We’re inching toward becoming a park staple, with increased engagement as the last weekends of summer break rolled around. Might require some additions to our “cadre” of picnic blankets! Always an encouraging sign. By: Emily Pelleryn
The air has not quite cooled off in New York City… and yet, we found our beautiful patch of shade a couple weekends back at Maria Hernandez Park in Brooklyn, settled in, and hosted a bustling rotation of kiddos for the August rendition of Picnic de Palabras.
Wet from playing in the park’s fountain, some readers brought over their towels and set up their own “mats” next to ours, bringing books to their spaces and extending our footprint. Others, as was the case last time, too, carried books – as if checking them out from the library themselves – to their families’ areas, reading there and coming back multiple times for fresh stories.
We had some wonderful picture books this Picnic, with the breadth of children’s literature expanded by having a larger crew pick books from the library this month. That’s a diversity we’re hoping to maintain – the more perspectives we can bring to the library/Picnic blanket, the better! It was encouraging, too, to see some kids reach for more challenging books, as we had some early reader chapter options alongside the usual elementary-aged books.
There were fresh faces all around (readers and park goers)… and we’re thinking next Picnic might call for some new blankets, as attention to the program has grown since last month! We anticipate wonderful fall weather moving into September – always a great sign to populate the Bushwick park where we lay our books. Till then!