Inspired by the book "The Great Fuzz Frenzy" by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel, Delta County Libraries were all the frenzy over prairie dogs. Children throughout the county learned about prairie dogs, how they live, and what they do below the surface. The children then made their own model prairie dogs and their homes.
Many people do not realize that prairie dogs, despite being a huge nuisance, are quite smart and important to the ecosystem. Prairie dogs are social creatures that live in groups or colonies. They create extensive underground homes that include everything from bedrooms to bathrooms. Their homes are much like office cubicles, with each space having a different purpose or holding a separate living area. They are considered a keystone species, as many other animals rely on the prairie dog as a food source. The children's craft homes were modeled after those burrowed beneath the surface.
The children were not familiar with prairie dogs, other than the fact that their parents chase them off the property. The library program gave them an opportunity to learn about these creatures and other similar animals that burrow in the ground as well. "It is so fun to see how creative children can be," said Terry Johns, lead library assistant at the Hotchkiss Library. "One child even put a reading room in his house, and that is what it is all about, making reading fun. Other children dressed their prairie dogs in hats, scarves, bowties, and skirts."
The event was part of the summer reading program that is ongoing through the month of July at all Delta County libraries. Hundreds of children and teens have participated in the programs all summer long. "The programs have been growing every summer, and the weekly events have been creating a buzz among parents and kids alike," said Annette Choszczyk, library district director. "Whether it is prairie dogs or time capsules, getting all ages reading, and participating during the summer is critical to their success when they return to school in the fall."blog comments powered by Disqus