Oliver Wolcott Library - Programs

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LIVE Zoom Event:

So, Your're Thinking of Homeschooling
with Linda Hinks

Thursday, August 13 at 7:00 pm


At The Time of the Event:

Click Here to Join on ZOOM




In these strange times, homeschooling is being considered by more and more people. Maybe, you’ve thought of it before. Or maybe this is the first time you’re considering it. What is it like? How does it work? Can I do it?

  • Homeschooling brings up different images for different people.

  • It’s idyllic picnics while reading classic literature aloud. Maybe it’s lively family discussions, punctuated by laughter and rhetoric.

  • It’s still being in your pajamas at two in the afternoon, learning about fractions by baking cookies.

  • It’s cajoling your kid (again) to diagram a sentence or them struggling to understand that algebra concept you haven’t used and forgot 15 years ago.

  • It’s a lot of pressure.

Whatever your preconceived notions or fears of homeschooling, the realities can be very different. Well, except the part about doing work in your pajamas - that part is very true.The truth is there are many ways to homeschool - as many ways as there are homeschool families. There are tools, and tricks, and help along the way. The trick is finding the tools that work for you.

You can find out more with Linda Hincks of Wren Homeschool Consulting in our upcoming talk ((So, you’re thinking of homeschooling…)). Find out Connecticut’s laws and guidelines, ask your questions, and get some answers.

Linda Hincks, a homeschooling veteran of 20 years, is a former classroom teacher and museum educator. She’s taught groups of 2-250 in diverse subjects from poetry to oceanography to raptor physiology. Through the years, she has helped many families in their homeschooling journey. She can help you, too.





Have Book – Will Travel
Oliver Wolcott Library Summer Reading Program

6/29 – 8/14

Generously Funded by Praxair


Grades 1-6



Travel the world with OWL this summer! Our 7-week summer reading program will take you on adventures through all seven continents!

Click Here to to reserve your welcome kit!







Each kit includes a travel journal—to keep track of your reading adventures this summer—your very own National Geographic Atlas, and materials to help you complete your weekly continent challenge! 

Every Sunday you will receive an email with links and instructions for the coming week’s 2-part Continent Challenge: 1. Read the corresponding continent chapter in your atlas. 2. Complete the supplemental activity.

  • Week 1: Australia—This week’s challenge is to attend the LIVE Didgeridoo Down Under Kickoff Program! Zoom over to this amazing virtual program on Wednesday, July 1st at 3pm!

  • Week 2: Africa—Play a few rounds of Achi!

  • Week 3: Antarctica--Make you own iceberg!

  • Week 4: South America—Make your own Ojo de Dios!

  • Week 5: Europe—Virtual Art Museum Tour of The Tate (London, England), The Louvre (Paris, France), or The Uffizi Gallery (Florence, Italy).

  • Week 6: Asia—Origami!

  • Week 7: North America—This week’s challenge is to fill out your blank postcard with your favorite place in North America and mail it in to OWL!

  • Week 7 BONUS: Attend our closing program from Shana Banana—Fairy Tales Gone Bananas! This inventive and engaging musical performance takes audiences on a journey around the world. Your attendance at this program will fulfill any continent challenge you might have missed this summer! Zoom over to this fabulous virtual program on Friday, August 14th at 3pm!

While all of these challenges are meant to be completed at home, we miss you and want to see you this summer! Each week we will hold virtual lunch bunches to check in, say hello, and chat about your challenge progress.

  • Tuesdays at 12 – Virtual Lunch Bunch for children entering grades 1-3

  • Thursdays at 12 – Virtual Lunch Bunch for children entering grades 4-6

Complete all 7 challenges and receive a compass—to remind you of your “travels” this summer and to aid you on any future adventures!

Questions? Email Patricia Moore (aka Mrs. Tricia) at [email protected]








LIVE Zoom Event:

Fairy Tales Gone Bananas
with Shana Banana

Friday, August 14 at 3:00 pm







A Fairy Godmother who has a fit of sneezes? A not-so-evil dragon prince who wants to plant flowers? A vain and bullyish beetle? An alligator and a dog who want to trade noses? A boy who jumps out of a giant peach? Step into Fairy Tale Land with not-so-classic characters who take children from America to Europe to Japan and beyond. With original songs, Shana Banana and the audience discover that fairy tales involve conflicting characters, magic, overcoming fears and other interesting elements to triumph and learn in some way. Complete with imagination, cultural awareness, and appreciation of individual and intercultural (and interspecies) similarities, this show will keep children entertained, moving, dancing, acting and singing.

What happens when you get a Master’s degree in Oceanography, have a mom devoted to Early Childhood Education, have a career as a singer/songwriter and a passion for helping and motivating kids? You become a national children’s “edu”-tainer, of course! Over the years, Shana Smith became nationally known as “Shana Banana” and earned a reputation as one of today’s top children’s entertainers, with a voice that delves into blues, jazz, folk, and spiritual music as well.

In the week before this special event, Mrs. Tricia will email the Zoom link to everyone who has registered for Have Book -- Will Travel! Register now!  Program Starts on June 29th!



Letters are Characters
Literacy Kits

For Parents/Caregivers &
Children ages 3 - 7

Registration Required Click Here




Parents are children’s first and most important teachers, and reading is a child’s first and most important subject. The goal of this program is to provide essential information for you, the parents and caregivers, while at the same time providing you the tools that you need to help your child understand the letter/sound (grapheme/phoneme) relationship, an essential step for reading acquisition for all readers. 

It is play-based and fun - a curriculum for both you and your child!  The letters are characters (with personalities) that you and your child can play with. Every parent and caregiver needs to understand some important things about reading to ensure that children read to their highest potential and are protected in the event of reading acquisition struggles. This program will provide all the information that you need.  The first 25 patrons to register (using eventbrite) will receive a free kit that includes hands-on multisensory activities to do at home.  Each week you will receive an email to guide you in the process.   

You will receive:
A Copy of Letters Are Characters (to check-out and return upon program completion)

Educational Companion Coloring Sheets (yours to keep)

Letter Dough Power - just add water to make your letter dough that you will use for multisensory education activities - kids love this activity! (yours to keep)

Registration is required to receive a kit and to sign up click here.

Questions? Email Caroline Ugurlu (aka Dr. Caroline) at  [email protected]



 MORE Information about Zoom:

All of our Virtual Zoom Events are live. They are not recorded. To participate/join the event, you need to use the exact link connected to the event. Once you click on the link at the specified date and time, you will be prompted to open Zoom, the virtual meeting program we are using. All you need is an internet connection and a device or computer with a webcam and audio. Most computers have built-in webcams. No passwords or confirmation codes, just click the link and follow the prompts. 

Still having difficulty understanding how to access Zoom: email [email protected] to set-up a virtual Book-a-Librarian and we will go over it with you.

More security, more privacy: In response to concerns about privacy in a virtual meeting space, we have enabled additional security features in Zoom and updated our meeting links to be protected, private, and secure. These new, unique links can be accessed solely through our e-newsletters.To receive secure information regarding these events, please subscribe to our e-newsletter! Click here to subscribe If you misplace the email and need the link again, email [email protected] 



 Teen Events



Cook-Along with Bruce! Travel the world with your taste buds!                                                   

Wednesdays July 29, and August 5, and August 12 at 3pm

Click Here to Register

In this program series, Bruce Weinstein will facilitate a virtual cook-along focusing on global recipes from The Kitchen Shortcut Bible: More than 200 Recipes to Make Real Food Real Fast. Participants will receive their own copy of the book for pickup at OWL! To simplify shopping, participants will also receive ingredients lists in advance of the program.

Here’s what you’ll be tasting:

7/29 Cold Summer Delights
8/5 Dinner from the Middle East
8/12 Flavors from China



Bruce Weinstein, along with his partner Mark Scarbrough, are the bestselling authors of the Instant Pot Bible, among more than 30 other cookbooks. They are the owners of MediaEats, a culinary production company, were nominees for 2011 and 2015 James Beard Awards, won the 2015 IACP Award, and are the longest-serving columnists on WeightWatchers.com, as well as regular contributors to the Washington Post, Fine Cooking, and Cooking Light.

Questions? Email Patricia Moore (aka Mrs. Tricia) at [email protected]





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