As a part of its Adult Winter Reading Program, the Adairsville library -- 202 N. Main St. -- is hosting Gifts From the Heart on Feb. 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Encouraging patrons to "express your love this Valentine's Day by making homemade treats," the branch asks participants to bring food items, ranging from fruits to nuts, to the free offering.
"Every winter, the Bartow County Library System has a different theme and this year, it was Curl Up With a Good Book," said Becky Stiles, Adairsville branch manager and the program's leader. "And part of the Winter Reading Program is for each library branch to host different programs. So Gifts From the Heart is just one we're doing here in Adairsville. I just wanted to try something different where people could come in and make their own Valentine-type gift.
"[And], of course, it's food-related and we're asking people who come in to bring their own fruit or strawberries, things like that that they want to turn into gifts. And [we can make, for example] chocolate-covered strawberries and that kind of thing. I've got several different things I was going to try, [another one being] ... Valentine Rice Krispies treats, which is basically Rice Krispies treats and chocolate. That seems to be my big theme for this program -- dip it in chocolate."
Also on the menu, Stiles said are peanut butter balls that are often referred to as buckeyes.
"It's going to be hands-on," she said. "It's going to be something that we make, and then depending on what people bring, they'll be able to make the food item and then take it with them to present to someone as a Valentine's gift. ... I'm hoping to [attract] people who want to make their own craft ... who want to do something original rather than just go to a store and pick something off of the shelf. The [main] focus to me is [the] homemade [aspect rather] than saving money but it might appeal to people because of that as well.
"I just hope that we have people come to the program and I hope they enjoy it. If that's the case, then we can plan to have more programs like it in the future. Since it is going to be on a Thursday from 6 to 7:30 [p.m.], I hope more people will be able to attend. It's not an early morning or afternoon program that would be difficult for people working to manage to make it to the program."
While the Gifts From the Heart offering is being fine-tuned in Adairsville, The Resource Center at 1 N. Gilmer St., Cartersville, is supporting teachers and their helpers, as well as annual members, as they prepare for the upcoming holiday.
"We're an organization of nonprofits through the Anverse Corp.," said Kim Kappel, director of The Resource Center, which provides resources and supplies for teachers to use in their lesson plans. "So it's funded through that nonprofit. And that's a program that has been created through this foundation. There is no cost [to] the city and county schools [in Bartow]. There's no cost for them.
"But we have some private organizations, like the Bartow County day-care centers [and] most of the churches. They'll come in and pay [an annual] membership fee."
Even though Kappel expects there to be a flurry of activity right before Valentine's Day, educators have been creating decorations and activities related to the holiday since December.
"We've got a lot of the PTO [Parent Teacher Organization] folks coming in doing die cuts for their programs," Kappel said. "[People are making] hearts and we've got cards. Sometimes the teachers will cut out Valentine bookmarks just as an I'm thinking of you, just a token, a little novelty item to give [students] on Valentine's Day. And the teachers can come here and do those things here without cost to them. But it's [all about] recognizing the students, just giving them a little something. They do cards. They do die cuts. We have a die cut that [creates] a heart card and kids can write on them. Then they do other kinds of crazy stuff. We have bingo Valentine, where the kids will have Valentine words or letters. It's a Valentine-theme but it's a bingo game. It reinforces either math or reading.
"We do so many die cuts -- cupids, lots of kissing lips, cupids with the bows and arrows. There's lots of stuff going on. In the daytime, we're dealing mostly with parent volunteers and PTO. And we've got some student teachers that come in. The teacher cadets, like the high school students that work at Woodland and Adairsville, they'll come in and do things during the day for the teachers. And then in the afternoon, the teachers come in and they're doing their own items. So there's always a little buzz going on around here."
For more information about The Resource Center, view www.bartowtrc.org or call 770-387-1103. Further details about the Adairsville Public Library's Valentine's program can be obtained by calling 770-769-9200 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.