ELMSFORD, N.Y. – During Sandy Hile's science experiments, "the messier, the better."
Hile will kick off her series of "Sandy's Silly Stories and Simple Science" at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road. The series, which runs every other Tuesday through Dec. 11, welcomes children in kindergarten and first grade for after-school reading and science activities.
"It gives kids the opportunity to engage in hands-on experiments," said Hile, who works in the children's center of the library. "I used to be a science teacher, and this seemed like a fun thing for kids to do."
Hile also led the program last year, and she said she gained a dedicated group of followers who return every month. Tuesday, she will be experimenting with water and other liquids. The same experiment is repeated on Sept. 25, and then a new experiment begins in October. A reading that is relevant to the experiment always accompanies the activity, Hile said.
Librarian Mary Slamin came up with the idea for stories and science last year when she heard of Hile's background in science. She said many schools lack in a strong science program, and it's the library's job to fill in the gaps.
"Schools get so wrapped up in testing that a lot of the time, they're teaching only what's on the test," Slamin said. "That's what the library is here for – to show the kids that learning is fun."
The program's success is seen in the children's eyes when they run up to their parents to tell them about the activity after it ends, Slamin said.
The Greenburgh Public Library will also host other after-school programs throughout the year, Slamin said. Another program this week, at 4 p.m. Thursday, is "Reading Has Gone to the Dogs," in which students in first through fifth grades can read a book to a dog named Bradley.
Both programs require registration by calling the library at 914-721-8227.
Slamin added that the library will continue to hold activities so young students can stay engaged outside of school.
"I look at our job as taking reading and making it fun," she said.