Monday, November 19, 2018

Celebrate the Holiday Season with the Gingerbread Man at Family Literacy Event

Preschoolers, toddlers, infants, and their families are invited to celebrate the stories of the season at Leap into Literacy with the Gingerbread Man, Wednesday, December 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the Cafeteria at Cumming Elementary School, 540 Dahlonega Street.

Admission to the event is free and advance registration is not required. While the program is designed for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, children of all ages are welcome to attend with a caregiver.

Parents and caregivers help children practice writing and using scissors at October’s Leap into Literacy with Biscuit event at Cumming Elementary School.

The event is the second in the 2018-2019 Leap into Literacy series and will feature a puppet show, stories and songs in English and Spanish, early literacy activities, and a chance to take a photo with the Gingerbread Man himself!

Participants will also enjoy a simple dinner from Rosati’s Pizza and an authentic gingerbread cookie baked by Gasthaus Tirol that children can decorate with toppings courtesy of Ingles Markets.

After meeting the Gingerbread Man and practicing a few simple early literacy activities, children will also receive a free book to take home, courtesy of Scholastic, Inc.

“Just over a year ago, Leap into Literacy was formed as a partnership between Forsyth County Public Library, Forsyth County Schools, Georgia Highlands Medical Services, and Literacy Forsyth because we recognized that local families need help preparing their children for success in kindergarten,” says Tracy Walker, Programming Manager at the library.

The program is designed to reach families with children from birth to age five with a series of four free early literacy events each academic year. The events include a storytime or puppet show program designed for preschoolers, a nutritious meal, and education activities that give parents and caregivers the ability to continue early literacy practices at home.

Leap into Literacy organizers agree on the importance of early literacy in preparing children for success in kindergarten and the holidays offer a wealth of opportunities to help children practice early literacy skills.

“Families love to tell stories and share their memories around the holidays and when we tell traditional stories or sing traditional songs, we’re often using words that aren’t as common in our speech at other times of the year. Learning these less common words increases a child’s vocabulary, and that becomes a predictor of reading readiness and success for children as they enter elementary school,” explains Amy Chang, Title I Director at Forsyth County Schools.

Information about literacy, education and health services from the library, Forsyth County Schools, Georgia Highlands Medical Services, and Literacy Forsyth will also be available during the program.

“In addition to helping parents and caregivers teach pre-reading skills to their children, Leap into Literacy also aims to connect families with young children to other free and low-cost services in Forsyth County,” adds Walker.

Leap into Literacy is sponsored by Forsyth County Public Library, Forsyth County Schools, Georgia Highlands Medical Services, and Literacy Forsyth. Leap into Literacy is also supported by a Community Impact Grant from the North Georgia Community Foundation, as well as contributions from Scholastic, Inc., Forsyth County Public Library Friends and Advocates, Barnes & Noble, and other local businesses.

For more information on upcoming early literacy events, including the next Leap into Literacy event in the spring, please visit

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Author and Heritage Center Director Discusses Trail of Tears During Native American History Month

November is Native American History Month and W. Jeff Bishop, director of the Funk Heritage Center at Reinhardt University, will speak about this part of local Native American history in a free presentation at the Hampton Park Library on Tuesday, November 13 at 6:00 p.m.

Bishop is the author of Agatahi: The Cherokee Trail of Tears and other books about Cherokee history and was previously the president of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association. He is an authority on the Cherokee and relocation of Southeastern Indians to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.

Tuesday’s presentation is expected to provide an overview of Cherokee culture in north Georgia and then describe the 800-mile journey from the Cherokee homelands of the Southeast to what later became Oklahoma.

Bishop will explain how Cherokee people in Georgia were removed by train or by boat and traveled on the rivers to reach the West, in addition to making the journey on foot.

“The truth of history is often more complicated and more interesting than the version we think we know,” explains Bishop.

In his work at the Funk Heritage Center, Bishop is leading preparations for a new exhibit on the Trail of Tears that will open in the Center’s Buffington Gallery in early 2019. The Center serves as Georgia’s Official Frontier and Southeastern Indian Interpretive Center. It is also recognized by the National Parks Service as a Trail of Tears Interpretive Site.

Visitors to the new exhibit can expect to learn more about the daily life of the Cherokee people in Georgia before their forced removal in 1838. Some may be surprised to learn that the Cherokee owned plantations, owned businesses such as blacksmiths and saw mills, and produced their own newspaper, Cherokee Phoenix.

Several new discoveries were made during research and gathering artifacts for the exhibit and Bishop will share those details during his talk. Copies of his book will be available for purchase and Bishop will take questions and sign books following the presentation.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Important Information About Reserving Rooms for Public Use

In order to better serve you, Forsyth County Public Library is adopting a new online reservation system for patrons to request use of the library's meeting rooms, study rooms, and conference rooms.

From January 1 to January 14, the library will not be accepting future reservation requests for the use of meeting rooms and conference rooms. To reserve a study room during this period, please call 770-781-9840.

Existing approved reservations for use of the meeting rooms and conference rooms will not be affected by this transition.

Consideration of future meeting room and conference room reservation requests will resume on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. Patrons may begin submitting all room reservations requests, including study room reservations, at that time.

Your patience during this process is greatly appreciated.