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Roaches in the Library?! Blame the Intern...


Tuning in to a raccoon tale (no pun intended)Tuning in to a raccoon tale (no pun intended)Interning at the Mulberry Street Library has been a very enlightening experience for me. One of the best parts was when I designed and ran a program called City Critters. The program strives to connect Lower Manhattan’s children (ages 3 to 5) with the natural world. Each week, I introduced an animal that is common to New York City, beginning with the ubiquitous pigeon and ending with… cockroaches! 

We read two to three fiction and non-fiction books about the week’s animal, and I interspersed the stories with games, songs, dances, puppet shows, and crafts. Some of the more memorable moments included dancing to Bert’s “Doin’ the Pigeon” song, the squirrel puppet show based on Earl the Squirrel, by Don Freeman, and singing “La Cucaracha” with egg shakers. We also enjoyed making raccoon masks and wearing them as we dug through “the trash” foraging for food. I filled several black garbage bags with toy plastic foods and clean waste, such as newspaper shreddings. When the lights went out, it was nighttime, and all of the city raccoons had to search for food. Both children and caregivers had a blast, and so did I!


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What fantastic program ideas!

What fantastic program ideas! They sound creative, educational, and fun!

thank you

Thank you so much for your encouraging feedback! Mirele

I know you have good intentions...

May 25, 2011 I realize that you have good intentions. I know of nursery schools that have pet rabbits, or other small animals. The purpose of their bringing in pets is to show the children how to take care of little critters, how to value and respect their lives, and ultimately eventually how to respect one another and grow emotionally as good human beings. I wish to call it to your attention that bringing either roaches or pigeons into an indoor environment is not without risk. A study recently found that in areas where there are roaches there is a high rate of asthma among children. Also, pigeons (not all pigeons) carry meningitus. They look beautiful. Recently, I have seen amber pigeons in New York, and others that are hybrids, which to a photographer would be magnificent subjects. However, if they are near children, it is advisable to make sure that children do not touch the pigeons. As a person who considers myself an environmentalist and advocate of kindness to all animals, I am sorry to give you such bleak news. It is better to be safe than sorry. The idea of bringing small animals into a school to be cared for by the children is truly noble. However, it is important to be cautious. Blessings to you and yours!

I don't think there were

I don't think there were actual roaches and pigeons in the library. They were reading about them in books.

Thank You Mulberry Library

Thank You Mulberry Library for all the events you create just so kids can connect and learn!


The raccoon program sounds adorable! How creative!

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