One of the most important children's programs the Friends of the Cape Coral Library sponsors each year is the Earth Day contest, "Coloring the Earth." The participants (age 7-12) must show they have researched their environmental subject, used imagination and creativity and have an understanding of the local feature.
This year's theme, "The Flora and Fauna of the Caloosahatchee: Our River, Our Hatchee," is the program's ninth anniversary offering. Coordinator Alessia Leathers said her purpose is to teach children about their environment, especially the importance of the 75-mile "hatchee" snaking through our neighborhoods.
Children "want to participate in the recovery of this vital watershed," she said.
Entrants are asked to create an original painting or drawing that shows some of the plants and animals in the different river habitats - mangroves, cypress forests, pine flatwoods, etc. that make this 75-mile-long river so unique.
Contest winners, in additional to receiving wonderful prizes, will be exhibited in the Cape Coral Library Art Gallery for one month. Reference books for research can be found at the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP) website www.chnep.org/Adventures.html/). The Lee County Library System also has reference books.
Deadline for all artwork is Saturday, April 26, at 4 p.m. (in the designated box in the children's area of the Cape Coral Library). The awards ceremony will be Wednesday, May 7, at 6 p.m., at the Cape Coral Library.
"Children are the stewards of our river," Leathers said. "It is impossible to love and care about what we don't know. That's precisely the goal of this contest."
Guidelines for the art contest can be accessed through the Friends of the Cape Coral Library Website, CapeFriends.net.
Not everyone's Elderhostel experience is a life-changing event, but for Mary Lou Williams,it was one of those 180 degree moments. In the early '90s, the retired math teacher from Long Island, N.Y., attended a folklore conference in Boone, N.C., at Appalachian State College. Williams admits she had never known there was a lively oral (English/Irish) history in the Smoky Mountains but she was so awe-struck by the conference that her life's second chapter began.
Saturday, March 1, at 2 p.m., provides an opportunity for Cape Coral residents to experience Williams' award-winning craft of storytelling when she regales her audience with St. Patrick adventures and a few fractured fairy tales, some of which were spawned by that Elderhostel conference back in the '90s. Her charming take on folklore and fairy tales promises to touch, and humor, her audience. The program is free, sponsored by the Friends of the Cape Coral Library.
And again for adults: If you missed ROC DAY in January, three weaving workshops are offered in March. All sessions are held by Fredricka Howie, who will instruct and assist a weaving session on a portable Story Loom. The first, Tuesday, March 4, is at 10 a.m.; her second session will be the following Tuesday, March 11, at 10 a.m.; and a third will be offered Tuesday, March 25, at 10 a.m.
This is a chance to learn how to weave a three-dimensional bowl on a loom. Looms and material are provided. This event is free, though registration is required. It is sponsored by the Friends of the Cape Coral Library
Read Down Fines continues for area students: Mondays, March 3, 17 and 24, at 6-7 p.m.; and Thursdays, March 6 and 20, from 3:30 4:30 p.m.
FAMILY STORYTIME AT THE LIBRARY: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m.
PRESCHOOL STORYTIME (ages 3, 4 and 5): Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 11 a.m.
BABY-PARENT RHYME TIME (birth to 24 months with an adult): Thursdays at 10 a.m.
Check Leelibrary.net for other on-going programs.
IN THE LIBRARY ART GALLERY: March 3 31
Artwork by members of the Portrait and Figure Painters Society of S.W. Florida will be displayed. The society's mission is to "encourage and promote fine portrait and figure artists, teachers, students and communities national and international, in their professional growth and success." This exhibit, which is titled "The Artist's Choice," will include an array of original fine art paintings in various media and styles. The subject matter will range from portrait and figure to landscape, seascape and still life.
Paintings by such accomplished local artists as Wanda Carter, Jean Eaton, Robert Pavon, Ray Randlett, Renate Rueter and Dot Lingren are featured. Lingren's unique jewelry creations and ceramic sculpture will also be on display in the cases.
A reception will be held on Monday, March 10, from 46 p.m., for the Cape Coral community to view the exhibit, meet the artists and enjoy refreshment. This event is brought to you by the Friends of the Cape Coral Library.
CAPE CORAL LIBRARY HOURS: 9 a.m. 8 p.m., Monday Wednesday; 9 a.m. 6 p.m. Thursday; 9 a.m. 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Getting a library card is free and easy. Just visit library.lee-county.com to apply online or stop by your library.
All Lee County Library System programs are free and open to the public. A sign language interpreter is available with 48 hours' notice. Call the Deaf Service Center at 461-0334 (voice) or 461-4348 (TTY). Assisted living devices are available. The Lee County Library System also offers free access to books, DVDs, videos, books on CD, electronic resources and other items from a vast collection.
The Lee County Library System makes it possible for people who ordinarily couldn't visit the library to enjoy reading through the Bookmobile, Books-by-MAIL, Talking Books and Literacy programs.
All of the money the Friends of the Cape Coral Library raise is through book sales, dues and other events used to purchase materials, furniture and other items that can not be included in the County library budget. Books, CDs, DVDs, etc. are accepted throughout the year for the two book sales, mid-April and November, the major fundraisers. Small quantities can be delivered to the library circulation desk. Books can also be picked up at your home if you have a large donation which is tax deductible. (A receipt can be provided.) Leave a message on hotline: 349-2572 or e-mail capefriends.org.
Patty Duncan for the Friends of the Cape Coral Lee County Library, 921 SW 39th Terrace, Cape Coral; 239-533-4500; TTY 485-1141.