The Heartland Library Cooperative is comprised of seven libraries from five area counties: Highlands, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, and Okeechobee. Each library serves patrons in different ways, and on different days, but most of our libraries offer children’s storytimes. The ages served vary, so make sure to call the branch you visit to find out if your child is in the targeted age range for the program.

During the month of April, the Sebring Public Library is presenting a series of storytimes featuring cultures around the world. Every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. join us while we read books, sing songs, and learn new words. So far in the “Around the World” series, we have journeyed to the countries of Australia and China. The next two countries we will visit are Chile and Peru in South America, and Scotland, Wales and England in the United Kingdom.

The library’s goal for the “Around the World” series is to briefly introduce children to different countries and cultures around the world. During this series, the books will feature content relevant to the specific country including folktales, myths, songs, and nonfiction travel books. We also look at a map before beginning the books to demonstrate how far away the country is from where we live in America. We hope these books will inspire parents to discuss the similarities and differences between their family’s traditions and those we read about.

On Wednesday April 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sebring Public Library will host a special storytime led by staff from the Children’s Advocacy Center and Healthy Families. They will read books to the children and lead them in making a pinwheel. This event serves to bring awareness and prevention of child abuse and neglect in our county. During this storytime, the books being read will not be from the “Around the World” storytime series.

If you find yourself wanting to learn more about our wonderful world and engage your little one in cross-cultural discoveries, log on to Universal Class where you can take a course on Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish culture studies. There are also classes for Geography 101, World Religions 101, and Ancient Civilizations 101.

Of course, the libraries have plenty of books that will immerse you and your young reader in the amazing and unique cultures across the globe. The Nonfiction collections are chock-full of books about the peoples and countries around the world. Another way to share a small piece of the world with your child is by reading biographies of people who lived in a different country. Some notable biographies written for children are: “Malala’s Magic Pencil” by Malala Yousafzai, “Mama Africa!” by Kathryn Erskine, “Viva Frida” by Yuyi Morales, “Small Wonders” by Matthew Clark Smith, and “The Boy Who Loved Math” by Deborah Heiligman, to name a few.

No matter how you choose to explore the world, your local libraries can be of service to you. To check availability of the titles mentioned above, or if you have questions about Universal Class, contact your Heartland Library Cooperative branch so we can assist you.

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