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Central Park Library Invaded by Teddy Bears

A Teddy Bear Picnic at Santa Clara’s Central Park Library on March 30 attracted 125 picnickers and a menagerie of stuffed animals.

The teddy bears came in all sizes and colors from brown to pink. Other favorite stuffed animals mixed with the bears. Rabbits, a lion and a lamb were spotted picnicking on the floor with the children and their parents.

“It’s inclusive,” said Youth Services Librarian Rebecca Gawronski, who planned the picnic. “I grew up with a ‘stuffy,’ and I wanted to see the kids with their special friends.”

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Santa Clara resident Lubna Nauman’s five-year-old daughter, Amna, brought Shiny, her four-year-old teddy, to the picnic. Shiny was almost as big as Amna.

Shiny, who has a birth certificate, was wearing a dress that Amna wore when she was six months old. While Shiny has accompanied Amna to the library many times, it was Shiny’s first library picnic.

Long tables were set up for the kids to do handcrafts before picnicking. They made small paper baskets for their teddy bears and bear masks for themselves to wear.

They picnicked on finger snacks such as cupcakes, oranges and raisins. Parents could take snapshots of their children against the backdrop of a garden in spring bloom mounted on a wall in the Redwood Room.

“I love everything here at the library for kids and for us,” said San Jose mom Desnt Tes, who came with two kids, a lamb and a bear.

Olivia Yunzi from Palo Alto searches every week for events to take her daughter to. Yunzi discovered the free picnic in an online search of local libraries and brought her daughter and a friend to the picnic.

Visit the City of Santa Clara’s website for a comprehensive monthly listing of events for children and adults at all three city libraries: http://santaclaraca.gov/government/departments/library.

“I’m really excited. This is the first of the monthly family programs I’ve planned by myself,” said Gawronski, who has been working at the library for nine months and lives in Santa Clara. “I’m proud to see my ideas come to life.”

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