Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kids Are Real Collectors Callahan: Library Holds Annual Show for Young Hobbyists

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kids Are Real Collectors Callahan: Library Holds Annual Show for Young Hobbyists

Article excerpt

Byline: Amelia A. Hart, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

Kids had their toys, rocks, sea shells, dolls, coins and teddy bears scattered around the Callahan branch library last week, and that was just great with branch manager Anne Hawn Smith.

The children brought in their treasured possessions and collections to share with others during a July 29 party to end the summer reading program.

Phillip Coker, 7, and his brother, Timothy Coker, 9, had their impressive displays of Beanie Babies, state quarters, baseball cards, Pokemon and Digimon cards and stamps spread over a table in the center of the library.

Timothy's stamp collection includes a gold commemorative stamp he was given by his grandmother, mail carrier Pat Holt.

"I like what they look like," Timothy said.

The collecting hobby is one the Cokers' mom, Melissa, said she's happy to encourage.

"It keeps them from watching TV and playing video games all day," she said.

This is the third year the library's summer reading program has culminated with the sharing of collections, Smith said. The day has become an annual event youngsters look forward to and a teaching tool she uses over the course of the summer.

In anticipation of the event, Smith helps children find and read library books related to their collecting interest.

She also talks to them about classifying and quantifying their collections, which helps develop organizational and math skills.

And when the day comes to share their collections with others, the kids learn presentation skills that will help them at school events such as science fairs, Smith said.

But the best part of the event is watching the children teach each other about their interests, Smith said.

"They really, really look at each other's collections," she said.

Jonathan Arnold, 9, of Callahan had his collection of coins and rocks -- as well as his Megalodon shark's tooth -- spread out on a table in the library. …

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