BOGOTA - Bogota children celebrated their summer reading accomplishments at the Make Your Own Ice Cream party. The hour-long event was organized and sponsored by the Friends of the Bogota Library (FOL).
"The Friends of the Bogota Library recently reformed and we were looking for an end of the summer way to encourage kids to keep reading," said Amy Gufert, an FOL member who led the event. "We thought it would be a way to give back to the library and to the community."
"It is celebrating the reading that the children have done over the summer," said Nikki Spiegel, the children’s coordinator at the library. "We are asking that the kids bring in a list of the books they read, and then they’ll have a party and make their own ice cream."
At the event, children lined up at a table to receive the ice cream ingredients, including ice, sugar, rock salt, milk and vanilla. The ice along with six tablespoons of salt were placed in a large plastic bag, while a half cup of milk, a quarter teaspoon of vanilla and one tablespoon of sugar went in a smaller bag. The bags were sealed, with the small bag put inside the larger bag. After shaking for five minutes, the children created a tasty ice cream treat, which they could top with gummy bears, M&Ms, sprinkles, and chocolate or strawberry syrups.
"It’s something different," Gufert said of making ice cream. "A lot of times we have ice cream and we eat ice cream, but to actually physically make it adds a whole new element to it. It’s something that from past experiences, kids will remember. They’ll remember that they made that ice cream."
Gufert, a Bogota resident who teaches eighth grade in the Bronx, NY, said she has previously used the make your own ice cream activity in her classroom. Given ice cream’s association with the summertime, the idea worked for the summer reading club, she said.
Around 38 children showed up for the ice cream party, Spiegel said, noting the program’s participants were in preschool to the sixth grade and had read independently or with parents during the summer.
The children kept a log of books they had read in a summer reading passport, which they could get stamped throughout the summer as well as at the event. To attend the celebration, they were expected to fill half of the passport - approximately 10 books, she said.
Spiegel described the event ultimately as a success.
"I think the kids had a ball! They loved it," she said. "I think the kids and adults learned something new."