remake learning days

Remake Learning Days events are coming to Hazelwood, Homewood and the Hill

Photo above courtesy of Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh, which will host 23 Remake Learning Days programs this year.

Kelly Rottmund works to ensure that the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh offers kids and teens more than just books: At the library, they find crafts, games, technology and more. They can also get together to hang out, explore new things or get help with homework.

“A lot of our locations are a part of kids’ and teens’ everyday after-school routines. They stop by on their way home,” says Rottmund, the Carnegie’s teen services coordinator. “We focus on building relationships with the kids that we’re seeing, so that they know the library is a welcoming, supportive space for them. We’re part of a network of caring adults in their lives.”

As she has for seven years, Rottmund is helping to organize the library’s participation in the Remake Learning Days festival, held this year in southwestern Pennsylvania from May 12-23. More than 175 events scheduled across the region during the festival are meant to help young people, their families, caregivers and educators explore fun and creative ways of learning.

The Carnegie is celebrating innovation and creativity through STEM programs during Remake Learning Days. It will host 23 programs at 16 of its locations, including libraries in Hazelwood, the Hill District and Homewood, where this year’s events are supported by The Heinz Endowments. Search for events throughout the Pittsburgh region right here.

“We have been participating in Remake Learning Days since its inception” in 2016, says Rottmund. “The past two years we were only able to host virtual programs, so we are very excited this year to have in-person programs again for kids and teens.”

The Carnegie will build its Remake Learning events around its regular, ongoing programs for kids and teens — Kids Club for those in kindergarten through 5th grade, and Teen Time for 6th-12th graders.

“We built our celebration of Remake Learning Days into those events because we know many families already have those programs on their radar and they know the schedule for those,” says Rottmund.

remake Learning days
Teen Time at the library. Photo courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Kids Club offerings vary by location but all feature crafts, games, books and hands-on activities to stimulate kids’ curiosity and engagement. It’s “really meant to be a space for those kids to meet new friends and connect with one another, which is really so important right now,” she says.

Teen Time also has hands-on programs and utilizes books from the library’s collections or other resources related to the activities to help young people increase their literacy and technology skills. The program emphasizes collaboration and sense of community, says Rottmund: “When we talk with teens about Teen Time, we say, ‘Come meet new friends and explore your interests.’”

Rottmund has been with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for 10 years, overseeing services for young people at all 19 locations and working with staff to assure parents, grandparents and caregivers that building strong, positive relationships with young people is a priority.

“We want them to know that we see them and support them,” she says.

Remake Learning Days offers a perfect outlet to remind everyone of that.

“It is a lot of taking what you know about young people’s interests and having activities or events for them that allow them to explore those interests, often in a hands-on way,” Rottmund says. “Lots of young people learn differently and hands-on learning is sometimes the more fun and accessible method. And also, it’s trying to get them connected to other people in the community who are, if not experts in that area, knowledgeable so they can see all the different things that could be available to them here.”

Want to know more? Find all the details on this year’s festival right here. Also, check out this story on the history and benefits of Remake Learning Days and meet the festival’s Youth Ambassadors.