4th Grade Student Essay Competition from the Young Readers Center

Check out this exciting opportunity from the Indiana State Library!

4th Grade Student Essay Competition – Indiana’s Great Outdoors!

Why are nature and Indiana’s waterways so important? Fourth graders! Write an essay, and you could be honored at a virtual Statehood Day celebration!

First Place: CollegeChoice 529 Deposit of $250!

2nd, 3rd, and 4th Place Winners: CollegeChoice 529 Deposits of $150!

Entry forms are available here: http://www.in.gov/library/statehood.htm

— ESSAY CONTEST RULES AND DEADLINES —

  • The competition is open to any Indiana 4th grade public, private, or homeschooled student, in the 2021-2022 school year.
  • A panel of judges will choose 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place winners.
  • Essays must range from 100 to 300 words, handwritten or typed.
  • Essays must be submitted with an entry form.
    • Individual entries should use the 2021 Individual Entry form.
    • Class sets should use the 2021 Group Entry Form. The following information should be included on each essay for class sets: student name, teacher name, and school name.
  • All Entries may be mailed OR emailed.
    • Mail your entries to: Indiana Center for the Book / Indiana State Library / 140 N. Senate Ave / Indianapolis, IN 46204
    • Mailed essays must be postmarked by Friday, October 22, 2021.
  • OR:

Writing Prompt: Indiana’s Great Outdoors! Why are nature and Indiana’s waterways so important? Essays should be well organized and reflective of the theme. Judges are looking forward to seeing your students’ interpretation of the theme. Some ideas to help them include: Why is nature important? How do you enjoy nature in Indiana? Why are water and other natural resources important? What outdoor recreational spots in Indiana are special to you? Why is nature important to a great state?

Winners of the essay contest will be honored on Friday, December 10, 2021 in a ceremony that may be in-person or may be virtual. The winners will be expected to record their essays for a virtual ceremony. In-person ceremonies may take place at the Indiana Statehouse or other locations, pandemic permitting.

Questions? Email youngreaderscenter@library.in.gov.

This contest supports the following Indiana Educational Standards: 4.W.3.2, 4.W.4, 4.W.6.1 all, 4.W.6.2 all. The Indiana Center for the Book hosts this essay competition to commemorate Indiana’s 205th Statehood Day.

Virtual Book Club

We are pleased to announce another session of the Virtual Book Club especially for kids in grades 4-6. The V.B.C. will meet every other week on Tuesdays from 3:00 – 3:30 PM beginning August 24 until November 30 for a total of 8 meetings. Students will read one book a month (4 total). The titles are:

  1. Punished by David Lubar
  2. The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander
  3. Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything In It by Sundee Tucker Frazier
  4. Adventures in Cartooning by James Sturm

On the non-book weeks, we’ll examine poetry, plays, or another type of literature.

The first 10 students to register will receive a free copy of the books if they or their parent/guardian have a library card with the West Lafayette Public Library. If they are not one of the first 10 registered, participants may borrow a copy of the books through the library if they have a WLPL library card, or they may obtain a copy through a third-party seller.

Each participant will receive a binder with additional materials that will be available for pick-up beginning August 1.

Find the registration form here: https://forms.gle/EnAht3b3zwHQrnMs5

Children’s Programs Wednesdays

We are excited to share books and songs with you and your little one at our new temporary program space – The Bean in Margerum City Hall. Every Wednesday join Miss Melissa for stories and Miss Gail for music. These programs are free, no registration required and best suited for children 5 and under.

We look forward to seeing you!

STEAM Activities

Have you checked out a STEAM Kit yet?

Go Fly a Kite – May STEAM Club

Explore the forces that keep a kite in the air with just a simple sled kite! This is our final STEAM Club program of the school year, and one that can be done on your own on the next sunny, breezy day. Maybe to celebrate the end of the school year?

REGISTER TO RECEIVE A KIT


Vertical Gardens – Video Tutorial

West Lafayette Public Library is excited to welcome the students of West Lafayette Climate! In March’s STEAM Club we will learn how to turn plastic bottles into a small-space vertical garden. Also find out about local work being done by youth and teens that focuses on responding to climate change.

View written instructions for this tutorial.

Your family might enjoy these books available through Evergreen Indiana:
Garden art : fun experiments to learn, grow, harvest, make, and play by Renata Brown
Gardening Projects for Kids by Whitney Cohen
Grow a Living Wall by Shawna Coronado
Small Space Vegetable Gardens by Andrea Bellamy


STEAM Kits

Have you taken our Kit feedback survey yet? Help us gain support for and improve our Kit collection with these five easy questions!


Help choose our next STEAM Kit! Community poll is open until May 15.


We are so excited to offer kits that help you explore science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. These kits are fun for all ages!

Find kit check-out cards (similar to our New DVD system) in a binder near the games and puzzles on our first floor. Simply bring a card to the circulation desk to check out your kit.

Click on a picture below to go to the item record in Evergreen Indiana where you can see availability or place a hold. You can also view all kit records.

Use Guidelines:
– Kits can be checked out for seven days and renewed once.
– A maximum of two kits can be checked out by a household at a time.
– Fees will be assessed for damaged or lost kits. Maximum damaged/missing item amounts are listed on the check-out card.

Learn about architecture and exercise spatial thinking and fine motor skills when you try these structural challenges.

Design, build, and evaluate your own rubber band roadsters!

Learn about gravity, energy, friction and more as you experiment with forces & learn how they affect motion!

Create your own instruments and electronic music using the littleBits Synth kit.

Explore magnetism with bar magnets, compasses, electromagnets, and more!

micro:bit lets you learn entry level electric circuitry and programming skills through several guided activities.

A beginner microscope and 55 slides

Use a ray box, mirrors, and guided activity cards to learn how light can be bent, bounced, combined, and separated!

Learn programming and complete hands-on challenges with this fun robotic ball – currently unavailable.

Use this simple engineering toy to create structures, shapes, moving objects, and more.

This introductory kit offers simple projects to learn about electricity and circuits.

Use snap circuits to learn about electricity and circuits with slightly more difficult projects and more pieces.

This Snap Circuit mini-kit is meant for those who are ready to explore and includes more complicated projects.

Learn how to make stop motion videos with StikBot Studio! Pose the figures and use the green screen options to put your figures anywhere in this world and beyond.

Keep watching this space for more kits!

Thank you to the Indiana Manufacturing Competitiveness Center for funding to enhance this collection. Learn more about IN-MaC.

Looking for a Free Small Library?

Free Small Libraries are miniature wooden libraries placed around the community. If you find one, you are welcome to take any books you like – or leave any books you wish to share with others!

Did you know that there are 11 of these libraries around the West Lafayette area? Use the gallery and map below to find one close to you!

These Small Free Libraries are maintained by Lafayette Rotary and supported by the West Lafayette Public Library.

May Children’s Department News

Dear Parents:
Happy Spring! The children’s department staff misses our families and hope that you are all healthy and coping with staying in your homes, instead of enjoying your many activities, including visiting the library.
We have been busy ordering and processing new books for your children, creating materials for our summer reading club, making room on the shelves for new books, and working with the architects to finalize the plans for the construction of the new children’s area in the library.

Bad news: We do not yet know when the library will be opening again. We are planning a contactless “curbside pickup” of reserved items and intend to start that service on May 20. (Please see Nick’s announcement about this on the website.) We are developing plans for reopening the library at some time in the summer, too.
We will not be able to offer the “Lap Sit”, “Time for Twos”, “Music & Fun”, and Preschool Story and Craft programs until late summer or possibly early fall. Instead of lego builders club meetings and craft and science events during the summer, we will be creating weekly craft bags for children. (More information about the craft bags will be available when we open again.)
Good news: We will be offering summer reading clubs for children, teens, and adults. They will just be a little different this year …..

Our Children’s Summer Reading Club is for children who are ages 1 through 12. (Students who are entering 7th grade may participate in the children’s department club or the teen club.)
The program is for listeners as well as readers.
Children are not required to have a library card, but the registering adult must have an email address.
Children will have the choice of recording the number of pages, books, or minutes read.
Everyone will be able to register online. Parents will need to register their children. Check our newsletter and the library website in June to learn how to register your families.

Register: June 15 to July 26
Read: June 15 to July 26
Collect Prizes: Dates to be announced after July 1

IF the library is able to reopen during summer reading time, children may register in person at that time, if they prefer to use the paper forms to record their reading activity. Also, all children who register, either online or in person, will be able to collect their summer reading bags as soon as the library opens.
We will announce the dates of prize collection after we know when the library will be open again.
Happy Reading!