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Shelby County Public Library using robots as winter reading motivation

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

Local children looking for fun activities are encouraged to sign up for the free winter reading program at the Shelby County Public Library.

The library received a grant called Quantum Leap from Indiana Humanities with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and through the grant, the library created “Rise of the Robots,” a robot-themed program for children.

Roger Stremming, teen librarian, said the theme explores the scientific process with programs that range for children ranging in age from preschool through teenagers.

While there is no deadline to sign up, Stremming encourages parents to sign up their children ahead of time. Many of the programs start Jan. 22.

To sign up, contact Stremming at 317-398-7121 ext. 244, or by email, rstremming@sscpl.lib.in.us.

The programs will be held at both the Shelbyville and Morristown branches.

One of the programs, “Kids Create,” will start Jan. 22 and end March 3. Children of elementary school age will build different types of robots and learn how robots help people. The group is led by Youth Director Brandy Graves. The program will run from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Monday.

“They have the opportunity to build one,” Stremming said of that program. “We also have a version of that for teens that’s a little more in-depth on the science.”

That program is called Creation Club and it also runs from Jan. 22 to March 3. It meets from 4:30 to 6 p.m. every Monday, during which teenagers will design a robot as a group. They’ll also learn about robot design and construction.

Stremming said approximately 30 children have signed up for those two programs combined but they’re still accepting more.

The “Rise of the Robots Book Club” will meet from  6 to 7:30 p.m. every other Tuesday on the opposite weeks of Teen Tuesday. That program, in which students will read sections of books with themes related to artificial intelligence, scientific progress and robots, will begin Jan. 30.

There’s also a Sci-Fi writing camp which will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 15.

Students can win prizes based on reaching reading goals through the programs. The library will provide a bingo card, and when a student wins a bingo, they win a small prize from the prize cart.

And for the older children who are still in elementary school, “Inbetween the Pages” will meet at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 15 to discuss “House of Robots” by James Patterson.