Paint Your Nails Pink in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Library Programming

4:32 PM 0 Comments A+ a-

When I realized during my Hunger Games Party last spring that the nail art table was the most popular craft, the thought occurred to me that this was an ideal library program. Okay, yes, it's a bit stinky with the acetate and nail polish fumes, but usually no one minds and the fun the kids have (and associate with the library) goes a long way to making students feel the library is a comfortable, welcoming place to spend their non-nail polishing time.

Every October, one of my wonderful colleagues - who is a teacher, athletic trainer, class dean and dorm parent, no less - takes in upon herself to organize our school's Breast Cancer Awareness fundraisers during the month of October. This fundraising has at its center the selling of that year's t-shirt, which the students can wear on a set day and dress down, always a welcome break from dress code.

I wanted to make sure that the library had some kind of tie-in programming that would ramp the kids up and encourage them to buy their t-shirt. Having a bunch of supplies left over from the Hunger Games nail art table (like the OPI drying spray, which is pricey but a must-have and it lasts forever), I realized while browsing in my local Ulta that I could easily drop $30 dollars on pink nail polish and have a snazzy little programming afternoon (and supplies for the future). The store was having an October special where if you purchased two pink OPI polishes you would get a free top coat or base coat, so I choose six shades of pink (Japanese Rose Garden and Pinking of You were popular favorites) and got my freebies. Piles of pink Watermelon Jolly Ranchers to snack on and we had a fun party in progress!

The terrific aspect of doing a nail program is that you don't have to be an expert about the technique. I rely heavily upon sites like Pinterest for nail art boards which possess oodles of inspiration and links to the actual sites that contain the DIY components. With the addition of glass head pins and toothpicks to your program, and/or nail art pens if you want to get fancy with effects. I was amazed at how many students used the toothpicks and pins I had left over from previous craft programming to make this terrific breast cancer ribbons on their nails.

I know that other librarians will instantly note that anything involving nail polish is programming that leans heavily to our female patrons. Since so many students had expressed an interest, I still felt it was a good idea and I was pleasantly surprised to see plenty of boys. Granted most of them were watching and flirting with the girls, but more than a few boys were cajoled into having a single nail painted pink since it was "for breast cancer awareness."

When our Lower School bus let out at the Upper School campus, a bunch of little kids (faculty children) joined us, and since a bunch of the high school students present were babysitters for these little ones, the energy really jacked up a notch. The little girls LOVED having their nails done by the big girls and were particularly entranced by the nail art and sparkle effects that some of the students brought to the party. I asked a bunch of kids if they would put their hands out so we could capture all the pretty nails, and I love the picture (left) which was the result. Little hands and big hands, with lots of different skin tones, but all perfectly showcasing the pink. Over 40 students (out of a 420 student population) ended up having their nails done and they are still talking about how much fun it was. I'm going to have to think up other tie-ins (like Halloween nails for Teen Read Week 2012) that let my nail creators to express themselves.

Enhanced by Zemanta