The Pickerington Public Library this month will bring back cartoonist and storyteller Jeff Nicholas for a program to encourage youths to foster their creative imaginations through the arts.
July 18, Nicholas will bring his cast of cartoon sidekicks and stories to the Pickerington Public Library for "Dig It? Draw It! With Jeff Nicholas."
The program will begin at 7 p.m. at the library, 201 Opportunity Way, and is geared toward pre-school and grade-school children and their families.
During the approximately one-hour event, Nicholas will share his original cartoons and other drawings, as well as stories which go along with the characters.
He'll also teach participants how to draw his characters using his "draw along" cartooning method.
"He's actually been here the last two years," said Cathy Burden, juvenile services manager at the Pickerington Public Library.
"He shares some of his own drawings that he wrote stories to, and then he instructs them in how to draw with him."
According to his website, www.jnicholasart.com, Nicholas takes a "traveling classroom" to libraries and schools throughout Ohio, Florida and Michigan in an effort to encourage reading, writing and drawing among both children and their parents.
He's been offering his education-based programs for 35 years, and each one involves step-by-step drawing instruction to assist participants and encourage them to be creative and use their imaginations.
"We've had children as young as 3 years old up to kids in fifth-grade take part," Burden said. "They just love it.
"They are drawing what he's drawing. So, they're drawing with him and he gives them ideas.
"It's just interesting to see how everybody's comes out."
Burden said Nicholas' visit is aligned with the library's Summer Reading Program and this year's theme, "Summer Rhyme Time."
She noted among the goals of both Nicholas workshop and the summer reading program are ways to excite people of all ages to read, write and make use of the library.
"It promotes creativity," Burden said.
"Anyone can be an artist, and he makes everybody feel good about what they're drawing."
"Dig It? Draw it! With Jeff Nicholas" is free to attend, and no registration is needed.
Additional information about the program is available at www.pickeringtonlibrary.org, or by calling the library at 614-837-4104.