In June and July, 18,000 people attended youth programming at the Frisco Library. According to Youth Services Manager Jennifer Cummings, that isn’t out of the ordinary.
We’re a very busy library. Our challenge with events is always to figure out how we can serve more people.”
Serving more people is a goal Youth Services takes seriously. The team is proactive in identifying needs of the community and creating innovative programs to serve more of Frisco’s children.
We want the library to be accessible for all youth. With that in mind, we met with FISD’s in-home parent trainer Colleen Kugler to discuss how we could better serve children who are sensitive to sensory overload. Out of those meetings, our sensory programming was born.” said Cummings.
Specifically created for children on the autism spectrum or sensitive to sensory overload, these programs provide learning tools and open doors for activities that previously would have been difficult for some children to attend.
The Sensory Backpack is an all-in-one take-home kit that helps children build life skills and address commonly faced issues such as anxiety, calm down, focus, and social skills. Each backpack contains books, writing activities, tips for caregivers, and sensory items (auditory calm toy, visual calm toy, and a stress/squeezer ball). Youth Services pulled resources from FISD’s Parent Sanctuary and Lending Library to use in the backpacks and created the rest. The backpack goes home for two weeks and the child and caregiver work together on the activities. These are available for checkout on the second floor.
Brand new this week, the Sensory Play Date is for children ages 5 and under with a caregiver. Children will explore and learn through sensory-rich activities in this open, come-and-go event on Friday, September 29 at 10 a.m.
We at the Library understand that children learn through play. The Sensory Play Date gives children an opportunity to use their senses to explore and learn more about the world around them.” said Youth Services Librarian Yvette Mendez.
The library will be adding more sensory backpack themes this fiscal year and plans to hold another Sensory Play Date in the spring.
We look forward to watching it [the sensory program] grow.” said Mendez.
For more information, visit the Frisco Library in person or www.friscolibrary.com.