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Curious Cabinet at the Red Hook Library


What: Find & Seek is leading CURIOUS CABINET, an 8-session series combining elements from our Fall 2013 Story Play and Materials Lab series at the Red Hook Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. This free weekly program for 0-5 year old children is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). 

How: We focus on books, of course, as we are in a library! But we also bring into the mix our own special hybrid approach of storytelling, facilitated play and materials exploration. We tell stories in the round. We invite children to act out a story with props made of found, repurposed and natural materials. We foster children's imaginative use of props in their play, and we facilitate healthy play relationships with old and new friends. At times we record the children's dictation of their own original stories, a la Vivian Paley.  Other times we film the children's stories (with parents' permission, of course), in the style of Little Creatures Films.  We encourage music and movement as extensions of Story, and we welcome the youngest book lovers, babies and toddlers, through our sing-song readings of books and other songs we sing. We have conversations with parents, and we provide activities for the caregivers of young, not-yet-mobile babies. We honor each individual child as a unique human being with a beautiful imagination, and we make sure that children's voices are heard and honored as the amazing storytellers that they all are!  

In this Spring series, we are making special efforts to include families from all walks of life in our neighborhood of Red Hook, so that their children's experiences of stories and play can deepen in a way that enhances their intellectual and emotional development.  

Why: Children love story and need to be exposed to story in all its forms. Fewer than 1/2 of America's children are read to at some point in every day, and those who don't end up with a meager "listening vocabulary."  The range of activities available within our workshops provide a powerful collection of child-centered pre-literacy activities for young children. We curate and read a beautiful selection of children's books that highlight play, the beauty of the natural world, healthy social and emotional growth and the wonders of the imagination. We nurture the development of children's poetic voice, facilitating children coming into their own as Storytellers, starting at the youngest ages possible.  We not only work to build children's listening and speaking vocabularies, but focus on enhancing children's vocabulary of imagery, through multiple play experiences with a wide range of unusual and beautiful tactile, open-ended materials. Children's imaginations are sparked and the depths of their interests are tapped into, and as a result their brains are "turned on" in ways that benefit healthy human development. 

When: 10:30am - 12pm. Every Friday, from February 21 through April 11, 2014. Note that the first week, February 21, we will offer TWO sessions! As it's Winter Break for NYC schools. The first will run from 10:30-12, and the second from 2-3:30pm. 

Where: Red Hook Public Library.  7 Wolcott Street at Dwight Street. Accessible by the B61 Bus from Park Slope, which passes by the F train station at Smith/9th Street. Close to IKEA and Fairway. 

Coming Soon: Story Play in the Secret Garden!  Some of our neighbors have been volunteering time to present the Red Hook Library's garden as an worthy recipient of city council capital funds through the Participatory Budgeting process. If the garden can be renovated through the use of these city funds, it will become more child-friendly, and ultimately we can host our Story Play in this beautiful space, an underutilized Red Hook treasure. 

The Secret Garden has truly been a secret to most people in Red Hook for the 7 or so years it has been out of use.

The Secret Garden has truly been a secret to most people in Red Hook for the 7 or so years it has been out of use.

Sheryl Braxton, a Participatory Budget delegate in Red Hook, puts the finishing touches on the poster she and other volunteers created for the Expo that happened in Sunset Park on March 15. At Find & Seek we remember attending a few PBNYC meetings in Fall of 2013, at which time we threw "Library Garden restoration" into the pool of ideas. Our wildest dreams have come true: something we (and Sandra Sutton, Director of the Red Hook branch) presented as worth of city funds has made it onto the official ballot, and might just win some funding!  Learn more about PBNYC.

Sheryl Braxton, a Participatory Budget delegate in Red Hook, puts the finishing touches on the poster she and other volunteers created for the Expo that happened in Sunset Park on March 15. At Find & Seek we remember attending a few PBNYC meetings in Fall of 2013, at which time we threw "Library Garden restoration" into the pool of ideas. Our wildest dreams have come true: something we (and Sandra Sutton, Director of the Red Hook branch) presented as worth of city funds has made it onto the official ballot, and might just win some funding!  Learn more about PBNYC.

Earlier Event: October 11
Materials Lab at the Library