SUNY Cortland Memorial Library to host Halloween bash for kids

Librarian Annette Ernste at the SUNY Cortland Memorial Library

SUNY Cortland Memorial Library will be hosting a night of “Tricks, Treats, and Tales” for community area families and their children on Tuesday, October 24 at 6:00 p.m.

Children of all ages and their caregivers are invited to Memorial Library’s Teaching Materials Center (TMC) on the first floor of the library to join librarian Annette Ernste for a free evening of fun. The Halloween bash includes tales, crafts, a library parade—so come in your costume!—and yummy treats.

Over the last few weeks, Ernste has been crowdsourcing materials from around the library so kids have an opportunity to make and take home a Halloween jack-o-lantern. Battery-operated tea light candles will be available for the lanterns. Ernste will be joined by her favorite puppet during the event’s story time and says the event will not only be fun, but also a stimulating learning experience for children.

“It’s an opportunity for kids to have a hands-on experience, and to learn basic skills, like taking-turns, learning to be confident and coming up in front of a group, coordination, memory, and comprehension skills,” Ernste said. “If you have an interactive story, especially one that involves them physically, such as a puppet, they’re much more apt to remember the order of the story, all the characters, and what happens when. The more passive they are, the less they remember, such as watching a movie. Kids learn by play, and puppets make the story come to life.”

Ernste also pointed out that this event will be a great opportunity for local area residents to get a Memorial Library Community Borrower Card—just bring an ID, such as a valid driver’s license, and fill out the application, and you’re eligible to check-out books, games, and puppets.

Ernste, a Visiting Assistant Librarian at SUNY Cortland, does all the storytelling at SUNY Cortland’s Childcare Center. Every week, she works directly with infants through preschoolers, and she also connects with the Education Department on campus to familiarize aspiring teachers on instruction and ideas on how to present to kids. She describes her role as being “Pay it Forward”-esque, in that the direct impact she has on SUNY Cortland students reverberates outside the classroom; each student she educates can impact several children, creating a ripple effect, felt across county lines.

“The story telling classes are powerful because I’m connecting with 120 students, who are then connecting with 20 students each. Whatever I can give them to bring outward is awesome. I hope it inspires them to be engaged with their students,” Ernste said. “Students are placed all over the surrounding area: Cortland, Ithaca, Whitney Point. It’s a huge community drive.”

Street parking is available for anyone without a SUNY Cortland parking tag.