PROGRAMS & EVENTS
40 DAYS OF SUMMER
40 Days of Summer is an activities-and-lunch program for school-aged children from Thomaston and surrounding communities. Conceived by a group of volunteers in 2014, the program was begun to address the lack of a summer food program for the school children of Thomaston and surrounding communities. Because of the percentage of children receiving free or reduced lunches we are able to take advantage of the Federal Summer Lunch program. In an effort to make this more than a “bag lunch” pick-up, an activities program was added, and the program is open to all children in the community regardless of household income level. We run 40 Days Monday through Friday from 11 am to 1 pm beginning the week after school ends in June for 8 weeks.
What age do children have to be to attend?
The program is open to all children who have completed at least kindergarten. If we have a wide variety of age levels, we will split into smaller groups to better tailor the activities to the kids’ abilities.
What does a typical day of the program entail?
Check-in is at 11 am and we have healthy snacks, usually fresh fruit or veggies, available during this time. We then begin our main activity, which typically takes about an hour. Lunch is served from 12 – 12:30, and is followed by a secondary activity, games, or a read-aloud from 12:30 to 1 pm. Children must sign out with a staff member at 1 pm before leaving the program.
Can I drop off my child before 11 am or pick them up after 1 pm?
Not all our staff are on site before 11 am and we are usually busy setting up for the program, and the same follows at 1 pm when the program ends. We appreciate your understanding and punctuality.
Can my child walk or bike to the program on their own?
This is, of course, up to each individual family if you live close enough and feel your child is old enough to walk to and from the library by themselves. We ask that you let us know on the registration form whether you will typically be dropping off / picking up or if they will walk or bike by themselves.
What if my child wants to go to his/her friend’s house after the program, or if another relative will be picking them up on a particular day?
Please let us know in person or send a written note with your child at check-in for that day. We cannot allow a child to go with someone unknown to our staff for obvious safety reasons. If someone other than you will be picking them up, please make sure that person is carrying a photo ID and inform us in advance who it will be.
Are children allowed to go in to the library to use the computers during the program?
No. Even if we move the program indoors for the day because of rain, we expect children to remain with the group and participate in the activity for the day. If they do not want to participate in the activity, a staff member will offer them an alternate activity to do quietly by themselves (typically books to read or paper to draw on), but they still must remain with the group.
Are children allowed to bring cell phones or other electronic devices to the program?
No. We find that electronic devices are pretty distracting to the kids during the program, and the likelihood that they will get broken or misplaced as we run around is high. However, we understand that some kids, especially those who are walking or biking by themselves, might have cell phones with them at their parents’ request. (This is a great thing to note on the sign-up form under the question “Is there anything else about your child you would like us to know?”) If that is the case, we ask that kids turn them in to the staff members at check-in and we will return them when they are signed out.
Are children allowed to bring Pokemon cards or other toys to the program?
We strongly discourage kids from bringing their personal toys to the program, for similar reasons that we don’t allow cell phones – not only are they distracting, but also there is a high likelihood they could get lost or broken.
Is my child allowed to bring their own lunch?
This is decided on a case by case basis – contact the library for more information.
Anything else I should know to get my child ready for the program?
We are going to be outside most of the time, so sunscreen and bug repellent are advisable! Sun protection is especially important because we are outside from 11 am to 1 pm when UV rays are usually the strongest. Also, the kids should be dressed appropriately to run around and play outside. Some activities may be messy--slime, painting, egg experiments, etc.--so we don’t advise they wear their “Sunday best” clothes. We will likely get out the water balloons and squirt guns on particularly hot days, and we’ll try to let folks know in advance so the kids can bring a change of clothes if they wish. For parents picking their kids up every day, stowing an extra towel in the car is never a bad idea!
If you have any questions not covered here, please feel free to contact us at the library at 354-2453, or you can email the program contact person, Caroline Ward-Nesbit, at email@example.com.
2020 Schedule TBA!
1. Check In: When you arrive at the library at 11 am, you must check in and make sure we have your name on our daily attendance list. You do NOT have to participate every day, but ANY day you are here you must check in BEFORE you start any activity.
2. Check Out: Once you are checked in at 11 am, you must remain with the 40 Days group and staff until 1 pm. You MUST sign out with a staff member before leaving. Your parent or guardian has told us on your sign-up form whether you will be picked up from the program each day or if you will walk or bike by yourself. If there is a change to that plan for any day, if you will be picked up by someone different than usual, or if you have to leave early, they must let us know in advance.
3. The object of 40 Days of Summer is FUN!!!! However, we do not want to forget that we are part of a community and at a community building, and we need to be thoughtful and respectful of others.
4. We expect all participants to be kind and respectful to each other. Bullying in any form will not be tolerated.
5. When any of the leaders or volunteers needs your attention, they will hold up their right arm. When you see this signal, it means to quiet down and pay attention to the information they have.
6. If we have to move an activity indoors due to weather, we remind you we must be quieter inside the library than out.
7. All of our activities are going to be FUN, and many of them may be messy! At the very least, most days will involve outdoor play, and your “Sunday best” clothes will not be appropriate. You may also want to bring a change of clothes, especially on days we’ve marked on the schedule as expected to be particularly messy, so that you don’t have to risk going home covered in slime.
8. We hope you will enjoy the activities we have planned, but not everyone will love to do everything. If you do not wish to participate in an activity, you may ask if we have an alternate activity, use materials to draw and/or color, pick out a book to read, or respectfully watch the planned activity.
9. If you do not participate in the planned activities, you are still invited to join us for lunch… you do not have be here for the full two hours to be able to join us for lunch.
Thank you for following the rules and participating in 40 Days of Summer!!!