[In 2004, Margaia Forcier-Call volunteered to be the Story Lady and continued for 9 years.]
I very much enjoyed being Story Lady with the children of the Jemez. Sitting on the floor with them, on our “story-time quilt” made by Donna Lea, was a time of many precious moments. Not only did I read books to them, re-enacted very short stories (with home-made “props”), but once a year, we went through an Alphabet Book — a few (perhaps 4) letters at a time. Also, we ended the last 5 or so minutes, with a “sticker book” in which they learned, numbers, colors, shapes, etc.
Five-year-old Nash brought [a book] to his mother saying, “Can I read you a story?” She smiled saying sure, but not knowing what to expect. He began reading from this book, and read the first 10 pages, to her astonishment. She asked, “Where did you learn how to read? Who taught you?” He answered, “I don’t know. I just know how to read this.” He brought the book to his last session at the library, and read for us. An incentive for the children present! He usually sat next to me, on the floor, and looked attentively at the book/pages I was reading. . . . When he started reading at school, the teacher told his mother that he changed his voice at every character he was reading about. I laughed. Apparently, he was mimicking me, since I did that when I read to the children. Each animal or human character had its own voice…
In my last years, I had a brother and sister team in the group. Henry was at least a year or two older than his little sister, Imogene (who joined the group when she was not quite 3 yet). During his last year with us (after he turned 5), Henry often commented on the story we were reading. (I welcomed the children’s participation.) He would politely say, “Miss Margaia…” then give his comment. One day, immediately after Henry’s comment, Imogene blurted out: “Miss Gaia, Miss Gaia…” and had her little say. I couldn’t help smiling.
My memories of these hours spent with the children of Jemez, are very fond ones.
Students participating in the Land of Enchantment Book Club brought their lunches to Jemez Valley School Library on Tuesdays and learned about books while they ate. In one session, fourth graders kneaded dough to make hardtack, like the Revolutionary War soldiers ate in the book, They Called Her Molly Pitcher. School librarian Mildred Peck and Deborah Williams, Children’s Program Coordinator for the Jemez Springs Public Library, coordinated the weekly program.
Readers who finished at least three books from the list then voted for their favorite, and their votes were added to those from around the state to choose the Land of Enchantment Book of the Year. For more information on the ongoing Land of Enchantment Book Award Program, go to http://www.loebookaward.com.
Battle of the Books is a reading contest held in many states. Sponsored in this state by the New Mexico Library Association, it is held in a different city each year. Schools and libraries coach teams, who must remember details about a selected list of 20 books. The library team was selected of students from Jemez Valley Elementary School who attended practice sessions. The 2003 battle was held in Las Cruces on March 17.
Transcribed from Jemez Thunder, May 1, 2001
All classrooms at Jemez Valley Schools were invited to submit poems, and 20 students were selected as winners in this year’s student poetry contest. A panel of judges chose a winner from each classroom, and each winner was awarded a gift certificate for free beverage and dessert, courtesy of the Laughing Lizard Cafe. Sixteen of the winners read their poems at the Open Mike Poetry Reading at the Lizard on April 25.
Winners were Jasmine Lovato and Auriel Trujillo (tie), kindergarten; Angelica Romero, Garret Stash and Emily Jaramillo (tie), first grade; Garrett Barber and Nickolas Colon, second grade; Corina Trujillo. Richard Gentry and Mary Peifer (tie), third grade; Liz Paez and Leroy Trujillo, fourth grade; Loretta Stacy, ﬁfth grade; Mariah Gonzales, sixth grade; Keith Panama, seventh grade; Nadine Jaramillo and Tina Archuleta, eighth grade; Colin Ramsey, ninth grade; Patricia Garcia, tenth grade; Janice Tosa, eleventh grade.
Judges were Ted Greer. Judith Isaacs, Margaret May and Sam Rivera for elementary and mid-school, and John Cook, Ted Greer and Judith Isaacs for high school.
From Jemez Thunder, January 01, 2001
In 1999, during the time that Carol Meine was Children and Youth Coordinator, the Summer Reading Program’s theme was Creature Features.
In addition to reading about a variety of creatures, the children did writing and art projects which were displayed in the library.
The Summer Reading Programs usually ended with a picnic at the park.
For many years, the library has entered a float in the Jemez Springs Fourth of July parade. Children in the Summer Reading Programs helped create the float and road on the float in the parades.
In 2014, the Library created a float that used the Famous Jemez Duck Race as a theme with a large rubber ducky reading atop a yellow duck truck, with Library Director Carol Meine driving.
The Family Literacy Program was jointly sponsored at Jemez Valley Elementary School by the YMCA and the Jemez Springs Public Library.
1998 was the 400th anniversary of the Spanish arrival in New Mexico. Institutions all over the state scheduled programs to commemorate the event. The library chose to invite elders from the community to meet for four consecutive weeks with children at the Jemez Valley Community Center. Children had the opportunity to hear stories about the history of previous generations to complement their lessons on the history of the state.
Children wrote poems and stories; the main project was making paper mach masks.
The finished products were displayed in the library.