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News in Youth Services

Monday, May 21, 2018

Prevent Summer Slide...READ-2-GETHER

Did you know that on average, students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in math and reading over the summer?  Teachers spend the first four to six weeks of the new school year re-teaching material that students learned from the previous year. This loss is typically known as "summer slide."

The Roselle Public Library can help prevent the "summer slide." Every year we offer an awesome program where we pair a teen with a young reader.  What is this program, you ask?  Its name is READ-2-GETHER.  Tell me more, you say?  Why I'd love to tell you about it.  This program is for children going into grades 1-3 in the fall who need to practice to maintain or improve their reading skills.  The teens are instructed on how to work with the younger children and the program is supervised by our wonderful Youth Services staff.

READ-2-GETHER is held for four weeks in June.  You have a choice of either a Monday or Thursday evening, beginning on June 4 and continuing through June 25 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.  Children will read together with their teen buddies for 20 minutes, then receive a snack and do a fun activity.  The program is limited to 10 children for each session.  Registration begins May 7, in person or by phone.

What if this program doesn't fit in your schedule?  Then don't worry, the library can still help you.  Consider participating in our summer reading program (more information coming next week).  Stop by to see us for some reading recommendations for the summer; we are really good at this!  Check out our audiobooks to listen to on long trips.  Grab a cooking book and help your child follow simple recipes.  This will help with math skills too, like fractions and measurement.  Another activity to encourage math skills is to create number books of things you collect or do during the summer.  You can practice estimation skills by guessing how far and how long a road trip will be.  Challenge children to compute arrival times and miles traveled.  All these ideas can help stop summer slide!

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Having a Growth Mindset

We want our children to understand we love them and wish for them to develop the belief that they can prosper in life.  You may have been hearing lately about the growth mindset, either through your child's school or the media.  The growth mindset is a research-based belief discovered by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck, Ph.D., that will help children thrive.  Dr. Dweck has discovered there are two mindsets: growth and fixed.  The belief that our abilities can be developed, including our intelligence, is a growth mindset.  In contrast, a fixed mindset is a belief that abilities can't change, meaning people have a fixed intelligence and cannot improve.

Through observations of the world, children learn whether abilities are fixed or malleable.  If the adults around them have a fixed mindset, they will behave and communicate in a fixed-mindset way, such as shying away from challenges.  This type of behavior will encourage a fixed mindset in our children.  For example, when we think people are either smart or not, we may find ourselves praising our children for being smart, rather than for the effort or strategies that led them to success. 

Children observe and imitate us.  If we show an interest in learning and working hard, then our children will do the same.  Discuss the challenges you are taking on with your child, the mistakes you are making, the lessons you are learning, and your progress.

An easy way to encourage growth mindset is through engaging and purposeful picture books.  Below are a few examples of stories whose characters overcome obstacles and labels to develop extraordinary talents and capabilities.

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Rosie attempts to build a flying contraption for her aunt but it doesn't turn out quite like she plans.  She feels like a failure but learns that in life the only true failure is giving up.  This is a story of pursuing one's passion with perseverance.  

 Brave Irene by William Steig

Irene is a loyal young daughter of a dressmaker.  She must forge through a terrible storm to deliver her mother's work to the duchess.  During her trip, she must brave the howling wind, the frigid temperature and many dangerous obstacles in order to complete her mission.  This inspiring story teaches that with proper motivation, there are no age restrictions on accomplishing great things.   
 Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

Young Willie longs to be able to whistle for his dog, but even though he tries and tries, he just cannot figure out how to do it.  The story follows Willie through his day, never giving up until finally his efforts are rewarded!

The growth mindset is for all of us, regardless of our age.  It's a positive outlook on life that reminds us that making mistakes is part of learning and help us overcome challenges.  If you'd like to learn more about the growth mindset, please come in and check out our several resources on the subject in our parent sections.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

Mysterious May

I don't know about you, but I love a good mystery. May just seems to be a perfect month to celebrate mysteries.  It's still a mystery of what the weather will be like - do I need a jacket or can I go without one?  Will the Cubs or White Sox go to the World Series this year?

A good mystery has five essential elements.  The first is characters.  The main character should be well developed so that the reader can visualize the person.  This character determines the way the mystery will develop and is usually the person who will solve it.  The second essential element is the setting.  Everyday settings are best in a mystery because they help the reader picture the scene.  Now comes the plot.  The plot is the actual story around which the book is based.  It should have a clear beginning, middle and end, with lots of description and suspense to keep the reader interested.  You need a good problem in order to have a mystery.  Typically problems are about a crime and why it occurred.  The author provides clues to assist both the reader and the main character in solving the puzzle.  Finally, there is always a solution.  It's important that the solution be believable and that the author includes the necessary clues for finding out the solution to the story.

Mysteries were my favorite genre as a child (and I still enjoy them as an adult).  My favorite series were  Nancy Drew and  The Hardy Boys series.  I enjoyed searching for clues with Nancy or Frank and Joe Hardy, hoping I would solve the mystery before they did.  Then of course, there was Encyclopedia Brown. His mysteries were fun because they were written as short cases and always ended with asking the reader a question.  The reader had to make a prediction about the mystery's solution and then turn to the back of the book to see if they were correct.  These books have stood the test of time and are still found on library shelves.  Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys have even been turned into graphic novels, attracting the attention of younger generations.

A reason mysteries are so great is that they are written for all ages.  Children in kindergarten and first grade can enjoy titles such as Young Cam Jansen by David A. Adler, which is about a young girl with a photographic memory; or The North Police by Scott Sonneborn which is set in the North Pole and has police elves solving crimes.  Second and third graders love the A-Z Mysteries by Ron Roy.  This series features a mystery for every letter of the alphabet. Children ages 8-12 love the 39 Clues series, which is written by such authors as Margaret Peterson Haddix, Gordon Korman, Rick Riordan and others.  39 Clues chronicles the adventures of Amy and Dan Cahill, two siblings who discover that their family has been the most influential family in history.  They are on a quest to find the 39 Clues, which are ingredients to a serum which will create the most powerful person on Earth.  Don't forget the famous Baudelaire siblings in Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.  In this series, the children search to find out what happened to their parents while trying to outsmart Count Olaf from stealing their inheritance.  Want an award winning mystery?  Try the Newberry Award winning The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.  This story is set in Chicago and it follows the story line of relatives competing for inheritance (sound familiar?).

There are lots of mysteries out there. They can be historical, funny, suspenseful or just a story.  Check out NoveList K-8 to help you search for the right mystery for you. Happy sleuthing!

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Super Heroes and Free Comics

I grew up loving superheroes as a kid.  Actor Adam West will always be Batman to me.  Superheroes continue to stand the test of time, as you just have to watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory to know that adults are still into superheroes and comic books.  Many of the blockbuster movies released in the past year have been about superheroes.  Black Panther (2018) made over $404 million in ticket sales worldwide.  Rumor has it that Avengers:  Infinity War is projected to bring in the same if not more than Black Panther.  Don't forget about our beloved animated superheroes who are returning to the screen after 14 years... Incredibles 2.  I'm sure that will be a huge success.  This leads me to believe that no matter our age, we love our superheroes!

But how did comic books and superheroes begin in America?  Jewish immigrants played a major part in the origins of the comic book market.  During the Great Depression, immigrant communities were looking for ways to enhance their standing, both professionally and creatively.  Comic book writers Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Joe Kubert, Will Eisner, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were all children of Jewish immigrants, so you will see the immigrant story as a common thread in comic books, especially in the 1940's - the "Golden Age" of comics.  Take Superman for example.  He comes from another planet and lands in America to pursue a better life.

As early as the 1970s, comic books started to become more diverse.  Marvel introduced Luke Cage, AKA Power Man, who was the first African-American to have his own comic book.  In more recent years, there has been even more diversity with gender and race swapping going on.  Spider Man has become a teenager who is half African-American, half Latin-American.  Currently Thor and Wolverine are female characters.  Then there is Kamala Kahn, a young Muslim girl as Ms. Marvel.  How cool is that!

Help us celebrate comics and superheroes by participating in Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 5th.   Come for the drawing activities, Crunchyroll anime, and explore the science of superpowers from 1-3 p.m.  While you are here, please browse our graphic novel sections.  I have a feeling you will find something fun to read there.  Oh, and feel free to come in your superhero costume. This drop-in event is for all ages.

Superhero Graphic Novels

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day

It has been nearly 25 years since the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work program began.  On April 26, 37 million Americans at over 3.5 million workplaces will participate in the day.  The goal of the day is to inspire our youth to dream big by envisioning themselves in boardrooms, city halls, union halls and concert halls.

Here are a few tips to make it a successful experience for you and your child.  First, make sure to plan the day by asking your child what they want to learn and what they are looking forward to seeing or doing at your work place.  Talk with them about what line of work your child is interested in.  Set ground rules for the visit by telling them of behavior expectations and answer any questions they may have about the visit.  Introduce your child to everyone you work with and have your child acknowledge your co-worker by saying hello and shaking hands.  Be sure to stay positive during the experience.  At the end of the day, reflect together about what they enjoyed and what they learned.

If you cannot take your child with you to work, consider stopping at the library and getting books about jobs they might want to learn more about.  There are many books that tell about different types of careers.  We have books on electricians, police officers, veterinarians, firefighters, nurses and our favorite - librarians.  But that is not all; there are books about many more types of jobs.  Please stop by and let us help you explore all the career opportunities out there.

Neighborhood Helpers series 

Vocational Guidance books

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Garden Day at the Library

Did you know that Earth Day is celebrated globally by more than 1 billion people in 192 countries? Are you looking for a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day?  Why not come to the library on Saturday, April 21st from 1-3:30 p.m., and join Miss Liz to learn more about growing vegetables in a garden.  Children in grades Kindergarten through 5th will get to participate in a hands-on planting project.  There will also be a story, an art activity and a snack.

While children are learning more about the benefits of gardening, parents or caregivers can sign up for Garden Day at the library too and learn about the basics of vegetable gardening with Master Gardener Pat Kosmach.  The adults can get a head start on a garden by making a self-watering planter.

So come in and try out your green thumb. In the words of Audrey Hepburn, "To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." 

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Remember Those Science Kits?

It has been one year since the Science Kits made their debut at the Roselle Public Library. Oh, what a year it has been!  Thanks to monies we received from the IEEE Grant, donations from local area businesses and the Friends of the Library, 40 unique kits were purchased for the Youth Services and Young Adult areas.  Recently we ran the circulation numbers for our kits and boy-oh-boy have they been doing well, which can only mean one thing - You Like Them!  You Really Like Them!

I thought I'd share some of the top kits that go out in the Youth Services Department.  If you haven't checked them out, you may want to make that special trip in here to peruse our selection.  Families just love them (and I've got data to support that!).

The most beloved kit is Architecture: Early Childhood.  This kit was graciously funded by a donation
from AA Bonavolanta Architect and Real Estate.  We shared the news with them and they were so thrilled that they made another donation so that we can purchase a second kit!  Talk about wonderful people!

Another bone-crushingly popular kit is the one about dinosaurs.  Your family might dig this kit which contains fossils, a book and a DVD on dinosaurs.  Our two coding kits, BeeBots and Ozo-bots, remain a top choice for our young patrons learning how to code.

In addition, don't forget the math kits to explore new math skills.  Many of them have fun games to play; you'll be learning and you won't even know it!  We'll be happy to show you where the kits are located or you can look them up from home in our catalog to reserve a kit (limit one per card).  The best part is you can explore and be creative with the kits for two whole weeks!  Let the exploring begin!!

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