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Library offers fun programs for kids
Read, Sing, Play at the Library
“Read, Sing and Play” at the Effingham County Library in Springfield featured nearly three dozen participants July 6. (Submitted photo.)

Special to the Herald


SPRINGFIELD – When Justine Street visits the Effingham County Library, she doesn’t scan the shelves for biographies or exciting mystery novels. She searches for engaging learning opportunities for her 2-year-old son Lincoln.

Fortunately, they are easy to find.

“The library develops a lot of social skills for him – definitely,” Street said.

Street and her inquisitive boy, who sees a speech therapist, attended “Read, Sing and Play” for babies and toddlers up to two years old on July 6. She is a strong advocate for the program, which included nearly three dozen children and parents.

“It does help with his speech,” she said, “and how he relates to the other kids and how they interact with each other. He’s an only child so it helps him to come here. There is usually a big crowd.”

The Effingham County Library, located at 810 Ga. Hwy 119 South, is part of the Live Oak Public Libraries network, which is funded by the governments of Effingham, Chatham, and Liberty counties and the State of Georgia. The system features 16 branches, including the Rincon Public Library at 105 W. 7th St. in Rincon.

“We’ve got programs (for children) almost every day,” said Melissa Nicolaus, Effingham County Library manager.

Nicolaus is happy that her library is bustling with activity again. The COVID-19 pandemic forced a canceled in-person programs for about two years.

“Because of COVID, we have young children who spent half of their lives or more without a lot of social interaction,” she said.

Current Effingham County Library programs modeled for older children include Snacks and Stories, Sphero Robots, and LEGO Club all for ages 6-11; Henna Design (for ages 12-13 and 14-17) TRIBE Family Wellness (for ages 6-11) and Welcome to Crochet (12-13 and 14-17). There is also a Ukulele Workshop (12-13) and Professor Universe (for all ages).

“Sphero Robots is a STEM-based program that teaches basic coding,” Nicolaus said.

Live Oak Libraries branches never stop promoting literacy and constantly strive to attract families.

“We are in the middle of our summer reading program, which runs until July 31,” Nicolaus said. “All the Live Oak Libraries do that. Participants just track how much they read over the summer. The goal is 10 hours.

“People can still sign up for it and count everything they have read since June 1,” Nicolaus added.

Young children and teens will receive a free book when they reach the 10-hour goal. Adults will earn a tote bag.

“All ages are entered into a grand prize drawing for their age range,” Nicolaus said.

After school starts in August, classes for adults will be offered in Po-Ke-no, Pictionary and crochet at the Effingham County Library.

“Po-Ke-No is a really fun game,” Nicolaus said. “It’s Bingo with playing cards. That is how it has been described to me.

“We might possibly add Bingo, too.”

Nicolaus said wreath-making is likely to be on the agenda this fall.

“There’s a lot going on and that’s just at this branch,” she said. “The Rincon location also has a full calendar.”

To see the activities schedule at the libraries in Rincon and Springfield, click on