Teens & Community Service: Being Part of Something Bigger than Yourself

Today’s post is by our Teen Librarian, Kelley:

Teenage community service is more than something that adults insist will look good on a high school resume. It is often a requirement for graduating high school and it’s a great way for students to build their skill sets. More importantly, volunteer opportunities for teens and high school students can be a life-changing experience, one that allows teens to expand their horizons and foster meaningful relationships. Community service can point to new interests, new friends, and if you’re really lucky, maybe even a lifelong career. And yeah, okay, it’ll also look great on college applications!But where to start? Volunteering implies responsibility, and might seem intimidating. How can you be sure you’re finding opportunities that are right for you? There are always easy entry points, like the service clubs at high schools or helping out at a local library, but beyond that, the options can get overwhelming. So where should you look? There are many local and national volunteer agencies and non-profit organizations that accept teens under 18 who are interested in everything from working with animals to crafting for charities, and we’ve put together a volunteering resource for the teens of Cheshire, which is located on the teen page of our website.

Curious about still more community service ideas? Many other kinds of community groups are looking for volunteers, and some may not have occurred to you. Most of us know that hospitals, libraries, and churches use volunteers for a great deal of their work, but here are some volunteer opportunities that may not have crossed your mind:

  • Day Care Centers, Neighborhood Watch, Public Schools and Colleges
  • Community Theaters, Fraternal Organizations and Civic Clubs
  • Arts Councils, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Meals on Wheels
  • Literacy Groups, Museums, Art Galleries, and Monument Sites
  • Community Choirs, Bands and Orchestras, Music Therapy Programs
  • Neighborhood Parks, Youth Organizations, Sports Teams and After-school Programs
  • Historical Restorations, Battlefields and National Parks

Good luck! We know you’ll soon be on the path to community service superstardom!

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in August

It’s hot outside, but it’s cool inside at Cheshire Public Library, and we don’t just mean the temperature! Check out some of the cool programming we’ve got coming up in August:

Movie Matinees

Tuesdays from 1:00 – 3:00pm

Beat the heat and enjoy a movie on the big screen every Tuesday afternoon in August. This month we’re playing “Who did it best?”, comparing remakes to their original films. No registration required.

Open Art Studio in the Library Loft

Fridays, 1:00 – 3:00pm

Bring your works in progress and supplies (no turpentine, please!) to this drop-in art program. This is an opportunity to create in a collaborative environment with other artists. No formal instruction will be provided, but informal critiquing for those who want it is encouraged. Table covers will be provided. There is a sink in the room for basic cleanup. No registration required.

UFO Experience with Stephen Spignesi

Thursday, August 8, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us as Stephen Spignesi returns to present on his acclaimed book The Big Book Of UFO Facts, Figures & Truth. What are the 5 types of Close Encounters? Who are the Men in Black? How are mysterious Crop Circles related to the UFO Phenomenon? Register for this program and find out!

Mystic Aquarium Comes to Cheshire: The Touch Tank Experience (kids ages 4-up)

Thursday, August 15, 2019, 5:00 – 5:45pm

Enjoy fun, active learning with hands-on investigations of live animals and rare biofacts from the Mystic Aquarium.  Young children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  For ages 4 and up. Please register starting August 1.

Mystic Aquarium Comes to Cheshire: The Touch Tank Experience – ADULT SESSION

Thursday, August 15, 2019, 6:00 – 6:45pm

Experience the same class presentations as those at Mystic Aquarium but closer to home! Don’t miss this unique hands-on opportunity. Learn about and get up-close-and-personal with live marine invertebrates like include crabs, lobsters, snails and other shellfish. Please note this session is for ages 18 and up.  Registration is required.

Summer Adventure Finale (all ages)

Friday, August 16, 2019, 2:00 – 4:00pm

Wrap up our summer adventure with games, dancing, activities, and ice cream! Which lucky (or unlucky) librarian will get slimed? Please register so we know how many goodies to provide.

Exploring the Night Sky

Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Have you ever looked up into the night sky and felt lost? Have you thought about buying a telescope but don’t even know how to find a single constellation? Dr. Kristine Larson, professor of astronomy at CCSU, will help you learn how to start exploring the night sky without expensive equipment. Registration is required.

Starry Night ~ Craft Program

Thursday, August 22, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us for a short film lecture on the life and art of Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, Vincent Willem van Gogh and then create your own work of art in his style. All materials will be provided. Registration required for this  adult( 18+)  program. The winners for the Adult/Teen Cheshire Library Summer Adventure will be revealed at the conclusion of this event.  Please have all bingo and reading logs in by August 17.

Books Over Coffee: The Great Gatsby doubleheader

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Eat lunch with friends? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called “Books Over Coffee.”  On the last Wednesday of every month from 12-1:30pm we’ll meet to discuss the selected title. You bring your lunch, we’ll provide the coffee and tea. We will read two books this month The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell. Copies will be available to check out. Registration is required.

Special Trivia Night : All Things Cheshire

Wednesday, August 28, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join us for a special trivia night in honor of Cheshire being settled 325 years ago.  Come test your knowledge of all things Cheshire. Multiple choice answers will be available. Come by yourself or bring friends, test your knowledge from general categories including pop culture, current events, history, music, and of course literature! It’s all for pride, not prize. Registration required for this adult program. When registering please register entire group from one person to a max five people.

Jim Hawk Productions

Thursday, August 29, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Cheshire Connecticut’s independent filmmaker, James W. Hawk and guest host Ron Gagliardi will be screening five of his short films. Hawk’s films were all made in and around Cheshire. Registration is required. The evening’s program will include:

  • THE UNFORGIVEN – drama – “No matter how thin you slice it, there will always be two sides,”
  • CONNOR – drama – “Like father, like son.”
  • VERDICT – drama – “WIN…whatever the cost!”
  • THE SATURN MISSION – science fiction – “The search for the truth.”
  • SHADOWS ON NEW SNOW AND WIND IN THE OLD OAK TREE – experimental time-lapse

 

 

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in July

We’re deep into summer, but if you think summer programming is just about kids, think again! We’ve got lots of grown-up programs on the calendar, take a look:

Movie Matinees

Tuesdays, 1:00 – 3:00pm

Escape the heat with different movie every Tuesday afternoon in July.  Drop in, no registration required.

Travel Meetups

Monday, July 8, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Going on vacation soon? Chat with others before you go? Share your own travel experiences, photos from around the world and meet other travel enthusiasts. Registration is appreciated.

Open Art Studio in the Library Loft

Fridays, 1:00 – 3:00pm

Bring your works in progress and supplies (no turpentine, please! to this drop-in art program. This is an opportunity to create in a collaborative environment with other artists. No formal instruction will be provided, but informal critiquing for those who want it is encouraged. Table covers will be provided. There is a sink in the room for basic cleanup. No registration required.

Mindful Meditation

Tuesdays, July 16, 23, 30, 6:30 – 8:00pm

This meditation class is presented by local meditation teacher Bill Lynch and consists of deep breathing exercises followed by mindful meditation, which trains the mind to be in the present moment.  Mindful meditation helps you to live in the present and makes life easier by not allowing anxiety, depression and other emotions to control you.  Registration required.

Cat Tales – Writers Group

Thursday, July 18, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Join us at the library for an open writing group that can help answer your questions on writing, editing, grammar, and publishing. Read a selection of your work to the group for general constructive feedback, or discuss a book you’ve read that might help someone else. Join us once, join us every month! . Adults only, Registration required.

Apollo 11 ~ Documentary

Thursday, July 18, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Never-before-seen footage and audio recordings take you straight into the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission as astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin embark on a historic trip to the moon. Immersed in the perspectives of the astronauts, the team in Mission Control, and the millions of spectators on the ground, we vividly experience those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future. Rated G. Registration required.

The Bald Eagle

Monday, July 22, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Bald eagles were once so endangered that many considered whether to replace them as America’s national symbol. The ongoing story of their recovery as a species and CT’s healthy eagle population is a comeback story worth hearing. Join Ginny Apple, a Master Wildlife Conservationist with the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, for a talk about these magnificent birds of prey. Registration required.

That’s Weird!

Thursday, July 25, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

An ordinary-looking map with a sinister surprise. Earrings made of human hair. A piece of a revered Connecticut tree carved in the shape of a….ham? Museums are full of objects that make staff and visitors say, “Huh?”. This presentation explores some of the Connecticut Historical Society’s strangest items. You will learn how even the oddest artifacts can be gateways into a deeper understanding and appreciation of our state’s history. Registration required.

New Science From Mars

Monday, July 29, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

This presentation will focus on the recent results from the rovers and orbiters that have been exploring Mars in the last decade and how these missions have changed how we see the Red Planet. Registration required.

Books Over Coffee: November Road

Wednesday, July 31, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Join us for our adult lunchtime book club program.  On the last Wednesday of every month we’ll meet to discuss the selected title. November Road by Lou Berney is our July selection. Books are available each month ahead of time, and will be available in audio & ebook format. You bring your lunch, we’ll provide the coffee and tea. Registration required.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in June

“Oh, Alexander Hamilton, when America sings for you
Will they know what you overcame?
Will they know you rewrote the game?”

– “Alexander Hamilton”, lyrics by Lin-Manual Miranda

Hamilton-philes will be happy this month, we’ve got several Alexander Hamilton-themed  programs (both historical and pop-culture) on the June calendar,  in addition to our regular month of varied programming! Here’s some of what’s in store for June:

Financial Strategies for Successful Retirement

  • Part 2 Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm
  • Part 3 Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm

This educational program by certified financial planner Steve Choquette continues with 2 classes in June, covering important money management concepts and issues that are important to people near retirement. Participants will gain a strong understanding of their financial options along with the pros and cons of each. Registration for each class is required.

Portrait Painting with Jack Montmeat

Wednesday, June 5, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Jack Montmeat is an award-winning local portrait painter and illustrator with a studio in East Lyme, CT. After receiving his BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio in 2002, as well as studying in Paris and Florence, he began painting portraits full-time. This program is sponsored by the Cheshire Art League. No registration required.

New Movie Thursday: The Upside

Thursday, June 6, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm

A recently paroled ex-convict, Dell (Kevin Hart), strikes up an unusual and unlikely friendship with a quadriplegic billionaire, Philip Lacasse (Bryan Cranston). From worlds apart, Dell and Philip form an unlikely bond, bridging their differences and gaining invaluable wisdom in the process, giving each man a renewed sense of passion for all of life’s possibilities. Rated PG-13. Registration is appreciated.

Travel Meetup

Monday, June 10, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Going on vacation soon? Chat with others before you go.  Share your own travel experiences, photos from around the world and meet other travel enthusiasts. Registration is appreciated.

Author Talk: How to Survive a Brazilian Betrayal

Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Lightening darkness with humor, Velya Jancz-Urban and her 25-year-old daughter, Ehris, introduce readers to their offbeat Connecticut family. This memoir takes readers along on an unconventional family’s hilariously honest, yet heart-wrenching, journey. Readers will fall in love with their spunk, feel the knockout punches of betrayal along with them, and be rooting for them to get back up off the mat. Registration is required.

The Popularity of Alexander Hamilton

Thursday, June 13, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Discover the inspiring story of the Alexander Hamilton, who stood for American ideals.  Bev York, historian and educator, will share an illustrated talk about his contributions, struggles, and tragic death. Registration is required. Don’t miss our Hamilton themed events all month long!

Passport Event

Saturday, June 15, 2019, 1:30 – 3:00pm

Join us for a one-stop-shop for your passport needs.  You can fill out forms, have your picture taken and the post office will mail off your paperwork. (You are welcome to print out forms ahead of time and prefill them out to streamline the process.) Please bring two checks per application for payment and change as you may wish to use the copy machine on the lower level.   Please be advised that it can take 6-8 weeks to receive a completed passport by mail.  Any questions please call the Postal Department at 1-877-487-2778.

Plastic Pollution

Monday, June 17, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Plastic pollution has become a major global problem. Join NAMEPA’s Education and Outreach Manager, Lisa Piastuch, to learn more about the plastic pollution clogging our lands and oceans and simple changes you can embrace to reduce the plastic pollution problem! Registration is required.

Meditation – the WOW Factor

Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Based on his own experience as a gerontologist and someone who has been meditating for many years, Dr. Matthew Raider will talk about what keeps you young even as your body ages. He will also explore the eternal nature of consciousness and explain how you can experience it yourself. Registration is required.

Documentary: Hamilton: One Shot to Broadway

Thursday, June 20, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

A remarkable story of how a group of inspired mavericks made an unlikely marriage of hip-hop and history to create the biggest show on Broadway…and strangely apropos to what is happening in politics today. Featuring interviews with creator and star Lin Manuel Miranda, as well as the cast and crew of Hamilton. Registration is required.

Grow Small Backyard Fruits

Monday, June 24, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Berries have high nutritional values and full of health benefits. Since some of them generally don’t require too much space and are low-maintenance, you can enjoy fresh fruit from early summer through late fall by growing them in your backyards. This talk will discuss how to select and grow easy and quick yielding berries in your home gardens. Registration is required.

Hip-Hop Hamilton & The Founding Fathers

Thursday, June 27, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join Stephen Spignesi for an informative illustrated lecture based on his book 499 Facts about Hip-Hop Hamilton and the Rest of America’s Founding Fathers.  Spignesi begins with the three Founding documents of America—the Declaration of Independence, the Acts of Confederation, and the Constitution—and then discusses what might be called the “Top 10” Founders: Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Paine, Hamilton, etc., including all kinds of fascinating historical facts and trivia about each. Registration is required.

 

 

 

 

May is Cheshire Food Pantry Month

In the state of Connecticut, 414,730 people are struggling with hunger – and of them 117,380 are children. Here in Cheshire, one might hope these statistics don’t apply to our residents, but of course, we are not immune to the problem. The Cheshire  Food Pantry is a community organization that provides food in situations for all eligible individuals and families in need, regardless of their race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, or disability.
 The Cheshire Food Pantry is different from many food pantries because it uses a client-choice model in which clients are allowed the freedom to select their own groceries. This model provides food subsidies to low income families in crisis, while nurturing their ability to be independent and take control of their life.
For the month of May, we are shining a light on the Cheshire Food Pantry with a Food for Fines campaign, and craft programs that will benefit the food pantry. Throughout the month, CPL will be accepting donations of non-perishable food and toiletry items in lieu of overdue fines on library materials.  All donations will be delivered to the Cheshire Food Pantry. 
According to Library Director Beth Crowley, “This is a great time for patrons who are returning library materials late or who have accumulated overdue fines to clear their record while helping someone in need.” Crowley said “We chose the month of May to run this program because, in speaking with the Cheshire Food Pantry, we discovered donations tend to drop off this time of year but the need is always there.”

Donations can be used to clear fines on materials that have been returned in good condition.  They will not be accepted for lost or damaged items.  There is no rate of exchange; a minimum of one donated item can be used to clear fines on one account.  A list of suggested items to donate is available at the Library and on our website at www.cheshirelibrary.org/food-for-fines All donations must be non-perishable, unopened and cannot be expired. (Items of particular need include: Jar Pasta Sauce, Mayonnaise, Canned Peaches, Fruit Cups, Crackers, Toilet Paper, Tissues, Paper Towels. )

We also have 2 programs for kids and families to create totes for Food Pantry users. Caring Crafts is a twice-monthly program for kids in grades K-6 to make things while making the world a better place. We’re getting extra-creative this month and decorating canvas tote bags for food pantry clients on May 9th, and on May 23rd we’re making birthday cards for kids who use the food pantry.  Crafters and artists of any age are invited to decorate totes at Crafting for a Cause on Wednesday, May 22nd. We’ll supply art materials and design ideas if you need some inspiration, but feel free to bring your own designs and your own supplies. We’re making one tote for each of the 130 food pantry clients, so you’ll have plenty of blank canvas (literally) to create something beautiful! Please register in advance for these programs.

Want to learn more about the problem of hunger in America? Here are some resources at CPL:

A Place at the Table / Participant Media presents a Catalyst Films/Silverbush production ; a Lori Silverbush/Kristi Jacobson film ; produced by Julie Goldman, Ryan Harrington ; produced and directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush  (DVD | 2013, rated PG)

Hunger in America : Issues and Assistance edited by Gaston T. LaBue (E-Book)

Hunger : A Modern History by James Vernon (E-Book)

.