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Memory book creates opportunity for parents and children to interact

Jan. 17, 2014 |

On the first Tuesday of each month, the Agawam Public Library hosts the My Life Memory Journal sponsored by The Agawam Family & Community Program from 6 to 7 p.m. Pictured left to right: (back row) Kristen Vinciguerra, Chloe Michalak, Madeline Crouss, Sarah Ross, Amanda Hervieux, (front row) Katie Lunden, Sydney Frasier, Derek Aldrich and Adam Ross displayed the albums they have created in the program.
Reminder Publications photo by Carley Dangona

By Carley Dangona carley@thereminder.com AGAWAM – A class provides opportunity for families to interact not just to make memories, but also to preserve them. The Agawam Public Library, 750 Cooper St., offers the My Life Memory Journal series on the first Tuesday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. The Agawam Family & Community Program, which pays for all the materials, sponsors the class through grant money given by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care. “The class is a chunk of time set aside for family – no distractions,” Michelle Connery, outreach coordinator for the Family & Community Program, said. “It is an intentional opportunity to sit down and spend time together that causes a ripple effect, strengthening the bond and opening up communication between the parent and child.” Each new participant receives a memory book album complete with pages and protector sheets. Maureen Shepard, a consultant for the scrapbooking company Ahni and Zoe, leads the class. Parents and their children work on the memory book together with the goal of telling a story about each picture to keep track of life events. Before working on the album, each participant reads a journal entry about one of the pictures that will be placed in the book. Tools are provided for students to personalize their projects. Shepard said, “We all have an innate sense to share who we are. I believe that we all have a story and we should share it.” She commented that for her, a mother of five children, it’s about preserving the story for generations to come. “I like how when I’m older, I’ll still know what I did when I was younger,” Madeline Crouss, 8, said. Kristen Vinciguerra, 8, explained what it was like to work with her mom Noreen on the album. “She’s kind of like my mentor – a mini-teacher. I’m new and don’t know how to use all the tools,” she said. Her mom Noreen added, “It’s a fun time for us to be together.” Noreen already made memory books as a hobby before taking the class with her daughter and said she is thankful for the opportunity to share her time and knowledge with her daughter. For more information about the class, visit www.agawamlibrary.org. For more details about all the services offered by the Agawam Family & Community Program, go to http://agawam.ma.us/content/74/2307/default.aspx.

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