WEST PITTSTON — Children and their families could trace, cut, mold and fold a variety of crafty creations during the West Pittston Library’s “Make It and Take It Crafternoon,” which offered an wide assortment of fun, free projects.
As more than a dozen children and parents glanced over five different project tables, library Youth Services Coordinator Summer Belles stood watch, offering help to those who struggled creatively. While the library often holds various family-friendly events and craft sessions, Belles said this particular “Crafternoon” was the first of its kind.
“It’s kind of a ‘just go at your own pace’ kind of thing,” she said, explaining attendees may choose what and how many projects they wish to take part in, as well as how long they want to spend on a single project.
Items such as markers, glue sticks, paint, paper and even clay were available for use, with projects ranging from making bookmarks to ice cream cone keychains and more.
As Belles made her way around the tables of children, she stopped as she noticed 7-year-old Jenesa Sancho struggling with her clay. Trying to mold the brown substance into an ice-cream cone big enough to hold her already-made ice cream scoops, Jenesa watched Belles roll her clay into a larger piece.
“I try to bring her as (often) as I can,” Sancho’s mother, Katrina Perez, said as she watched Belles and her daughter work together. The West Pittston native said she has attended past library events, and Jenesa always seems to enjoy them.
Once she had her clay creation complete, Belles gave Jenesa a take-home bag with instructions on how to bake the clay so it can be used as a keychain.
Two tables down, West Pittston resident Gianna Pellegrino put the finishing touches on her paper ice cream cone. The 11 year-old said she came with her friend, Mia, as she glued a cut out of her handprint on top of a waffle cone printout. When the handprint was flipped upside-down, her palm resembled a scoop of ice cream with her fingers looking like melted drips.
“I like to come whenever I can,” she said of the library events. “I think they’re really fun. They’re really interesting.”
Across from Pellegrino, Heather Bocker was helping her son, Bryce, think of a name for his ice cream. After running through a list of various flavors, Bryce settled on a flavor for his purple design that, he said, is sold at Knoebel’s Amusement Resort: Blackberry Blast.
Bocker enjoys bringing her son to the library because of its quiet, family-friendly atmosphere. She added the organization is constantly playing host to innovative, interactive activities and events for families.
Belles said she’s always looking for new and exciting ideas to use at events, and she browses through sites like Pinterest to gain fresh ideas.
“I was just trying to think of different things (for today’s event),” she said.
Toward the back of the room, 3-year-old Steven Rogers was hard at work folding pieces of paper origami-style as he worked on making a corner bookmark. After several attempts of trying to fold one corner, Rogers turned to his mom, Kendra, and asked for help.
Regulars at the library and its events, Rogers said the organization has helped her son in a plethora of ways, including intellectually and socially.
“I like that there’s a ton of programming and it’s accessible to him,” she said. “We come here for storytime every Friday, and he’s made some new friends.”
Completing his fold, Steven then went on to glue three eyes onto his masterpiece, calling the creation an alien.
Belles said families who wish to stay up-to-date on the library’s events and programs should like the group’s page on Facebook, adding the spring schedule will be launched at the end of the month.