Literacy

350 for 50 Writing Contest

Polish up those pens! We challenge you to write a short, 350-word story that includes a sentence of our choosing. Winning stories will be published in Cotsen's Picture Book Press, on our creative blog, and the authors will receive a whirlwind $50 shopping spree at Labyrinth Books.

Cotsen Children’s Library
The contest occurs in the spring 
No fee, registration is required. 
Ages 9 – 14
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Bookscape

Welcome to Bookscape, The Cotsen Children's Library's whimsical reading gallery for children!  Enter through a garden of charming topiary animals.  From there, the room unfolds in a succession of reading areas stocked with books.  Stop and rest by the fireplace, continue to a Koi pond, a wishing well, a playful puppet theater, and a towering bonsai hollowed out for the ultimate reading experience.  

Cotsen Children's Library
Open to the public, free of charge (gallery under renovation June 7 – early 2018)
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Community House After School Academy (CHASA)

The Community House After School Academy (CHASA) is a project for middle school students in grades six through eight. Middle school students participate in daily workshops designed to help them build and improve their academic skill in language arts, math, writing, and science. Homework support is also provided.

Community House programs serve underrepresented youth.

Pace Center Community House
September - May
Grades 6 - 8
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Cotsen Critix

Like to discuss books and partake in creative (and sometimes highly unusual) activities related to books and writing? In the past, we've met illustrators, queried authors about their books, faced our worst literary fears, written works of historical fiction, learned characterization techniques from actors...and more!

Cotsen Children’s Library 
Every other Friday, 4:00pm - 5:30pm (due to gallery renovation, this program will resume in Fall 2018)
No fee, enrollment is required.
Ages 9 - 12
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First Draft

Want some constructive feedback on your writing? Try First Draft, our writing resource for authors-to-be! Simply submit your creating writing and personal essays via e-mail, and Princeton University student editors will offer their comments and suggestions.

Cotsen Children’s Library
Program runs from October - April
No fee, submission required
Ages 13-17
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Generation One

The Generation One program is dedicated to supporting high school students who will be first in their families to attend college or pursue other kinds of post-secondary education. The primary objective of the program is to ensure that students experience academic success throughout their four years at Princeton High School.

Community House programs serve underrepresented youth.

Pace Center Community House
September - May
Grades 9 - 12 
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Pop Goes the Page

Know a teacher, librarian, parent, or friend who is looking for some creative and fun literacy connections? Look no further than Pop Goes the Page, our fantastic outreach blog full of projects, instructions, helpful hints, and new ideas galore! Check it out at: blogs.princeton.edu/popgoesthepage.


Special Literacy Events

Listen to an original Grimm tale, be amazed at the chemistry behind Harry Potter, craft a custom pop-up book, visit the number mines of Digitopolis, or learn to speak the high language of Tolkien's elves! Our workshops, events, and performances are open to the public, and free of charge.

Cotsen Children’s Library
No fee, registration may be required. 
Ages vary
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The BiblioFiles

Dig a little deeper into the books you love to read with the BiblioFiles, our illuminating interviews with children's book authors. From award-winning bestsellers to books you might not have heard of but should definitely check out, hear what the authors have to say about their creations! 

The interviews are available as free webcasts, podcasts, and transcripts.

Cotsen Children’s Library
No fee, no registration required.
All ages
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Tiger Tales

You're invited to join us at our very special, very interactive story time. We begin with a picture book and end with a creative hands-on project to take home!

Cotsen Children’s Library
Every Friday 11:00am - 12:00pm (due to gallery renovation, this program will resume in early 2018)
No fee, no registration required.
Ages 3 – 5
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To Be Continued

Pull up a pillow, relax, and listen! We'll read a chapter book to you over a series of weeks, and celebrate at the end with a cool project or activity. Best of all, you can work your way towards a book of your very own.  Five visits = one brand new book of your choice!

Cotsen Children’s Library
Every Wednesday 3:45pm - 4:45pm (due to gallery renovation, this program will resume in early 2018)
No fee, no registration required.
Ages 6 – 8
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