For immediate release | February 25, 2014

A programming guide to after-school clubs for kids

CHICAGO — Learning that takes place "after hours" in a club setting is often an undersupported component of children's education. After-school clubs built around books encourage independent, recreational reading, which in turn has a positive impact on the rest of a child's day. In “After-School Clubs for Kids: Thematic Programming to Encourage Reading,” published by ALA Editions, Lisa M. Shaia offers a year's worth of ready-to-implement program ideas for librarians and educators. Her month-by-month calendar of themed clubs is conveniently divided by grade level (K-2, grades 3-4, grades 5-6) to allow club leaders and organizers to closely align activities and book selections to the ages of the club's participants. This handy book:

  • offers programming on such themes as science, math, animals, mysteries, art, fairy tales and more, all of which can be adapted for either a half-hour or forty-five-minute time slot;
  • details age-specific bibliographies and suggestions for read-alouds, music and craft or game activities, with different ideas for each week in a month;
  • presents information on publicizing the activity, community outreach, display ideas, set-up, supplies, management and evaluation.

Shaia is currently the children’s librarian at the Oliver Wolcott Library in Litchfield, Conn. Previously she worked as a school librarian and as an editorial assistant for Scholastic. Her experience at Oliver Wolcott ranges widely, from managing the youth programs to grant writing. She also tapes a weekly Books for Bedtime television show for the city’s local cable network. Writing credentials include articles in LibrarySparks, Collaborative Summer Library Program, Children and Libraries, and Connecticut Parent Magazine. She also developed and teaches classes for the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), one of which focused on using series books with school-age children. She blogs at Thrive After Three.

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Related Links

"After-School Clubs for Kids: Thematic Programming to Encourage Reading"

"Multiethnic Books for the Middle-School Curriculum"

"Poetry Aloud Here 2: Sharing Poetry with Children"


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