Summer is a great time to make things with your kids. Whether you are a dad or a mom, you'll find good ideas for collaborative projects to DIY with daughers and sons in Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter Projects. Written by Mark Frauenfelder, the editor in chief of MAKE Magazine, these projects vary in complexity. Most require some kind of tooling but can be adapted in different ways. There are woodworking projects like laminating up wood veneer layers while it's bent to make a pre-sprung long board to cruise the streets. There are imaginitive electonics projects like a kite-mounted video camera. There are plenty of whimsical, imaginative projects here. Also included are tips for devoping practical skills like creating and hosting your own podcast and using a variety of tools. I thought this book was suitable for parents and their elementary or middle-school aged children and up.
The afternoon of Saturday, May 31, 2014 marked the beginning of a new annual event at KPL: Three Book Battle. Middle School students from seven different schools joined forces and battled through book knowledge on The Giver, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and Return to Sender to be the first Three Book Battle champion. Teams competed in two battles that day for a total of 48 questions, 16 from each book. Huddles were formed, decisions were made, pencils moved frantically, and pride filled the Van Deusen Room!
This new event for 6th-8th graders set the bar high for the future with near perfect scores and contagious reading enthusiasm. Teen Services would like to thank the Friends of KPL for providing a mini grant opportunity to sponsor this event. Each team received a set of books to keep, Jones Soda and a Bookbug gift card to fuel their love of reading.
Congratulations go out to our final battle teams:
- 1st place – The Dauntless Snowballs of Revolution
- 2nd place – The Wolverines
- 3rd place – The Divergents
- 4th place – The Red Panda Readers
- 5th place – The Carter Crew
Plans are already underway for the 2015 Three Book Battle. Thank you KPL Teen Services, the Friends of KPL, TBB participants and the audience for making our first Three Book Battle one for the record books!
Three Book Battle
This spring, we celebrated the 20th year of the Global Reading Challenge! This quiz-bowl program is for 4th and 5th graders. Students form teams at their schools, read ten books chosen by KPL children’s librarians, then work as a team to answer questions about the books, earning points with correct answers.
Our intent is for kids to have fun reading the books and participating in a team activity. The ten books are carefully chosen to reflect our diverse world and to show characters successfully solving problems, contributing to their communities, and learning that people are more alike than they are different.
The first Challenge, in 1994, featured 19 teams from Lincoln, North Christian, and MLK Westwood; the winning team was the “Bookworm Warriors” from MLK Westwood. This year we had 129 teams from 17 schools! The District Final Challenge featured teams from Edison, Arcadia, Prairie Ridge, Spring Valley, and Northglade. The champion was the “Crazy Cougars” team from Prairie Ridge. Thanks to the students, parents, teachers, principals, and coaches for another successful year of books and reading!
Over this summer, librarians will be reading and choosing the books for the 2015 Global Reading Challenge. Team applications will be accepted in October and the book titles will be announced in December.
Global Reading Challenge
Summer at the library officially begins on Monday, June 2! Sign up for Summer Reading Games at any of our locations beginning June 2. Kick off the summer by attending some of the library's great programs for the whole family, starting next week. Preschoolers ages 3 to 6 can explore strength and materials at Central'sLittle Scientists program on Monday, June 2 at 10:30am. Later that evening, join us at Oshtemo for an outdoor performance of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Learn how to beat the heat by brewing your own iced tea with Tudor House Tea & Spice at Washington Square on Tuesday, June 3 at 6pm. Calling all nerdfighters! Head to Central on Tuesday, June 3 at 6:30pm for An Abundance of John Green and enter to win movie tickets to The Fault in Our Stars. LEGO fans can practice their skills at Oshtemo on Saturday, June 7 at 10:30am. The week wraps up on Saturday, June 7 at Central with the Summer Reading Kickoff Party at 1pm, featuring music, games, obstacle courses, and a bounce house!
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Developmental Timeline from parentingcounts.org includes some great research-based parenting tips videos. Many have good advice for any caregiver of young children about how to speak "parentese, or speak in a way that actually encourages language development. Other videos linked from within the different tabbed domains in the timeline show the world from a child's perspective. If you are parent or caregiver, you might find them interesting, too. I like the videos that try to portray the world from a child's perspective. Other videos have good tips about how to make reading fun from the very beginning. These are things that come naturally to parents when we make the time to read to our kids. I like to think about how many parents and children are making memories reading 1000 Books Before Kindergarten together.
Making Reading Fun
There are lots of fun things to do at Kalamazoo Public Library locations during Spring Break. If you're at the Central Library and want to borrow child/family movies and music, come to the Children's Room. That's where those materials are now located. Maybe you've been wondering what those lullabye renditions of Michael Jackson music sound like. Or maybe it's time to see how Danny Devito voiced The Lorax. Or revisit that beautiful Carl and Ellie sequence from Up. You'll find something that you'll enjoy in this collection and you'll be able to check it out at the kiosk in the Children's Room, too. And while you'll be able to find Dr. Seuss books in the Children's Room, you'll want to go to the lower level to find Thriller and The Wiz. You'll find lots of movie musicals and documentaries that make great family viewing in the lower level, too!
Movies and Music in the Children's Room
Well, here it is, the last day of Black History Month and all month I have been reflecting on what an honor it is to be working at a trailblazing library system, such as Kalamazoo Public Library. Why would I call KPL a trailblazer? Well, it all started with Mrs. Alma Harrod Powell. She was before her time. She went from being a housekeeper to a Library Assistant to a renowned storyteller and historian. It all started while working in the home of a world traveler, Mr. Larry Firth. Mr. Firth would return from Africa with artifacts that heightened Mrs. Powell interest in African history. In 1944 she participated in an apprenticeship course at KPL and in 1946 she became a KPL Library Assistant. In 1957 Mrs. Powell received a citation from the Michigan Library Association which acknowledged her skill as a storyteller. In 1968 a small library room in Lincoln School opened and was named Alma Powell Library Project. Mrs. Powell was followed by Mary Mace Spradling and Roberta Cheney. They were trailblazers in their own rights.
This all happened at KPL in Kalamazoo, Michigan before the civil rights movement. As a black female Mrs. Powell was a pioneer and Kalamazoo Public Library was a trailblazer. And we keep right on blazing because this year KPL will be the first library in Michigan to have its own antiracism team. We have begun selecting a team and we will begin training and working towards institutional equality.
Yes, as I said, it is truly an honor to be a part of this historical establishment.
We’re seeing more and more dads in the Children’s Room, as they bring their kids to storytime, choose books to take home, and share in the fun of playing with toys in the Story Place.
As more dads take on caregiver responsibilities, we are glad to see more parenting books written just for them. A Dad’s Guide to Childcare is one that I like. It’s practical, has clear photos that illustrate step-by-step processes, and even addresses difficult situations that may come up.
As part of the renovation of the Central Library Children’s Room, we’ve added some more Parenting books to our shelves. If you’re looking for books about parenting children from birth to 5 years, you can now find those books in the Children’s Room. We’d be glad to help you find the books that are just right for your family.
A Dad’s Guide to Childcare
1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is an exciting new program at Kalamazoo Public Library for all children from birth to entering Kindergarten. It's super simple, self paced, and provides a way for your child to earn a prize for every 50 books you read aloud to her and then a gift and certificate of completion when you reach 1,000 books. More important, since reading aloud to your child is the best way to prepare for kindergarten, 1,000 Before Kindergarten is a way for you to do just that - read lots of books with your child!
A parent asked me if the books she reads to her child for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten need to be library books. They do not. While Kalamazoo Public Library certainly has many thousands of books we can all share together with our preschool aged children, you might find yourself reading a book aloud to your child that you found at the Friends bookstore or that was passed along to you or purchased elsewhere. Of course this is just great! And the way you read the books is also completely up to you. Some books are made to be sung to your child. Other books benefit from the animal sounds you supply. There is a whole world of fun to be had reading to our children.
It's easy to sign up at the any KPL location. Learn more about 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten at KPL and continue down the road to Kindergarten. And if you're in the mood for a fun read aloud that will help you think ahead to Springtime, check out 999 Frogs Wake Up.
999 Frogs and 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten!
The newly renovated Children's Room is open and ready for you to explore! There are many exciting new features including a parenting section, folk and fairy tales highlighted in the Alice in Wonderland Room, and more display space for new Fiction, new Non-fiction, and new Picture Books.
The Story Place has room for Lego at the Library, story time programs, and more. I hope you'll take time to come in and see the new Children's Room over the holiday break.
Come See the New Children's Room!