GROVE CITY – After dealing with COVID-19 restrictions and the hospitalization of a staff member, Grove City Community Library’s schedule of family fun is quickly filling up.

“I’m going back into full swing,” said Heather Baker, director of children’s programming.

Baker, who has worked at the library for more than 30 years, is excited to be able to offer a variety of programs, many of which were canceled or postponed because of the pandemic.

She’s also thankful to be back at work following a hospital stay of more than two weeks this spring, when she had COVID-19 and pneumonia.

Baker was in isolation during that time, but her phone and iPad helped her stay connected with loved ones and her library family.

“Patrons were bringing gifts to me at the hospital,” she said, adding that local students also sent her fun videos.

It was humbling and overwhelming, and the outpouring of support confirmed that she really does make a difference in the community.

The gifts, cards and well wishes were wonderful and encouraged Baker to start lining up events as soon as she started to feel better.

“The kids need some fun things to do,” said Baker, who is known as “Miss Heather.”

She notes that face masks are not required while visiting the library or participating in library events. Registration is required for most programs.

The library will continue to distribute craft kits to-go, and virtual cooking classes for kids in first grade and up has been ongoing for most of this year.

Baker runs a private Facebook group and gives the kids a cooking or baking challenge, which they have a month to complete for a chance to win a prize.

In September, the group will get recipes for snacks they can pack in their school lunches.

Starting Oct. 7, the library will offer Spanish language classes for grades one through six. The class continues Oct. 21, Nov. 4 and 18 and Dec. 2 and 16.

“I already have 12 kids signed up in two days,” Baker said.

Other upcoming events include:

• Preschool story time for ages 3 to 6 is 10 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays. Adults are welcome to join the craft portion of story time.

• A stuffed animal sleepover at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 3. Kids are invited to drop off their favorite stuffy at the library, where they’ll create a name tag, read a bedtime story and tuck them in. Children can bring a doll or other toys; one per child.

The kids can head back to the library at 9 a.m. Sept. 4 to pick up their stuffy and watch a slideshow of the library sleepover while eating breakfast.

• The used book sale, which benefits the library, will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 11 in the Joseph D. Monteleone Shelter at Grove City Memorial Park. Fill a large tote bag for $10 or a plastic bag for $5. Bags are provided.

Baskets will be raffled; tickets are $1 each, or six for $5. The Nacho Mama’s Tacos n’ More food truck will be selling food.

• Paws to Read will be held starting at 6 p.m. Sept. 17. Children are invited to the library to read to foster cats and kittens from Grove City Area Pet Rescue, which welcomes donations of supplies and monetary contributions.

Call the library to sign up for a time slot. The interaction will help prepare the cats for adoption and help the kids with their reading skills. There will be activities and snacks, and kids can make their own cat toy.

• Drive-in Movie Night is 5:30 p.m. Sept. 24 with “Hotel Transylvania.” Kids should bring their own homemade car to sit in while they watch the movie. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

• Build a Blanket Fort Night is 5:30 p.m. Oct. 8. Families can bring blankets, sheets, clothespins and other supplies to build their own fort, then enjoy games, snacks and s’mores bar.

Wear your pajamas and bring a snack to share. No technology is permitted, Baker said.

• The Kids’ Dollars and Sense Financial Literacy Program presented by Mars Bank will be held at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 15.

Kids in first through sixth grade will learn about saving and earning money, responsible spending, budgeting and more. There will be prizes.

• Star Wars Day at the Park will be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 16 at Grove City Memorial Park

• Family Movie Night is 5:30 p.m. Oct. 22 with “Ratatouille.” Kids should wear an oversized white shirt to “dress like a chef,” and they’ll be making their own chef hats and snacks.

• The fourth annual Halloween Bash is 5:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the library. Bring a snack to share and a donation for Grove City Area Pet Rescue.

There will be crafts, games, food, costume contest and monster bash disco party.

• The American Girl Christmas Tea Party, one of the library’s most popular events, will be held at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 4 at the Grove City Masonic Hall.

Grove City Community Library is at 125 W. Main St., Grove City. It is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. It will be closed Sept. 4, 6 and 11. For more information, call 724-458-7320, visit www.grovecitypalibrary.org or check out “Grove City Community Library, PA” on Facebook, or email gccl@grovecitypalibrary.org

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