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News in Youth Services

Monday, September 24, 2018

Farewell. Mrs. A.

Soon you may be asking:  Where's Mrs. A?

I have some news I need to share with you.  Our beloved Mrs. A has decided to retire.  On October 1st, Mrs. A will spend her final day in Youth Services as she starts a new chapter in her life. You have probably encountered Mrs. A in many ways here at the library.

She may have greeted you at the YS Desk....

Or you came to one of her story times (she's a fabulous reader)...

Maybe you sang along with her guitar (she loves to sing!)...

Perhaps you dressed up at Halloween with her (yee-haw)...

Or were taught a new knitting pattern (she's pretty talented)...

Possibly you've shared dessert with her at GGG (who doesn't enjoy a good cookie)...

However you may have interacted with her, I'm pretty sure you will agree that she will be missed for her energy, creative crafts and art work, musical ability, knowledge of children's literature and kindness.  If you are in the library this week, stop by and tell her your best memory of your time together.

As I close, I'm going to quote some words that I believe sum up how the staff at the Roselle Public Library feels towards Mrs. A.  In the words of comedian Carol Burnett, "I'm so glad we had this time together."


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Monday, September 17, 2018

Patience is the key with emerging readers

Learning how to read can be hard work.  First you have to recognize letters and the sounds they make; then you have to blend them together to make words.  That's a lot for a young brain to do in a nanosecond.  It requires lots of practice. Sometimes new readers pick out a book that is too hard for them.  You are in a pickle because while the book is not a "just right" book for your child, you also don't want to discourage their enthusiasm for reading.  What do you do?

First off - be patient!  Here are some suggestions on how to help your child become a better reader.

1.  If a child reads a sentence incorrectly, let it go as long as it doesn't interfere with the meaning of the text.
2.  If your child comes to a word she doesn't know, help her break it down by asking her if she
recognizes parts of the word.  Most likely she will recognize the "b" or "at" part in "bat."  If she can figure out one of the parts, help her put the two together.  "That's right, 'b' says /b/.  Now let's add that sound to the other part 'at': b-at."  Then reread that sentence together with the correct word.
3.  Encourage your child to look at picture clues to help decode an unfamiliar word.  Pictures provide lots of clues for early readers.
4.  When your child makes a mistake, don't say, "You're wrong.  That says ..."  Instead just ignore it.  As hard as that may be, it's better to let them make the mistake instead of always giving them the correct answer. If you give her the answer every time she makes an error, she won't try to figure it out herself.
5.  If her error changes the meaning, wait until the end of the page and then ask her to reread the page carefully.  If she repeats the error, ask her if what she read makes sense.  Did she use the pictures or look at the beginning and ending of the word for clues?  If she still gets stuck, point out the error and help her work through it.
It's a parents job to make their child feel comfortable reading.  They need the practice and they need to know that reading with Mom and Dad is a safe and fun thing to do.


Monday, September 10, 2018

BOB Books

Do you have a child in Kindergarten?  Did you know that students in Kindergarten are expected to be reading simple books by the end of the school year?  It's never too early (or too late) to help your child become a successful reader.

Have you ever heard of BOB Books?  They were developed by Bobby Lynn Maslen to help her students learn how to read.  The books were illustrated by her husband John.  Her students learned not only how to read, but also developed a love of learning.  Bobby decided to share these books with students all over the world, and thus BOB Books were born.

BOB Books offer a simple text which features sight words and simple CVC words that can be sounded out.   A CVC word is a consonant-vowel-consonant word such as 'vet' or 'bat'.  At the front of each book, the beginning sounds that are prevalent in the book are shared so that you can practice them with your child before reading the text. Each set of BOB Books contains 10 to 12 little books for children to use for practicing their reading skills.  Also inside each set is a helpful overview for parents on the important features of the set.

Feel free to stop by the YS desk and we can show you where BOB Books are kept so that you can check out a set.  I used them with my own children when they were learning to read.  There is nothing like the smile on a child's face when they have successfully finished reading a book on their own, especially if it's their first time.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

New Pop Up Story Times Added

We have some great news for you!  The building update start date got pushed back until early October, which has allowed us to add more story time offerings.  We are as excited as you are to be able to provide these times for you!

In September, we will be offering story times for all ages on Tuesday mornings and evenings from 10:00-10:30 AM and 6:30-7:00 PM.  There will be another opportunity on Thursday mornings from 10:30-11 AM.  These days and times will continue through the first week of October but there will be no story time the evening of September 25th.  No registration is required for these events; just pop on by.

Please watch the calendar for future pop up story time events or call us to add you to our email list and we will alert you to new days or times. 


Monday, August 27, 2018

New Science Kits in Youth Services

About two years ago, we won a grant from the IEEE to help us create a new collection for children and young adults.  This was the birth of the science kits!  It was an exciting time for us.  We got to go shopping for materials that would provide opportunity to explore and pique children's interest in science.  When the materials began to come in, it was like Christmas morning.  We all gathered around and tested out the new kits (hey, library staff like to play, discover and explore too!).  We had a big open house so the community would have an opportunity to come and try out all the new kits.  Ever since then, the kits have been available for patron use and continue to be a popular item to check out and take home.

I'm excited to tell you that we have added two more kits to our collection in Youth Services and hope to add a few more this year.  We know that children love to learn about animals (the nonfiction 500 section is quite popular), so it was only natural that we add a kit about animals and their habitats.  Explore the different habitats through books, sorting activities, and games and find out which animals live in these habitats.

Who loves space?  ME!  Our other new kit is about the solar system.  Take a trip through space with the Smithsonian Planetarium where the planets rotate around you.  Then look up interesting facts in the First Book Encyclopedia or watch The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot about Space DVD.  Test your knowledge with the fun game that is included.  This kit is the total package for family fun!

Next time you are in the Youth Services area, take another peek at our science kit collection.  We'd also love to hear if you have any ideas for future kits so feel free to stop by the YS Ask Me desk and chat.  In the meantime, "be a science girl or guy, always ask what and why."

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Monday, August 20, 2018

School Lunches

It's that time of year again we all dread - making school lunches. What we pack in the lunchbox has a huge impact on our child's energy level to help her learn.  It's important that the contents of our child's lunchbox ensure a steady stream of nutrients which will keep her energy up, blood sugar levels even, and allow her brain to learn.

When planning a balanced diet, remember to aim for a proportional amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.  Keep sugar, salt, and saturated fat to a minimum.

Think Protein

Sandwiches fuse the all-important trio of protein, carbohydrate, and fats.

  • Try these combinations:  nut butter (peanut, almond, or sunflower) and fruit-only jam, egg salad, or turkey and Swiss cheese.  
  • Switch out sandwich bread with an English muffin, tortilla, pita bread, bagel, or flatbread.
  • Not a big sandwich fan?  How about yogurt, hardboiled eggs, cheese slices or string cheese, bean and cheese mini-burritos, mixed nuts, or energy bars.
Complex Carbs - Don't leave home without them

Kid's rapidly growing brains and bodies need the fuel from complex carbohydrates, so don't shy away from them.
  • Find snacks made from whole grains like sesame sticks, breadsticks, pretzels, corn chips, cereals, and crackers.
  • The USDA Food Guide Pyramid recommends five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.  Lunchtime is a great time to sneak some in.  Pick fresh fruit that travels well, such as apples, grapes, bananas, oranges, bananas, pears, pineapple slices, berries, plums, and peaches.  Vegetables may be a harder sell but try carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, or broccoli along with some hummus dip or ranch dressing. 
  • Don't forget the treasures of dried fruit.  Raisins, dates, apricots, cherries, bananas, papaya and mango all pack a punch of fiber, iron, and minerals.
You Can't Forget Dessert

There are treats that will satisfy the sweet tooth while still achieving nutritional value.  
  • Graham or animal crackers (try to use the whole wheat flour kind), fig bars, granola bars, pudding, or a piece of chocolate.
  • Fruit salad can satisfy that sweet craving especially by adding a dash of yogurt and cinnamon, or applesauce sprinkled with raisins or craisins.  

Keep high-sugar fruit juices to a minimum or dilute them with water.  Try water or milk instead.

If you are looking for more ideas, don't forget to check out the library's cookbooks geared towards children.  Bring your child along with you to pick out some recipes you can do together.  Happy eating!  

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Helping Your Kindergartner Get Ready for School

I remember when my first born was getting ready to go to Kindergarten.  This was a huge step.  He had gone to preschool but now he'd be with all the big kids.  School supplies were chosen, especially that colorful take home folder (I'm sure it had a Star Wars scene on it).  We both felt excited yet also nervous.  I wanted to make sure he was prepared to be both academically and socially successful for the start of his school career.

Today's Kindergarten has become much more academically challenging then our own experience in the grade but some things have not changed.  When you ask a Kindergarten teacher what abilities they hope incoming students will have, they state social and emotional skills are equally, if not more important, than knowing the letters of the alphabet and numbers.

Kindergarten readiness has many components, many which are not considered academic even though they do influence how children learn.  These include:

  • Self-care, self-help and motor skills
  • Playing well with others and working positively with adults 
  • Using their words to express needs and wants
  • Curiosity and willingness to learn
  • Self-regulation skills
So you may be asking yourself: "What can I do to support my child's readiness?"  Here are a few suggestions:
  • Talk often with your child and respond to his questions (even when he keeps asking "Why?")
  • Encourage active play, especially pretend play, with other children (Yep, play dates!)
  • Read, read, and read to her every day.  Talk about the words and pictures in the books.  Ask her to predict what will happen in the story next.
  • Provide paper and writing utensils for drawing and writing
  • Create things out of materials in your home (arts and crafts)
  • Play guessing games (promotes listening skills, which we know everyone needs)
  • Go places together - parks, zoo, museums, library
  • Encourage independence in managing daily tasks and doing some simple chores
  • Limit screen time
Start talking to your child about what will happen.  Reading library books about starting school can start conversations about what your child may expect from school.  We have a great selection of books to help.  Just ask one of our staff members to help choose a great school story.

Travel the route your child will take to and from school and don't forget to check out how to navigate the playground.  If your school offers an open house or a "Meet and Greet" with their teacher, make sure you attend.  This way you and your child can meet the other children and parents who will be in their class and possibly set up some play dates before school starts.  This may make you both feel a little more comfortable with the upcoming life change.

In the meantime, enjoy the time with your child.  Play together.  Go places together.  Read and talk together.  You'll be helping to encourage your child's enthusiasm for learning and helping him get off to a great start to his school career. 

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