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.

 

 

 

 

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in May

Some art, some history, some travel, and more is on the agenda for May – check out our Events Calendar for details on all the programs blooming this month! Here’s a preview:

SPRING BOOK SALE!

The Friends of the Cheshire Library are excited to announce their annual Spring Book Sale! The book sale features more than 15,000 books of every possible genre. Adult and children’s titles are available in both hard and soft cover editions and are priced from 50 cents to $2.

Preview Night!
Wednesday, May 1st, 6:30pm – 8pm
Preview night is for Friends members only.
Memberships may be purchased at the door.
Book Sale:
Thursday, May 2nd, 9am – 8pm
Friday, May 3rd, 9am – 4:30pm
Saturday, May 4th, 9am – 4:30pm
Bag of Books Sale:
Sunday, May 5th, 12pm – 3pm
Fill a bag with books and pay only $10.
A second bag is just $5!

 

Color and Form in Abstract Art

Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 6:00 – 8:15pm

Artist Elizabeth Gourlay discusses her use of the nuances of color and form in her abstract paintings and works on paper, which she compares to musical compositions. Gourlay incorporates  warmth and gesture into all of her works, whose layered vocabulary of abstract forms emerges from her thoughts, emotions and observations of the world. No registration required, sponsored by the Cheshire Art League.

Open Art Studio in the Library Loft

Fridays from 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.

Terrific Tweens

Make a CD Hovercraft! Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Lemon Power! Wednesday May 22, 2019, 4:00 – 4:45pm

Kids are invited for fun with art, science, technology, and games. We’ll assemble robots & contraptions, play with our food, create fun works of art, and bring video games to life! For grades 5-8, no registration required.

New Movie Thursday: Welcome to Marwen

Thursday, May 9, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Did you miss the screening of a film you wanted to see in theatres?  Join us for the first Thursday of the month for a screening of a recently released film. May’s movie is Welcome to Marwen starring Steve Carrell. A victim of a brutal attack finds a unique and beautiful therapeutic outlet to help him through his recovery process. Rated PG-13. Registration is appreciated.

Author Talk:  Soldiers of a Foreign War

Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Vietnam Veteran, Dr. Charles McNair, shares his novel that presents the Vietnam War in all its conflicted complexity. It is told from the enlisted soldiers’ perspective and deals with the American and Vietnamese’s, North and South, all teenagers, experiences as they leave their families and enter their countries’ respective armies. Registration is required.

Armchair Traveling

Discovering France: Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Mexico and Central America: Wednesday, May 29, 2019,  6:30 – 8:00pm

Come and join us on the journey to different parts of these magnificent regions. During our journey through France, we will visit Paris, the Palace of Versailles, Giverny, Normandy, the Loire Valley and the Southern region.  For our look at Mexico and Central America, we will look at photos of traditional landscapes and architecture of the Aztecs and Mayans and then look at contemporary tourism landscapes. Please register separately for each program.

Katharine Hepburn: From Hartford to Hollywood

Thursday, May 16, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Born and raised in Connecticut, Katherine Hepburn had a career in stage, film and television that reflected the changing role of women in broader society.  The story of her life-long ties to Connecticut offers a complete picture of how Hepburn became the woman and the star she was. Registration is required.

Improving Your Life Through Meditation

Monday, May 20, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Meditation can bring about a sense of calm and balance that benefits both your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Join Clare Vidich for this enjoyable and informative meditation workshop for new or experienced meditators. Registration is required.

Crafting for a Cause

Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Unleash your artistic side while making your community a better place! Come and decorate canvas totes to be donated to the Cheshire Food Pantry. The Library will supply the totes and art supplies, but feel free to bring art materials from home! This program is open to adults and children of all ages. Please register in advance so we can provide enough supplies. Please register in advance.

Books Over Coffee: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 12:00 – 1:30pm

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.”  Books are available each month ahead of time, and will be available in audio & ebook format.  Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple is our May selection. You bring your lunch, we’ll provide the coffee and tea! Registration is required.

Author Talk: The Dogs of Camelot: Stories of the Kennedy Canines

Thursday, May 30, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Join us as Joan Lownds talks about her book  The Dogs of Camelot: Stories of the Kennedy Canines, which illuminates the inside story of the Kennedys’ lifelong love of dogs and the unparalleled canine corps they brought to the White House. Through cooperation with the Kennedy Library, the authors have access to rare and previously unpublished photos and stories that present a fascinating angle about the Kennedys that is deeply revealing about their character and compassion. Books will be available for purchase and signing after the talk. Registration is required.

_______

Don’t forget, May is Food for Fines Month!

Clear your fines! The Library is accepting donations of food and toiletries to benefit the Cheshire Food Pantry. Donations will clear fines on materials that have been
returned. Click here for details.