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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Family Night at Downey Library A Huge Success

Families+reading+a+Curious+George+book+during+bilingual+reading+time.+
Dillon Laurer
Families reading a Curious George book during bilingual reading time.

Downey City Library held its monthly family night-themed Love Your Library Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event had all sorts of different crafts and activities for the children such as bilingual story time, a free book giveaway, face painting, and many more.

Roughly 275 people attended the family night ranging from ages 1 to 10 years old, according to Natalie Muniz, head of the children’s department, “Family nights bring in the most people compared to our other events.”

The night started off with bilingual reading time where Socorro “Coco” Pacheco, a 2006 Cerritos College graduate, read three different books in both English and Spanish. The children were able to read along and interact with the story when asked, making it fun for everyone.

The children were having nothing short of a good time. Zara, 5 years old and homeschooled, said she likes reading, coloring, and being creative, “I am creative,” she said with sass as her mother laughed at the way she said it.

Yadira Garcia, mother of a 6-year-old girl, brought her daughter and her friend to family night after finding out about it the day before. This was only the second time that they had been to the Downey Library but Garcia said she plans on bringing her daughter more because she loves to read.

After reading time, the children were able to partake in a plethora of activities such as getting their faces painted, writing a note for someone special, and coloring a bookmark. The library also had a table of books set up for families to come and take one home per child for free.

The library staff was helped by volunteers from the Assistance League of Downey. The Assisteen auxiliary had seven teens helping with face painting and other activities. They also had six adults helping out by passing out the free books.

Jazmine Thies, Assisteens Coordinator, said, “Tonight we wanted to help out the library, so we came down and did face paint for the kids.” The teens need 40 volunteer hours for college scholarships so tonight was a step in the right direction for them.

In 2019 the Downey Library closed for renovations, eventually reopening in May 2021. A big factor in the library needing to be updated was that there wasn’t enough space to hold a large amount of occupants.

Due to this, staff would have to reject families from entering on family nights due to max capacity. Claudia Dailey, literacy coordinator, and former Cerritos College graduate who has been involved in the library for 54 years said, “It was very heartbreaking for me to say no to these families. It was causing these parents to make their children lie and I didn’t like that.”

The library also hosted Claris Health Service, a non-profit organization that helps families with services such as sexual health services, prenatal + pregnancy care, and therapy + support programs for parents for free. Amanda Bergeman, a company representative, was passing out flyers, giving information to the parents attending about the company, and signing up families that were interested in what they had to offer.

It’s great bringing the community together, not only the city of Downey but Paramount and Whittier and anyone else who wants to join us, Muniz said as the night was coming to an end. “My goal for these families as they leave here is to know that they belong here,” she said as she started to choke up and get emotional.

The next event being held by the library is on Thursday, Feb 29 where they will have a Library Play Date and Theater Thursday. More information on these events and future events are found on the Downey City Library website under the tab calendar tab

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About the Contributors
Dillon Laurer, Staff Writer
Dillon Laurer is a staff writer for Talon Marks. He enjoys playing & watching sports, playing video games, cooking and working on cars. He also plays football at Cerritos College and hopes to transfer in May.
Anahi Villalobos-Cruz, Staff Writer
Anahi Villalobos-Cruz is a staff writer for Talon Marks covering arts and entertainment and community news. Outside of reporting she enjoys listening to music, watching baseball and going to the cinema to watch new films. She hopes to transfer to New York University or to a university in Hawaii and become an accountant.
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