(Plain Press, October 2015) The Cleveland Public Library and the Friends of the Cleveland Public Library held a ribbon cutting on August 14th for “Farmer’s Market: Carnegie West Family Early Learning & Literacy Play Space” at the Carnegie West Library, 1900 Fulton Road. The new exhibit was made possible through a donation from Ohio Savings Bank, a division of New York Community Bank.
The Farmer’s Market features a farmer’s truck going to market, a chicken coop, and a planting field, preparing youngsters for identifying, sorting and counting produce. These permanent tools are embedded with elements that get kids ready to read and allow for experiential learning through play. Along the way, children will increase their vocabulary, reading, problem solving, counting and storytelling skills.
In addition to the Farmer’s Market, the Carnegie West Branch Library also redesigned its toy room. Murals in the toy room designed by Cleveland artist Jamilla Naji are designed to connect children to literacy and learning. The interactive play space is especially designed for infants and toddlers.
A visit to the Carnegie West Branch on September 12th found four-year-old Oscar Fraunfelder fully engaged in using the Farmer’s Market exhibit. While his mother Brooke King explained where the various vegetables should be planted, Oscar piled them in his basket and put vegetables in the proper rows next to their names in the planting field. King also explained to her son that the eggs from the chicken coop do not get planted in the ground.
Oscar had also made use of the toy room. He showed Plain Press reporters some of the toys he made – a space ship, a skateboard, and a robot.
Editor’s Note: The Carnegie West Branch of the Cleveland Public Library is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.