Emily Gingras has been interning at the library throughout the summer, working in the Youth Services department. As her internship comes to a close, we caught up with her to learn about her time working at OCLS and the upcoming blog series she’s writing for the library.
What’s your major/minor at UCF and why were you drawn to that field?
I’m an early childhood development major at the University of Central Florida. I chose to pursue this degree so I could help children and families by meeting them where they are. Working with the families and communities of Orlando has fostered my desire to share my love of education with as many children and families as I can.
Can you tell us about something new you learned while interning here at OCLS?
I’ve learned a lot about both myself and the early childhood education profession. The team at Youth Services has created a welcoming and uplifting environment for me to learn and grow. I’ve learned about planning and facilitating programs for varying ages and demographics. My education has focused heavily on working in the classroom, so being in a library environment has been wonderful for my professional growth. I’ve learned how to work with both the child and their family, as opposed to my classroom background where I might never speak to the caregiver.
Can you share a favorite experience you’ve had while interning at OCLS?
My favorite experiences have been when children and families come up and recognize me, or when I’m able to give them information they are excited about. Some families come in every week to update me on their reading over the week. When I share that we have events and programs for everyone in the family, some children will look apprehensive, but when they hear themes like Minecraft or Pokémon, their eyes light up. Summer at the library is always moving, which has given me an unforgettable experience. There have been mind-blowing presenters and events that I will not forget, such as getting to pet a boa constrictor and a legless lizard, hearing Emily from Emily’s Wonder Lab talk about science and space, and our amazing team of storytellers.
What’s next for you once your internship is complete?
I will be graduating in August and will explore what early childhood professions are out there. My career goal is to add learning and love to the lives of children and families, so I’ll be happy in any setting where this is possible. I hope to continue my work with OCLS and Youth Services as I grow as a professional.
Tell us about the blog series you’re writing! What do you hope people will get out of reading it?
I’m writing five blog posts, each one discussing one of the Five Elements of Early Literacy (reading, writing, singing, playing, talking). I’m hoping to spread the knowledge of early literacy development and how important and easy it is to promote those skills with children. I have a passion for school readiness and know children who enter school with a handful of skills will have a better chance of thriving. Early literacy development includes the ability to read and write, which are important skills. Children learn to read until third grade, and then they read to learn, so we need to help them with the building blocks.
Be sure to visit ocls.info/blog to read Emily’s early literacy series as they are posted.