Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:26PM - 449 Views

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Portia Williams

PDT Staff Writer

The Portsmouth Public Library’s home school program called Hullabaloo started back up Wednesday.

What began as Home School Story Time in the fall of 2012 has now evolved into what the Portsmouth Public Library calls Hullabaloo, and is one of the newest additions to the library’s programming schedule.

Jennie Dutton and Sheree Howard of Youth Services of the Portsmouth Public Library are the two facilitators for the Hullabaloo Home School Program.

Dutton works with the older group of children, while Howard works with the younger group.

Dutton, who works as Youth Services Coordinator, said Hullabaloo transcends the traditional story time sessions held at the library.

“Our Home School Hullabaloo is a bit different than our typical story times in that we span a larger age range and topic. We try to partner fun with education in this program,” Dutton said.

Dutton said the name Hullabaloo is appropriate because of the nature of the program.

“We originally called it Home School Storytime, but that felt a bit young for the range of ages that are in our home school groups. Hullabaloo indicates excitement or noisy events, and our program typically includes both of those feelings,” Dutton said.

According to Dutton, Hullabaloo is divided into two groups with home schooled students ranging from ages 5 to 10. Both groups have had 5-10 children at each event, and averages 20 children each week.

Howard said she and Dutton will work collaboratively to focus on children’s authors for this season.

“We are focusing on children’s authors, just to make the children aware of all of the children’s authors that are out there. The children many times do not know the author’s names of their favorite books, so we just want to make them aware of the fun things we can do with children’s books,” Howard said.

Dutton said the two groups do different activities that are age appropriate.

“Last season, we went over famous people, like Louis Braille, Johnny Appleseed, the Wright brothers, and Helen Keller in the older group, while the younger group used picture books to form science experiments and learn about nature. Last season, for example, we studied Ruth Law, a female pilot,” Dutton said.

Marita Cooper is the mother of Elizabeth Cooper, her second grade daughter which she home schools. Cooper said her daughter enjoys Hullaballoo and that it has been very beneficial.

“They have really great programs, she absolutely loves coming. She enjoys the time that she has had here, and she has made new friends,” Cooper said.

Cooper also credits the Hullabaloo program for her daughter’s new found love for reading.

Jessica Neal, has two children who participate in Hullabaloo, her second grade son Charlie, and Joey Lynn, who is a kindergartner that Neal home schools.

“We have used the library for years, which is how we found out about it. My children love it, they love to come. The staff is awesome, they always have great things prepared for the children, they are really kind to them. It’s a great learning environment,” Neal said.

Hullabaloo convenes at the Portsmouth Public Library main branch downstairs in the Youth Services Department every Wednesday from 1 to 2 p.m., and will continue to April 17.

Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or portiawilliams@civitasmedia.com

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