of Enumclaw’s historical photos with Enumclaw History Museum docent Reid Peterson for his puzzle program idea with the Enumclaw library. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Library’s Community Creators contest winners announced

Look out for the upcoming tea parties, D&D workshops, STEAM-focused gardening classes, and historical puzzles in the near future.

The Enumclaw library has announced the winners of its second-annual Community Creators contest, and four new programs and events are going to be offered for free to city residents.

This year’s Community Creators contest started in early January, and asked locals to submit their ideas for programs the library can host, from gardening classes to craft projects and musical performances. Librarians then picked the best projects to move forward with; those that are picked are funded through the city of Enumclaw’s Lafromboise Endowment, which the city council distributes to the library every year for additional events. This year, the full endowment of around $1,000 was devoted to the winners of the contest.

Out of more than a dozen suggestions, librarians decided to fund a, educational community garden for young students, tea party events for parents and their small children, Dungeons & Dragons workshops and campaigns for teens and young adults, and the creation of a puzzle collection that highlights the city’s history.

Children’s Community Garden

This project will be separate from the community garden currently located just northeast of the library.

According to Tandra Solvey, a Teen Services librarian that organizes the Community Creators contest, the Children’s Community Garden aims to be an extension of the library’s popular Story Time program. After children are read to, they will then go out to the library’s front patio, where there will be portable garden boxes for them to work in.

The program’s goal is to incorporate STEAM (which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) based lessons in the garden related to the story the children were just read.

The garden boxes are expected to be installed in late spring, with activities scheduled from June through August.

The individual who came up with this winning idea wanted to stay anonymous, Solvey said, and just plans to help the library procure the necessary gardening materials. The library’s children’s librarian, Gretchen Nelson, will be leading the classes.

My Grownup and Me Tea Party

It’s time to get fancy, and learn good manners while doing it. The idea for a parent/child tea party was submitted by Elizabeth Van Hyning, and aims to create a space where young children can practice manners, sharing, and social courtesy in a celebratory setting.

Van Hyning was a special education teacher for seven years, and is now also the mother of twins.

“In my experiences as an educator and parent, I have learned that it is important to introduce and model positive behaviors that we want our children to implement in their day-to-day routine,” she said in an email interview. “However, it doesn’t have to be in a militant or boring fashion. In fact, children are more likely to respond when they’re being taught in a fun and stress-free environment.”

She added that she hopes the program will be up and running by the start of summer, when kids are out of school, and aims to have one or two tea parties a month.

“I would recommend parents to encourage that month’s skill at home and in other environments so I can continue to expand on the manners and etiquette curriculum every time we meet,” Van Hyning said.

The manners and other social courtesies Van Hyning wants to focus on include how to behave around a table, listening while someone is speaking, learning how to ask appropriate questions, saying “please” and “thank you,” and several more.

“The best part is that these manners and courtesies don’t just apply when sitting around a dinner table but when playing with toys at a friends house, sharing craft supplies and asking for privilege’s at home or at school,” she continued. “These skills will become a natural part of the child’s day the more opportunities they are given to practice in a variety of settings.”

Dungeons & Dragons

Give yourself a +1 knowledge bonus for reading this article. If that reference went over your head (and even if it didn’t), consider attending Aaron Quezada’s Dungeons & Dragons program series.

Quezada, 12, is hoping to gather aspiring, novice, and expert tabletop gamers together for multiple events during the summer, including a day-long D&D bootcamp that will cover the basics of how to set up your own campaign “and become a Dungeon Master,” he said.

He added the program should start in April, and meetings will be weekly.

Piecing Together our Enumclaw History

John Sheridan has a novel idea for how to teach people about local Enumclaw history — through puzzles.

He said the idea came to him while substitute teaching at a local school library.

“All of a sudden I noticed kids putting together this puzzle,” Sheridan said. “They’re not on their gadgets… they’re mingling, and they’re coming in and out during their lunch hour.”

Sheridan thought adults needed to be able to have this sort of fun too, so he aims to collect some historically important photos of Enumclaw, make them into puzzles, and spread them around the city at places like the senior center, the library, the Enumclaw History Museum, city hall, and others for people to be able to drop in and work on the puzzles at their leisure.

He’s still in preliminary talks with some puzzle companies, but Sheridan’s goal is to get two puzzles out of the same area — one of a historical picture, and the other of its modern equivalent.

Along with the puzzles, Sheridan continued, should be some information about the history of the image, maybe in the form of a brochure or flash cards, so participants can learn as their piece the puzzles together.

He hopes to have a few puzzles ready to go by the late spring or early summer.

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