Mandel Public Library Helps Kids & Teens Go Back to School

The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach offers students and parents numerous free programs, tools and resources to help kids and teens succeed in school, and is kicking off the 2017-2018 school year with a special giveaway.  Free academic support for students anchors the library’s afterschool initiatives with its popular and successful homework centers.  In addition, the library offers a variety of free programs and activities for preschoolers and students of all ages that focus on literacy, technology, wellness and fun.


To encourage more children to visit the library, students (grades K-12) can enter the library’s Back to School Contest for a chance to win an Amazon Fire Tablet.  By visiting the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach and checking out a book, students will automatically be entered to win.  They can also see a librarian and learn how to download free books, movies and music using the library’s hoopla app for another chance to win.  The contest runs Aug. 22 through Sept. 23, with a limit of two entries per library cardholder.


Below are some of the highlights students and preschoolers can take advantage of at the Mandel Public Library:


Homework Help:

Starting August 21, the library offers free After-School Homework Centers for elementary, middle and high schoolers. The centers are equipped with the latest technology and facilitated and managed by certified teachers. Besides assistance with homework projects and test prep, they also provide healthy snacks and much needed encouragement.  The Homework Centers focus on promoting a positive school experience and encourage kids and teens to attend school every day.


Elementary Age: Monday – Thursday, 4:00 – 7:00 PM

Teens (Middle & High School): Monday – Thursday, 5:00 – 8:00 PM


The Mandel Public Library Homework Centers average just over 22 kids per day, and since 2010, have seen over 15,000 visits.  In 2016, all of the high school seniors who regularly attended the Teen Homework Center celebrated high school graduations and college acceptances.


Step by Step … Kindergarten Prep!

Starting September 6, preschoolers can attend Storytime that is specifically designed to focus on reinforcing oral language, print awareness, vocabulary, phonological awareness and letter recognition.  Librarians also spend time speaking to parents about the importance of incorporating these literacy skills into daily routines.


September 6 – November 17:

Step 1: Babies, 12 – 24 Months: Fridays at 10:30 AM

Step 2: Toddlers, 2 and 3 Years: Wednesdays at 10:30 AM

Step 3: Preschoolers, 3-4 Years:  Tuesdays at 10:30 AM


Free books, downloadable ebooks, music and movies:  The library provides free access to thousands of books, movies, music and much more that can be checked out by students to help with their homework or simply to enjoy!  In addition to visiting the library, students can access materials on their desktop or mobile devices using the library’s hoopla app.


“We aim to provide students with a safe and nurturing climate, to support critical thinking and increase literacy, and to offer a learning hub and technology resources,” said Christopher Murray, Director of the Mandel Public Library.  “The library is a vital resource for students of all ages providing necessary skills and tools for learning, growing and succeeding today.”


The Mandel Public Library features many additional programs, activities and resources that can help students get a head start for school and continue to reinforce school concepts…or just provide fun (with an educational twist).  Below is a listing of afterschool programs and offerings at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach.  For more information, visit or call 561-868-7703.


Dog Tales: In this popular reading incentive program, kids can pick a book of their choice to read aloud to various therapy dogs.  Each child that participates gets a book to take home and add to their home library.  This program provides children the opportunity to read aloud without pressure or embarrassment in a safe environment, and breeds confidence to help readers grow.


College Prep Courses for Teens:  Teens can receive one-on-one and group setting assistance from Kaplan, and have an opportunity to take ACT/SAT pretests at the library for free.


STEAM programs:  Kids can play, create and learn while having fun using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) skills, including coding workshops.


Exercise:  Kids and teens can learn the basics of health and wellness, while getting in some exercise.  Classes include yoga, Zumba, dance, and more.


Free access to Internet and Wi-Fi:  The library has over 140 computers and two separate departments just for kids and teens with computers that have free access to the internet. Students can work on homework assignments by researching via our free databases, typing papers in Word, or creating presentations in PowerPoint.


Kids Can Cook:  Kids, grades 3 – 5, can learn cooking basics during this fun and interactive class while engaging literacy, math and science skills.


Play Paks:  These interactive literacy kits are designed for preschool children and a caregiver to explore and learn subjects and themes that will provide them the tools to enter kindergarten.  Examples of themes available: Alphabet, Counting, Matching, Rhyming, Addition, Colors, Measurement, Opposites, etc.


Study Space: The library offers students quiet places to read, study or work on group projects.


Many of the library’s afterschool programs are funded by the West Palm Beach Library Foundation.  The Foundation supports the Mandel Public Library by providing funding for many of the programs, services, collections and technology beyond the city’s operating budget.  To donate to the foundation and help support afterschool programs for area students, visit or call 561-868-7793.