Join the neighborhood clean-up …

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For those wanting a chance to help in the neighborhood before the next FPL Sunday, there will be a Seminole Manor Community Garden Workday and Neighborhood Clean-up on Saturday, starting at 9am.  There will be donuts, some friendly neighborhood chatter, and the chance to Make a Difference in our little corner of Tallahassee.

Make a donation to the FPL

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Thanks to PayPal, you can make a donation directly to The Front Porch Library today.  The Front Porch Library relies on your donations to pay for craft supplies, snacks, educational materials, and to send kids to a week of summer camp.

You are donating to the Seminole Manor Neighborhood Association, Inc. which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.  All donors will be provided with written acknowledgement of their contribution.  Your contribution may be tax deductible.

this week at the FPL

DeeDee has been bugging me for cupcakes at the library every time I run into him. “Miss Adrian, why don’t we ever have cupcakes anymore?” The answer is complex. a. they cannot be divided into as many servings as might be needed on a boom day, b. you have to make real icing, not drizzle, and c. those little paper liners you bake them in cost money, but we made them today (John Woodward in charge of the kitchen). I think DeeDee was pleased, but sensing my weakness he said, “And when are we going to have gingerbread again?” I’ll say one thing for DeeDee. He has a great memory for all his gastronomic experiences at the FPL.

But what did we do today besides consume sugar? We talked about butterflies–it is butterfly season here. Yes, they really do taste things with their feet. We talked about the community garden and the upcoming work day. Some of the kids said they’d seen the fliers Miss Kary stuck on every mail box. What did they notice? The free donuts.

We did a blind relay race–which was very cool. Each team had a volunteer and a kid. One was blindfolded and the other gave directions on where to go and what tasks to perform, which included things like opening a box and identifying the object inside by feel, locating a saw horse, deciding how it was oriented and putting it back on its feet, finding the killer whale floating in the wash tub, counting rocks and putting them in a container, spinning a globe and stopping it with a finger–which was repeated until the finger hit land. Oh boy, Patagonia!

I loved watching the blindfolded half of the team find their way by feel, and hearing the one giving directions say things like, “No, your other left.”

We did A LOT of reading–we give treat rewards, which we have to replace with a strategy requiring less sugar, but it was a booming day at the library. By my rough count we had 13 kids, which may not sound like a huge number, but imagine them all in motion–especially after consuming their I-read-a-book treats.

this week at the FPL

Our neighbor, Meg, rolled her wagon over to the Front Porch Library, loaded with clay and the stamps she had made to show the kids. What ensued was a flurry of slapping slabs of clay on just about anything that had a texture and didn’t move.

The kids made stamps (we will print fabric using them after they are fired) of sneaker soles, basketball hide, fingers, tabletops, driveway gravel and plastic soldiers. They came out great! Meg’s wagon was wheeled home carrying all the pieces of imprinted clay. When they come back we will go to town printing bags that can be used to carry books or groceries home.

Of course there was tree climbing, hoop shooting, read-alouds and cake eating. One of our new Leon High volunteers brought a football and it was thrown, bullet-like, up and down the street while I prayed for all nearby windshields.

Tiffany, who heads the volunteers of Leon High’s Key Club donated a huge supply of chips and gold fish, the incentives for reading aloud to a volunteer. They’ll keep kids reading for weeks to come (no, we are not above bribery).

Meanwhile, Jorge tackled the dreaded back room where art supplies go to multiply.

Heather and Joe worked on cataloging books, starting a new YA section.

We have yet to log a dull moment at the FPL.

this week at the FPL

The population of the FPL is tidal, it ebbs and floods, and friends, today we were at flood. Loads of kids, loads of volunteers–many of Leon’s Key Club members joined us.

I just got back from an English teacher’s conference in Orlando where I spent a day with Jackie Mims Hopkins, who writes fractured fairy tales. In her talks she explained that she prefaces her tales with nonfiction information. Today the read-aloud was her book, “The Three Armadillies Tuff,” (I don’t have to tell you the fairy tale she fractured, do I?), so I got to talk up the many biological wonders of armadillos. Bet you didn’t know they can hold their breath for five minutes or jump four feet in the air.

I even had a bit of armadillo armor for the kids to see. I don’t know why this made me think “textures” but we made rubbings of all kinds of things, including the partial armadillo.

In the meantime the twins were making parachutes for plastic soldiers and dropping them from the high branches of the ligustrum. Zion and Braden were building a fort. Talese was decorating various girls’ hands with henna designs, Jorge and a changing cast were playing Spot-It. Books were being sorted by Hanna, Heather and Key Club volunteers.

And it was frozen cake day at the library! Yes, chunks of cake leftover from other weeks made a return, topped with ice cream. No one complained. A very lively and super-fun day at the FPL.

this week at the FPL

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It was puppet making day at the FPL. The puppets fell into two categories. The ones you could glue things to and draw on and the ones that required a thread and needle. Kalesia made a stunning puppet of the glue-on variety. By punching holes in the top edge of the paper bag she tied on lots of lengths of yarn which she then braided. She glued on bobble eyes–more than were strictly required.

The twins and Braden went for the socks. The twins produced magnificent snakes with button eyes, felt tongues and scales. Braden recreated Dracula–he also lost the button on his shorts which we sewed back on.

I bought a package of fake mustaches (at the FPL we are drawn to bouts of false mustache wearing) but this time I was sure they would go on the puppets. Wrong. As always they went on the kids, but this time there was a twist. We had the glue and the bobble eyes out so many got glued to foreheads (eight or ten per forehead). It was as if we had a bunch of mustache-wearing spiders there today.

In the street a gaggle of older boys shot hoops. Everyone enjoyed the chocolate cake.

this week at the FPL


This is the first Sunday after solving the FPL insurance problem. I baked the weekly cake (chocolate) with a feeling of joy and relief. And so, we moved forward with a nature scavenger hunt finding things like leaves with veins that were alternate or opposite, different kinds of grasses, something natural with a rough surface, and something that started with the first letter of each child’s name. D is for dirt.

“Something plastic” was also on the list as the “what doesn’t belong in this picture” entry. Danny and Mr. John dragged a metal and plastic bed frame from down the street. The other teams turned in things like two inches of tape. Danny and Mr. J. won the award for most impressive find.

Then we did some wet-in-wet watercolor painting and reading aloud was exceptionally popular (I got some new treats – rewards for reading).

Hunter and the twins pumped up the library’s basketballs–all five–and library ended with B’ball mayhem. We didn’t get the library closed until we’d run half an hour over. All the volunteers: Talese, Hunter, Hanna, Heather, John, Penny and I will sleep the sleep of the just tonight–and I will vacuum in the morning.

It is just good to know we are still in business!


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