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Mason County Library's Inquire Within Event Offered Unbe-leaf-able Fun For Kids

Harrison Evans
(L-R): Jordan Pinson, Gracy Blain, Beyler Bonecutter, Lexi McConihay, Cindy Williams (program coordinator), Ari Mayes, and Rowsey Vanscoy pose beside Mason County Library's "magic tree."

West Virginia Public Broadcasting's PBS Kids show, Elinor Wonders Why, is all about exploring and learning. This week, that came in handy for a special Inquire Within event at the Mason County Library.

Six children and seven adults were on hand for a fun lesson about shapes and colors of leaves right as we head into the season for beautiful Fall foliage in West Virginia.

Program coordinator Cindy Williams felt the content provided by PBS Kids and PBS LearningMedia were helpful with this event. “It was so easy to create a fun, interactive lesson using PBS LearningMedia. For my 3- and 4-year-old little explorers, the Ready to Learn lessons are perfect to discover a topic with characters they are already familiar with,” Williams said. "We had so much fun exploring leaves with the Elinor Wonders Why gang! I am currently changing lesson plans to include more PBS content!”

Children in attendance were met with a video introduction from Elinor followed by a pool of leaves to admire and interact with.

Harrison Evans
(L-R): Rowsey Vanscoy, Gracy Blain, Ari Mayes, Lexi McConihay, Beyler Bonecutter, Cindy Williams (program coordinator), Jordan Pinson
Harrison Evans
(L-R): Rowsey Vanscoy, Gracy Blain, Ari Mayes, Lexi McConihay, Beyler Bonecutter, Cindy Williams (program coordinator), Jordan Pinson

Megan Bonecutter thought the leaf activity was a great way for her daughter to understand leaves and associated seasonal changes. “My daughter loved the leaf activity taught by Ms. Cindy. She enjoyed the story and really loved the activity of tracing leaves. When we came home, she immediately headed out to the backyard to find as many different types of leaves as she could to sort and trace,” Bonecutter said. “Another special moment of Beyler's was discovering the library's ‘magic tree’ that will change colors. We've driven by the library quite a few times in the past few days and every time we pass, we notice small changes happening. This activity with leaves falling has helped Beyler understand why the current season is named ‘fall.’

Megan McConihay enjoyed watching her children learn with Elinor. “I love that PBS has characters like Elinor that my kids can enjoy and imitate during their own play, and they don't even realize how much they're learning while they do it! They think they're just playing,” McConihay said.

Amy Pinson emphasized the importance of story time at her local library, stating that it transforms trips to the library into something more. "Story time has helped us to turn a trip to the library into 'an event' and Ms. Cindy is always sure to make it exciting! For example, this past week we went 'exploring' outside and found all kinds of leaves," Pinson said. "We discovered leaves come in all different shapes and sizes just like Elinor in our story! My toddler, Jordan, loves going to story time every week and is always so excited to go to the library. My hope is he will always think of reading & learning as an exciting activity."

Lacy Blain highlights the importance of the PBS Kids content that Inquire Within provides participating libraries. "My child loves to watch PBS and play on the app. I love it because it’s not just entertainment - my child learns so much," Blain said.

For more on WVPB's Inquire Within program, click here. If you would like to see Inquire Within in your local community library, please email education specialist Harrison Evans at hevans@wvpublic.org.

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