@ Your Library
Recent library events, news and more.
What fun we had at Wednesday’s Family Literacy Night program for kids and parents from El Sol Elementary. We had stations set up all through Central Library, staffed by El Sol teachers, with activities for the kids. There was library card signup going on, kids were making Reading Buddy puppets, doing Mad Libs, learning about accessing info on the KPL website, seeing the Local History room in action, and even having a back-room tour!
Staff from many departments helped out: Spanish-language help from several library staff members, a great visual display of photos created by Local History staff, Facilities Management crews who set up, tore down, and cleaned up everything at the end of the night. Staff at the public desks did a great job giving directional assistance and helping families feel welcome here.
I know that an event like this can seem disruptive in a library, but it really does help us introduce new families to KPL so that they see the library as a place that has some relevance for them. It’s also an opportunity for us to strengthen our connections to the principal and teachers at a school. We had a great time last night and are already making plans for next year’s event.
Family Literacy Night
Kindergarten orientation is March 20th at all Kalamazoo Public Schools elementary schools. Recent legislation in the State of Michigan has changed the entry age for kindergarten. Over the next two years, the entry age will gradually be changed to require children to be 5 years old by September 1st rather than the current cutoff date of December 1st.
Here’s how the entry ages will gradually change over the next few years:
• 2013-2014 School Year – at least 5 years of age on November 1, 2013.
• 2014-2015 School Year - at least 5 years of age on October 1, 2013.
• 2015-2016 School Year - at least 5 years of age on September 1, 2013.
Inspired by Sarah Weeks’s book Pie, these young cooks are building a lattice crust with some help from their mom. Kids love to eat. And kids want to help create the food they eat. Plenty of practical kitchen skills can be learned and practiced when you share kitchen duties with the kids. Have a satisfying time in the kitchen by meeting children’s interests where they already have skills and then extending just a little bit. A three year old is often content to dump some dry ingredients into a mixing bowl whereas a seven year old is likely able to interpret meaning from a recipe, measure ingredients with scoops and scale, prepare a salad, and prepare many elements of a meal to be proud of. Of course, it's best to hold onto potentially hazardous kitchen tasks involving high heat and knife skills until children are ready.
Your library has lots of cookbooks for children and their adults to use together. Some popular favorites include the Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook, the Little House Cookbook, the Around the World Cookbook, and Vegan Lunch Box among many others. Chop Chop is an excellent magazine about cooking for kids and families. Share kitchen tasks with the kids for memorable times in the kitchen and an even more delicious dinner.
Cooking with Kids
As for many families, our family computer has become a center for listening to music. It can be difficult not to be distracted by the screen when it's time for an impromptu dance party. I like to turn the screen off or, for a more festive effect, drape a tapestry over the screen. Dance parties with kids work better when the music is heard, not seen.
It's always a good time for a dance party! Moving with music as a family is a stress buster and a brain boost at the same time. While I don't actually know that dancing with your kids in the living room boosts brain power, I do know that you can connect your child to music that's important to you - like your favorite dad rock on Freegal - and beat the winter blahs. When you and your kids are dancing to music together, you're enjoying music, movement, and each other's company.
“You're Never Too Old, Too Wacky, Too Wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.” ~ Dr. Seuss
Reading with our children is something we know that we should do to help them become great readers. But it’s not always evident how best to go about it. As parents we often hear the message to read to our babies but if we are new to parenting, we might wonder what reading to a baby should look like and what benefit it is to the child or the parent. Over the next few weeks, I want to give a few tips for reading to young children, especially the things that helped me as a new parent. This will be a series of posts on six pre-reading skills children need to develop with some tips on how to practice each skill at home with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Our strategic priority is “Creating Young Readers” at KPL and we want parents and caregivers to have the tools they need to be their child’s first and best teacher! Stay tuned for more early literacy resources from our library staff!
Pre-Reading Skills are our Priority