Tag Archives: children

The Solar Eclipse Experience

16 Aug

Solar_eclipse_1999_4_NRAt this point (especially if you work in a library), if you haven’t heard about the solar eclipse then I want to be you! We applied for the NASA grant and didn’t get it, so my children’s and teen programming librarians decided that we would offer a program anyway and buy some glasses for the program participants. We went back and forth on how many pairs of glasses to order, how popular we thought the program would be, who we could have come in to actually do the program, etc. We were finally able to get one of our middle school teachers to put a program together for us (right before school started and she was kind enough to volunteer her time). We decided to only order enough glasses for the program participants and opened the program up to 40 kids. Well, needless to say, the program is completely filled with an additional 25 kids on our waiting list.

I come into the library yesterday morning, ready to open my office and I seen an email pinned to my door, it’s from Amazon. They’re refunding us our money for the glasses because they cannot verify with the manufacturer that our glasses are properly certified. I have 40 kids planning on coming to a program in less than 36 hours who are expecting glasses. It was not an enjoyable way to start my day.

After hours of searching online, calling local retailers and doing a ton of research, we made our decision. We’d proceed with the program, email the participants ahead of time explaining the situation, provide the kids with instructions and materials to create a pinhole solar eclipse viewer and hope for the best. So far, I haven’t heard any major complaints, but as the director I made the tough call to choose not to hand out our glasses. My librarians did the research and chose the glasses that appeared to be certified (and it says it right there, printed on the glasses), but I don’t want any eye injuries as a result of handing out faulty solar eclipse glasses, so that’s where we stand. Meanwhile, we’re continuing to field calls from community members asking if we have glasses to give away and trying to get into the solar eclipse program that has been full for a month.

I can’t wait for the eclipse to be over.


Reader’s Choice

8 Jul

Summer Reading is in full swing and without a doubt we’ve had parents requesting classics, literary books, and titles that will challenge their kids, rather than picking up the Diary of a Wimpy Kid title for the 100th time.  And while classics, literary fiction and challenging works have their place, I strongly believe that kids need to learn to read for fun rather than what’s required of them. As an adult, when was the last time you read something that was required of you (outside of work)? Or that you read something that challenged you?

I just spent the last three days reading a Nora Roberts trilogy – sappy, romantic, happy endings, the works. Nora Roberts tends to be my guilty pleasure books, I know everything is going to work out in the end, they don’t take much thought process, but I love them. If kids only read things picked out for them by teachers, parents and adults – how will they learn how great reading can be? When kids read the same title over and over again, it’s because they like it, the book makes them feel confident in their skills and isn’t that what we’re looking for? Confident readers that enjoy reading?

So the next time you stop by the local library or bookstore, allow your kids to peruse those titles that make them want to read and maybe slip in a few read-alike titles that a librarian or bookseller can suggest, maybe they’ll pick up those new titles right away and if not, when they’re ready, they will! Happy Reading!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/31/16

31 Oct

I got a lot of reading down  over the past 24 hours (not so much throughout the week)… I finally finished Start With Why – not a book that was easy for me to get through, it seemed a little all over the place and wasn’t as well organized as I would have liked.  But, I’m done!  I also read the heart-wrenching book,  Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur about the effects of war, especially on children and how quickly it forces them to grow up.  It is a middle grade book and one that I think would spark a lot of discussion among kids; I’d be curious to hear what they have to say.  I also read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yesterday and as I said last week, I was really happy with the way the series closed and I haven’t read anything else J.K. Rowling has published over the past few years.  I was hesitant to read the script being that it’s a different format than the series and in all reality written by other writers, but my curiosity was piqued so I gave it a shot. And I should have just left well enough alone.  It was sadly not the world of Harry Potter that I lived in for so many years growing up and unfortunately the script gave me nothing else I really needed in my Harry Potter world.  My real question is now, did the actual theatrical show do anything for the series as a whole?  I’m not sure that I see anyone else but the movie franchise actors as these characters anymore.  Again, my curiosity is piqued.

My reading over the course of the next week is as follows: Jubilee by Patricia Reilly Giff, because Patricia Reilly Giff, need I say more.  And I’m going to attempt Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress and Lead By Example by Steve McClatchy (hopefully this doesn’t take as long as Start With Why. I’ve got a busy work week, so we’ll see how much reading I can get done!

imwayrJoin Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

Screen Time – When, What, How Much?

21 Oct

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just released a new report on screen time for young children.  And although it definitely is a change from what was originally suggested, there are a lot of similiarities, but with the ability to adjust your screen time as a family for what makes sense for you.

The basic results included:

  • screen time is now defined as “time spent using digital media for entertainment”-CNN
  • For children from birth – 18 months old screen time is still discouraged expect for video-chatting with family and friends
  • Limit screen time to one hour for children from ages  2 – 5 and focus on educational programming where parents and caregivers interact with the child throughout the program
  • And do to results from using media during certain times during the day – create a media-free meal time and no screens at least one hour before bedtime

For more information, check out the AAP’s online publication. And if you’re looking for more information about screen time and the effects on your family or how to create a media plan for you family, check out the Media and Children Communication Toolkit.

How Can We Teach Children Empathy?

5 Oct

empathy.pngEmpathy, in my humble opinion, is one of those things that is vital to a caring, respectful and well-balanced individual.  Empathy, or “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another” is severely lacking in a world where shooting unarmed individuals, massive terrorist attacks and outright violence is astoundingly common. (Google) Maybe it’s partly because of the world we live in – where social media means world news is at your finger tips and media outlets are reporting news on a 24/7 basis. That being said, we need to teach children now to celebrate differences, to share their feelings and to be empathetic.

So how can we teach children to be empathetic to family and friends, to the people in their community and to the people in the world around them?  A lot of teaching can be done at home with adults, siblings, relatives, and pets, while teachers and schools can create communities of caring to encourage children to be empathetic to their classmates, teachers, and school staff.  And a lot of teaching, discussing and understanding can come from reading stories.  Books teach children about themselves, but also gives children the opportunity to look at the world from another perspective.

Take a look at what Melissa from Imagination Soup guest posted at All the Wonders about empathy.  And if you want an author’s perspective, check out what Sara Pennypacker has to say about her book, Pax on Brightly.  And your resources don’t have to stop there – the Washington Post provides a list of 24 books from Preschool through High School that show kindness an empathy.  Although I haven’t gotten a chance to put together my list of books about empathy, I have created a great list of 25 books with characters set outside the United States to give a more global perspective to kids, so you can definitely check that out as well.

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