Love & Joy at BIG’s First Children’s Cultural Books Event

William Ferrer reading Opal Lee to the local children on June 10th

Love, joy, and a wonderful gift to the families of Bandon.  William Ferrer provided all three as he read Opal Lee and What It Means to be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth at the first Children’s Cultural Books Program presented by the Bandon Inclusivity Group (BIG) on June 10.  Twenty-two children enjoyed William’s animated reading, as well as chalk drawing, coloring, and discovering new books on African-American culture and history offered in a colorful display.  To top it off, fun instruction was given in the game of hand clapping.  Young (and not so young) kids, dads and moms participated.  Afterward one mother was heard saying, “Boy, that was a real work out!” 

Laurabeth Barton reading Swift Fox All Along on June 24th
Who is Learning and Enjoying it More? BIG’s Second Children’s Cultural Books Event

“I think the adults are enjoying this as much as the children!”  A statement heard June 24 at BIG’s Children’s Cultural Books Program.  Attendees had just joyfully participated in the spirited Native American “Friendship Dance,” led by Laurabeth Barton, member of the Coquille Indian Tribe.  Laurabeth had also wonderfully read Swift Fox All Along, one of many books on Native American culture and history in the children’s section of the Bandon Public Library.

Chris Tanner reading Berry Song to children on June 24th

This second session of the Children’s Cultural Books Program was opened by a heart-felt reading by Chris Tanner, also a member of the Coquille Indian Tribe.  Chris read the featured book, Berry Song by Michaela Goode.  Chris’ reading clearly communicated the wonderful memories he has of the place berries hold in the Coquille tradition.

When attendees initially gathered they had enjoyed a video of Buffy Sainte Marie’s book, Still This Love Goes On, as she sang along.  As the program ended four young children sat mesmerized on blue floor mats looking up at the screen as two beautiful Native women in white played their drums, along with flute, and sang the Lakota Lullaby.  It seemed BIG’s vision of cultural appreciation was happening before our eyes!

There are two more events planned for BIG’s Children’s Cultural Books Program.  Each program is designed to raise cultural awareness among children ages 4 to 8 along with their families and focuses on one of four cultures present in the Coos County area.  Each event is on a Saturday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm in the Sprague Room of the Bandon Library.

July 15 will focus on the Latino-American culture and introduce the book The Paletero Man by Micah Player and Lucky Diaz.

August 12 will focus on Asian American/Pacific Islander/Hawaiian cultures and features the book Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by Tina Cho. We hope to have a few copies of the South Korean book Dear Juno by Soyung Pak to distribute as well.

Drawings by chalk artist, Amelia, welcomed attendees to the June events.

At each event there are approximately 20 books to be given away to each family of the children attending.  If supplies run out, coupons will be provided to families who do not receive a book, so they can collect that book at a later date.

The four programs are supported by the South Coast Equity Coalition, Coos County Cultural Coalition, and the Oregon Cultural Trust.  The Bandon Public Library does not sponsor or endorse this program.

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