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Opening Up Doors through the Pages of a Book

First grade Memorial Elementary student Andrew Borst receives his new library card from Children's and Young Adult Librarian Nicole Claire during a recent field trip to the Upton Town Library.

Over 90 first grade students became official, card-holding members of the Upton Town Library this month, opening up doors to different worlds through the pages of a book.

On October 21 and October 28, the first grade students at Memorial Elementary School visited the library as part of an annual field trip where they received their library cards, took a tour, and listened to a story before becoming official patrons of their local public library.

Memorial first grade teacher Melonie Washburn said that this field trip is one that the students look forward to every year. "The children are very excited to be here. The trip [to the library] is important because it helps to encourage literacy. It is also another way for the children to become more invested in their education," she said.

The students walked to the Upton Town Library from Memorial with an escort from the Upton Police Department. Once they arrived at the library, they were greeted by Children's and Young Adult Librarian Nicole Claire before gathering in the children's area for storytime. Claire read the story Read It, Don't Eat It! by Ian Schoenherr, a humorous and lesson-filled story about library etiquette. After storytime and a quick tour of the Children's area of the library, the students were invited to find a book they would like to take home to read and were presented with their library cards if they didn't already have one.

Clarie said that learning about your town library is a valuable lesson for students. "It gives them free access to a variety of resources, whether it be educational or recreational. We have a good balance here," she said. Claire said that over the years the students can "grow" with their library, and learn about all of those resources that are available to them including online databases, internet access, materials for homework assignments, and even DVD's and games. "If you start them young, it sets up proper library habits and gets them in a healthy pattern of coming to the library often," said Claire.

Along with this annual rite-of-passage for first grade students, The Upton Town Library is also home to Tiny Tots Storytimes (for babies) on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. as well as a Preschool Program with stories and crafts on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The first grade students at Clough Elementary School also toured the Taft Public Library in Mendon in mid-October as part of their curriculum.


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