Welcome to our Weekly Online Newsletter and Virtual Bulletin Board! Here you will find information about upcoming programs for kids, teens, and families at the Bridgewater Library and around the community. We also highlight useful websites and important information for parents, teachers, and young people.

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Have a Question or Suggestion? Please email us at bwljuv@sclibnj.org or call 908 516-4016 x126.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dance, Read, and Meet Local Authors at October Events at the Bridgewater Library plus Tips on Fire Safety, Great Books for Girls, Halloween Happenings and More!

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October is Fire Safety Month…consider viewing these videos with your children

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Fire Is…NJFireSafety—Serious,Life-long Lessons of Fire Safety

Fire prevention is no accident. Fire Prevention is a family affair and a lifetime commitment. This web-site will assist your efforts to keep your family informed of the dangers of a fire.

FIRE IS…

A five Part Video Series on fire prevention and safety hosted by Dr. Frank Field along with his son Storm and daughter Allison.

 

Upcoming Programs for Kids at Bridgewater Library:

Pumpkin Fun (Ages 3+) Saturday, October 18  10:00 am.  Registration is required. Join the Bridgewater Garden Club for the annual pumpkin-decorating program! Create a fun, magnificently decorated pumpkin – you bring the pumpkin and we’ll supply the decorating materials!  Please note: Be sure to wear a smock or old shirt as we will use paint. Please bring a box to carry home your pumpkin.

Play Group (Birth to 3 years) Monday October 20 10am. No registration required. Come and play with toys, dance to music, and make new friends!

Toddler Dance Party (Ages 2-6) Monday, October 20 at 4:30 pm. No registration required.  Read, rock and roll at the library!  Toddlers, ages 2-6, and their caregivers are invited to get their groove on at the library.  Shimmy and shake to your favorite toddler tunes!

Halloween Craft  (All ages)  Wednesday, October 22  2:00-4:00 pm
No registration required. 
Stop by the back table in the Youth Services department any time between 2:00 and 4:00 pm to make and take a Halloween decoration!

Lego Club (Ages 5-12) Thursday October 23, 4:30 - 5:30 pm.  Registration is required. Hey LEGO fans, here's a club just for you! Get together with other LEGO-maniacs, share ideas and tips on building, and have a great time! Library LEGOS will be available for building, so you do not need to bring your own.  Please Note: Parents are welcome to stay; however, younger siblings cannot be permitted to join this program.

imageA Cultural Festival of India Saturday, October 25, 2014 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Registration is not required.  A free, family-friendly festival designed to educate the community while honoring the customs and culture of India.

imageHalloween Hootenany  (all ages)  Wednesday, Octobooooo 29th From 4:30-5:30 pm. No registration required.  Get a jump start on the holiday. Dress in your favorite costume and come to the library for a frolicking fun time with songs, interactive stories and more!

imageFamily Night Storytime (All Ages) Thursday, October 30 from 6:00-6:30 pm. No registration required.  Wear your pj's or Halloween costume to our all-ages nighttime storytime!

imageMusic & Movement (Ages birth-3 years)  Monday November 3rd 9:45 am. Repeats at 10:30 am. Registration required and begins October 20. Clap your hands, stomp your feet, and feel the beat of a fun, lively music class!  Led by Beth Stone of Kids' MusicRound.

Storytimes resume the week of November 3rd:

Storytime (For Ages 3-6, siblings welcome) Tuesdays  10:00 a.m. Second session at 1:30pm. 
Toddler Time (For Ages 18 months-36 months) Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m., repeats at 11:00 a.m.  Also Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.   
Baby Time (For ages birth - 18 months) Thursdays  9:30 a.m. No Registration Required for any of these.  Join us for stories, songs, movement and fun!  Please come to the program most age-appropriate for your child.

imageCreate Your Own Picture Book! (Grades K-2) Saturday, November 8. Grades K-2: 10:00-10:45. Create Your Own Picture Book! (Grades 3-5)Grades 3-5: 11:00-11:45. Registration is required and begins on October 24.  Have you ever wanted to write and illustrate a book? We’ll show you how! Leeza Hernandez, author and illustrator of Dog Gone!, will teach us how to make a picture book—from the idea stage to the finished product! Participants will be given blank books that can be entered into our Picture Book Contest.

imageRocket Readers (Grades 1-2) Tuesday, November 11 From 4:30 – 5:30.Registration required and begins October 14.An exciting program for brand new readers!  At each program we will discuss a book, play some games or create a story related craft.  Students should read the book prior to the program.  Copies of the books will be available at the Youth Services Reference Desk. It Doesn’t Need to Rhyme, Katie: Writing a Poem with Katie Woo By Fran Namushkin Katie and her friends explore writing different kinds of poetry about themselves and their surroundings.

imageFall Frolics: Story and Craft (Ages 3-9) Wednesday, November 12 4:30-5:30 p.m. Ages 3-9. Registration is required and begins on Oct. 29. Join us as we celebrate the season.  We'll be reading the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, then crafting some imaginative leaf creations of our own.  If you have found some beautiful fall leaves, bring them along!

Programs for Tweens & Teens at the Library:

imageTween Advisory Board (Grades 4 - 6) Tuesday, October 21. 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Registration required.  Make the library a better place for you and your fellow Tweens! We’ll talk about the books you’re reading now, and your favorite movies and video games. You’ll even get a chance to talk about what programs you’d like at the library! Community service hours will be awarded for attendance.

imageTeen Advisory Board (Grades 7 - 12) Tuesday, October 21 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Registration required. TEENS: YOUR OPINION MATTERS! Do you have suggestions for programs, new books, movies, or video games? Then come to one of our TAB meetings! Community service hours will be awarded for attendance and snacks will be served!

imageOpen Mic Night (For ages 13+) Thursday October 23, From 6:45-8:30pm.  Registration required to perform. No registration required to watch.  Think you’ve got what it takes to get up on stage in front of your peers with nothing but your voice and guitar?  Want to share your poetry, comedy, or original music?  Not an artist, but would like to witness some of the most inspiring artists Somerset County has to offer?  Then join us for this one of a kind experience, and help local musicians and writers have their voices heard.

imageCamp NaNoWriMo (Ages 13+) Saturday, November 1
9:30 am -12:30 pm Registration required and begins October 17
November is National Novel Writing Month. Are you ready to take the challenge and write an entire novel in just a month? Come to our NaNoWriMo kickoff event to get inspired, talk to other writers, and start writing your book. Bring your laptop, tablet, or good old-fashioned notebook and pen. There will be fast and furious writing sessions (with plenty of coffee and donut breaks) to see how many words of your novel you can knock out on Day 1. Who knows, you might be the next Rainbow Rowell—Fangirl was her NaNoWriMo project!

Around the Community:

www.morrisparks.net

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For more information: http://www.growingstage.com/main/

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Free Museum Passes to Morris Museum available at the library.

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The Forgotten History of African American Baseball, October 18, 11:00am
Presidential Golf, Wednesday, November 5, 2:00pm
Your Kid and Sports, November 13, 7:00pm

Let Your Fingers Do More Walking:

A Mighty Girl  Love this 7-year-old Mighty Girl's incredible book-themed Halloween costume -- the "Fiction Fairy"!

For make-at-home Mighty Girl costume ideas, you can view many homemade costumes at "A Mighty Girl's 2013 Halloween Highlights" post at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=4985 -- or browse their entire 2013 Halloween album featuring nearly 750 Mighty Girls in costume at http://on.fb.me/1bPtc0R


 

The International day of the girl

imageWhen the United Nations created the International Day of the Girl it wanted to create a worldwide revolution - a revolution that would lead to girls being seen as equals. This year's theme is  'Empowering Adolescent Girls' speaks to IPPF's work with young women all over the world. Girls and women face many inequalities -- from education to family planning and gender based violence to early and forced marriage. 

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International Day of the Girl was founded by the UN in 2011 to highlight the unique challenges and inequalities faced by girls around the world. Learn More.  Congratulations to Malala, co-winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize! Hear her speech.

Encourage your own “Mighty Girl”:


image"Top 150 Read Aloud Books Starring Mighty Girls

"Top 100 Mighty Girl Picture Books"

Tips for parents on reading aloud: "Reading Aloud Handbook"

Plus their "Literacy / Book Club" parenting section.

Speaking of Reading…

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Science Has Great News for People Who Read Actual Books By Rachel Grate

It's no secret that reading is good for you. Just six minutes of reading is enough to reduce stress by 68%, and numerous studies have shown that reading keeps your brain functioning effectively as you age. One study even found that elderly individuals who read regularly are 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer's than their peers. But not all forms of reading are created equal.

imageThe debate between paper books and e-readers has been vicious since the first Kindle came out in 2007. Most arguments have been about the sentimental versus the practical, between people who prefer how paper pages feel in their hands and people who argue for the practicality of e-readers. But now science has weighed in, and the studies are on the side of paper books. 

Reading in print helps with comprehension.

Reading long sentences without links is a skill you need — but can lose if you don't practice.

Reading in a slow, focused, undistracted way is good for your brain.   Read More.

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Read More.

Enterovirus D68: Pediatric expert explains how to protect your child

With the confirmation that the death of a Mercer County preschooler was the result of an infection caused by the resurgent enterovirus D68, parents are on heightened alert about the nasty strain of a virus that normally produces just a common cold.
That concern has only increased with Friday’s announcement from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it is looking at a possible link between the virus and reports of polio-like paralysis in a few dozen cases nationwide.
We asked pediatric infectious disease expert Meg Fisher, Chair of Department of Pediatrics at Monmouth Medical Center, some practical questions about safeguarding children from it.
What should I look for? What are the signs my child may be entering the danger zone?
Any sign that they’re having difficulty breathing: If they’re wheezing, or turning blue. Also, since there have been reports of a few cases of paralysis that might be related, any sudden onset of muscle weakness in the arms or legs.  Read More.

 

Even 'green' toiletries may contain worrisome chemicals  BY JILL U. ADAMS THE WASHINGTON POST

Should you worry about the chemicals in your makeup, lotion, shaving cream, soap and shampoo? The answer is a clear maybe.

Why maybe? That's because some critics suspect that chemicals such as phthalates and parabens can interfere with the body's hormones, most notably reproductive hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. The possible health risks could include chronic diseases, cancers and a host of developmental disorders and fertility problems.  Read More.

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NJ YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS CONTEST & FESTIVAL

2015 is the 32nd year!

NJYPP Main Page Contest OverviewGuidelines and Play Submission
Living With Disabilities Category Winning Plays NJ Young Playrights Blog

For 32 years, the New Jersey Young Playwrights Festival (NJYPF) has been deepening the writing experience for young writers by providing detailed feedback from theatre professionals about students' plays.

Through a series of rounds, a team of readers may select plays from each division to be honored as statewide winners. These plays will receive a staged-reading performance by professional actors during the Festival. Date to be determined. This is certain to be a must-see event!  

For information about the Festival, please contact Jim DeVivo, Director of Education at Playwrights Theatre, (973) 514-1787, ext. 14 or jdevivo@ptnj.org.

Plays are accepted in the following Divisions:

Elementary (Grades 4-6)
Junior High (Grades 7-9)
High School (Grades 10-12)

RETURNING THIS YEAR!

Living With Disabilities Category This category is open to both Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School (grades 9-12). Plays in this category can be written by a person with or without a physical or other disability as long as the play is about a disability or contains an important character or characters with a physical or other disability. Plays written for this category will also be entered in the general NJ Young Playwrights Contest, and Playwrights Theatre may choose one play from this category to be a part of the NJ Young Playwrights Festival. Playwrights Theatre will also help all writers entering this category to enter into the National VSA Playwright Discovery Competition. Click here for more information.

 

Brain scans could uncover dyslexia before kids learn to read. A type of MRI scan reveals the size and set-up of a part of the brain that appears to be smaller in children with dyslexia. 

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Dyslexia is a common learning disorder that affects around 1 in 10 people in the U.S., where it is typically diagnosed around second grade but sometimes goes undiagnosed and unmanaged well into adulthood. And though it is technically a learning disorder, it actually occurs in people with normal vision and intelligence, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Now researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston Children's Hospital say that a type of MRI scan called diffusion-weighted imaging could help diagnose the disorder in kids before they even start to learn to read -- a discovery that could help teachers and experts intervene early to manage it.   Read More.

Anastasia Rivas plans to learn to use her Robohand to ride a bike.

How 3-D Printing is Transforming Everything from Medicine to Manufacturing

Read more.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Treasure Hunt around Somerset County Historical Sites Sunday October 12th

 


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www.SCHistoryWeekend.com.

Somerset County's Weekend Journey Through The Past October 12th.  Leisurely visit twenty-six historic house museums/sites, countywide, in scenic Somerset County, New Jersey.   See the display and pick up more information in the Bridgewater Library Lobby!

Somerset County’s 9th annual Weekend Journey through the Past is an opportunity to step into and experience the past by visiting up to twenty -six (26) historic sites countywide open FREE to the public of all ages on  Sunday, October 12 from Noon -4:00PM.

This annual Autumn weekend features interpreted tours led by costumed docents; special collections & exhibitions; period military drills & encampments by living history re-enactors; NJ’s 350 Years of History highlighting WWII home front, Central NJ transportation history, and Revolutionary War; open hearth cooking; traditional blacksmithing; 19th century firefighting wagons & apparatus; antiques sales; historic bridge rehabilitation design & construction phases; Art exhibitions of fine local artists; participatory crafts activities for kids; live theatre and live period music performances; Actors/Actresses portraying historical figures, such as John Quincy and Abigail Adams; genealogical resources; silent movie at the historic Brook Theater by the Garden State Organ Society; participatory barn dance instruction; daily chores of 18th cen. life; military history; demonstrations; local history videos; interesting architecture; … and so much more.

What In The World Is That?

For those who enjoy a challenge, an educational and fun detective investigation activity for kids and the entire family will test your powers of deduction to solve 26 mysteries. One unique item from the past will be featured, displayed and identified, along with its description, at each of the 26 participating historic sites during this year’s event. As a rookie detective enlisted to investigate, you are assigned to reveal the true identity and function of each mystery item.

Your Task, Research and Investigative Travels: In advance, download an “Official Investigative Task Booklet “ from the event website . Next to the name and town of each participating historic site you’ll find a small photo of a mystery item you are assigned to identify. After examining the photo carefully, write down in you booklet what you believe the item is. Once you do that for all pictured items, take your task booklet, along with a pencil, and go to as many participating historic sites as you can on Saturday, Oct. 11 and /or Sunday, Oct 12 searching the premises to locate the mystery item. Once you find it, read the posted information identifying and describing it to see if your powers of deduction were correct, and rate your final rank as a weekend detective.

For the “Tech. Savvy”.. you can also view each site’s mystery item from your smart phone prior to visiting each by accessing the mystery photos from the event's website:www.SCHistoryWeekend.com.

Though you won’t have a booklet to record your guesses, you and your family or friends will have fun challenging each other to guess each item’s identity in advance, before you walk through the door to discover it’s true identity, or confirm that you guessed it correctly when you arrive at each site. Enjoy your quest! We are all looking forward to your visit.

 

Docents like these at the Abraham Staats House in South Bound Brook immerse our younger generations in history so they develop a love and respect for things historic, hopefully growing up to be the next stewards of historic preservation for future generations.

Visitors may follow a scenic route, with driving directions prepared for each of three sections in the County—northern, central, and southern—or choose the sites that intrigue them most and drive from one to the next at a leisurely pace, stopping for a bite to eat along the way at any of the many fine eateries in Somerset County. The northern route includes eight stops in the Watchung Mountains, an area that was never heavily industrialized, and which still retains much of its Colonial agrarian character. Thirteen sites in the central section lie a short distance from the Old York Road, a prominent commercial course from New York to Philadelphia, predating the Revolutionary War. In the southern tier, five more sites are connected by some of Somerset's most scenic roads, paralleling both sides of the Millstone River and Delaware and Raritan Canal.

Three new sites participating in this year’s event are 1.)The Somerville Fire Museum displaying, among other fascinating exhibits/artifacts, a 1880 Amoskaeg Steam Pumper; 2.) Duke Farms Coach Barn, the 1st major building constructed at Duke Farms with its distinctive clock tower which though nominally serving as a stable and carriage house, also housed a circular office for J.B. Duke, his estate manager, and an apartment for his chauffer; and 3.) the restored historic 1886 Nevius Street Bridge (above), oldest documented metal truss bridge in Somerset County adjacent to Raritan Water Power Canal Park and the Duke Estate. Bridge Engineers will be on hand to welcome your visit to discuss the design and construction of the restoration process, enhanced by display board visuals. This bridge is open to pedestrian traffic with benches located along the span.

 

2014 Participating Historic Sites / Locations

USGA Museum in Far Hills
  • Boudinot Southard Ross Property /Basking Ridge (N)
  • The Brook Theater /Brook Arts Center/ Bound Brook ( C )
  • Codington Farmstead / Warren (N)
  • Duke Farms Coach Barn / Hillsborough / (S)
  • Frelinghuysen (Gen.John) House/Raritan Public Library/Raritan(C)
  • Griggstown School House/ Franklin
  • Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead / Basking Ridge (N)
  • Kirch Ford Terrell House/Warren Township (N )
  • Millstone 1860 Schoolhouse / Millstone Boro.Hall / Millstone (S)
  • Mount Bethel Meeting House/Warren Township(N )
  • Nevius Street Bridge / Raritan/Hillsborough (C )
  • Old Millstone Forge Blacksmith Shop & Museum/Millstone (S)
  • Old Presbyterian Graveyard / Bound Brook ( C )
  • The Presbyterian Church at Bound Brook (C )
  • Relief Hose Company No.2 Firehouse/Raritan ( C )
  • Somerville Fire Museum / Somerville ( C )
  • South Branch School House/Branchburg( C )
  • Abraham Staats House / South Bound Brook (C)
  • Andrew Ten Eyck House / Branchburg (C )
  • United States Golf Association/ Frothingham Mansion/ Far Hills (N)
  • Jacobus Vanderveer House / Bedminster (N)
  • Van Horne House / Bridgewater(C)
  • Van Veghten House/Bridgewater (C )
  • Wallace House/Somerville ( C )
  • Washington Rock State Park /Green Brook (N)
  • Wyckoff-Garretson House / Franklin/Somerset (S)

Somerset County's Weekend Journey Through The Past is an initiative of the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission and Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, in collaboration with dedicated representatives of local history organizations/commissions, as well as some local artists/arts organizations. Hours for the “Journey” are 10am - 5pm on Saturday, October 11, 2014; and 12 noon - 4pm on Sunday, October 12, 2014. Admission and parking at each site are free. For details about participating sites and contest entries, please click on the event website.

Some of the Arts enhancements have been made possible by the NJ State Council on the Arts/Dept. of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant, administered by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

 

The stage is set and Sunday promises to be a spectacular fall day!  Please join us 11:30 - 4:30 on Fairview Farm, 2121 Larger Cross Road.  Bring your friends and family!  Learn More

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Come out for History Programs at Bridgewater Library & Around the Community–Jump Back in Time for 1776 Day, Ancient Greece, Weekend Journey Into the Past (Detective Program) and More. Plus Parent-Teacher Programs on Motor Skills and on Autism this week.

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Programs for Children & Families @ the Bridgewater Library:

 Picture This: Art Exploration for Kids: Gods in Color – The Art of Ancient Greece (Grades 1-5) Wednesday, Oct. 8th From 4:30-5:30 pm. Registration required and begins September 24. Travel back in time with us to Ancient Greece where you will meet the Gods from Mount Olympus and hear about a surprising discovery scientists made about the sculptures there, then create your own statue!

 

Parent - Teacher Workshop--Hands On: Promoting Fine Motor Skills in Preschool and Kindergarten Classrooms  Monday, October 06, 2014 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM. Registration Required.

Learn about the role that fine motor skills have on the academic success of young children and how to help your students who are displaying difficulties with fine motor skills. This program will provide an overview of fine motor skills development, current fine motor programs, and current research. Presented by Laurie Donovan and Alison Hales, NJ state licensed occupational therapists and members of the American Occupational Therapy Association. The workshop is free of charge and open to the public. 1.5 professional development hours will be awarded to attendees.

 

Advocacy: Meeting the Needs of a Child with Autism Thursday, October 9 from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Registration required. It has been said that "if you meet one person with autism, you have met one person with autism." Autism is a spectrum disorder, and as such, the needs of those with autism can vary greatly.

In this program, attendees will learn how to access services and supports often needed by those with autism across service delivery systems. Attorneys will describe how to access and advocate for specialized services in educational settings, family support services, adult services, health services, housing and other areas. We will focus on school-based supports, including ABA services, home programming, extended school year services, transition services and accessing effective and appropriate adult services.  Presented by Maria Fischer, esq., an attorney at Hinkle, Fingles, and Prior.
 

Friends of the Bridgewater Library presents mr. RAY – Kids Music That Rocks (Ages 2+) Saturday, October 11 From 11:00 am – 11:45 am.  Registration opens Friday, September 26  Join mr. RAY as he performs a mix of his own catchy, rock-influenced tunes and “warm n’ fuzzy” classic rock songs from the Beatles to Bob Marley.  With his colorful stickered guitar, his songs of friendship, dinosaurs, rainbows and messages of non-bullying will have everyone up and dancing.  Come experience this new style of KINDIE (Kid + Indie) music.  mr. Ray was Billboard’s 10th best-selling kids artist for 2013.


 

Rocket Readers (Grades 1-2) Tuesday, October 14  From 4:30 – 5:30. Registration required.  Diary of a Worm: Teacher’s Pet by Lori Haskins Houran  (Based on the books by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss) Worm makes a surprising discovery -- teachers have birthdays! That means Worm and his friends have to find the perfect present for their teacher, Mrs. Mulch. We will discuss the book, play some games or create a story related craft.  Students should read the book prior to the program.  Copies of the books will be available at the Youth Services Reference Desk.

Pumpkin Fun (Ages 3+) Saturday, October 18  10:00 am Registration is required and begins October 3. Join the Bridgewater Garden Club for the annual pumpkin-decorating program! Create a fun, magnificently decorated pumpkin – you bring the pumpkin and we’ll supply the decorating materials! Please note: Be sure to wear a smock or old shirt as we will use paint. Please bring a box to carry home your pumpkin.

Play Group (Birth to 3 years) Monday, October 20.  No registration required. Come and play with toys, dance to music, and make new friends!


 

Storytime (For Ages 3-6, siblings welcome) Tuesdays  10:00 a.m. Second session at 1:30pm. 
Toddler Time (For Ages 18 months-36 months) Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m., repeats at 11:00 a.m.  Also Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.   
Baby Time (For ages birth - 18 months) Thursdays  9:30 a.m. No Registration Required for any of these.  Join us for stories, songs, movement and fun!  Please come to the program most age-appropriate for your child.


@ Bridgewater Library for Tweens and Teens:
 

 

Tween Volunteers (Grades 4 - 6)
Monday, October 6 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Registration required. TWEENS: Make a difference by volunteering at the library! We need your help with special projects including creating bookmarks for young children, organizing and tidying up the Children’s Room, and much more!

Tween Craft: Haunted Gingerbread Houses (Grades 4 - 6)Wednesday, October 8  from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Registration required.
Gingerbread houses are not just for winter! Make a creepy creation as we put a haunted twist on this classic craft. We’ll provide the materials, you provide the creativity.


Tween Lock-In: HallowTWEEN Party (Grades 4 - 6) Friday, October 17  6-8pm. Registration required and begins September 26 Tweens, grades 4-6, wear your Halloween costumes and get locked in the library after hours! We'll have a Halloween movie, video games, crafts and snacks!  No admittance after 6:15 pm.



Want more info about upcoming programs?
Check out the  October calendar here.



Click HERE for information on other
programs for Children, Teens & Families
@ the Bridgewater Library
 
COMMUNITY EVENTS THIS WEEKEND & NEXT:
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www.morrisparks.net

 

 


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www.SCHistoryWeekend.com.

Somerset County's Weekend Journey Through The Past October 11-12th.  Leisurely visit twenty-six historic house museums/sites, countywide, in scenic Somerset County, New Jersey.   See the display and pick up more information in the Bridgewater Library Lobby!

Don’t miss Somerset County’s 9th annual Weekend Journey through the Past, an opportunity to step into and experience the past by visiting up to twenty -six (26) historic sites countywide open FREE to the public of all ages on Saturday, October 11 from 10:00AM-5:00PM and Sunday, October 12 from Noon -4:00PM. This annual Autumn weekend features interpreted tours led by costumed docents; special collections & exhibitions; period military drills & encampments by living history re-enactors; NJ’s 350 Years of History highlighting WWII home front, Central NJ transportation history, and Revolutionary War; open hearth cooking; traditional blacksmithing; 19th century firefighting wagons & apparatus; antiques sales; historic bridge rehabilitation design & construction phases; Art exhibitions of fine local artists; participatory crafts activities for kids; live theatre and live period music performances; Actors/Actresses portraying historical figures, such as John Quincy and Abigail Adams; genealogical resources; silent movie at the historic Brook Theater by the Garden State Organ Society; participatory barn dance instruction; daily chores of 18th cen. life; military history; demonstrations; local history videos; interesting architecture; … and so much more.

Docents like these at the Abraham Staats House in South Bound Brook immerse our younger generations in history so they develop a love and respect for things historic, hopefully growing up to be the next stewards of historic preservation for future generations.

Visitors may follow a scenic route, with driving directions prepared for each of three sections in the County—northern, central, and southern—or choose the sites that intrigue them most and drive from one to the next at a leisurely pace, stopping for a bite to eat along the way at any of the many fine eateries in Somerset County. The northern route includes eight stops in the Watchung Mountains, an area that was never heavily industrialized, and which still retains much of its Colonial agrarian character. Thirteen sites in the central section lie a short distance from the Old York Road, a prominent commercial course from New York to Philadelphia, predating the Revolutionary War. In the southern tier, five more sites are connected by some of Somerset's most scenic roads, paralleling both sides of the Millstone River and Delaware and Raritan Canal.

What In The World Is That?

For those who enjoy a challenge, an educational and fun detective investigation activity for kids and the entire family will test your powers of deduction to solve 26 mysteries. One unique item from the past will be featured, displayed and identified, along with its description, at each of the 26 participating historic sites during this year’s event. As a rookie detective enlisted to investigate, you are assigned to reveal the true identity and function of each mystery item.

Your Task, Research and Investigative Travels: In advance, download an “Official Investigative Task Booklet “ from the event website . Next to the name and town of each participating historic site you’ll find a small photo of a mystery item you are assigned to identify. After examining the photo carefully, write down in you booklet what you believe the item is. Once you do that for all pictured items, take your task booklet, along with a pencil, and go to as many participating historic sites as you can on Saturday, Oct. 11 and /or Sunday, Oct 12 searching the premises to locate the mystery item. Once you find it, read the posted information identifying and describing it to see if your powers of deduction were correct, and rate your final rank as a weekend detective.

For the “Tech. Savvy”.. you can also view each site’s mystery item from your smart phone prior to visiting each by accessing the mystery photos from the event's website:www.SCHistoryWeekend.com.

Though you won’t have a booklet to record your guesses, you and your family or friends will have fun challenging each other to guess each item’s identity in advance, before you walk through the door to discover it’s true identity, or confirm that you guessed it correctly when you arrive at each site. Enjoy your quest! We are all looking forward to your visit.

Please note: website updates may not yet be complete. All website pages are anticipated to be updated by /before end of the 1st week of September 2014.

Three new sites participating in this year’s event are 1.)The Somerville Fire Museum displaying, among other fascinating exhibits/artifacts, a 1880 Amoskaeg Steam Pumper; 2.) Duke Farms Coach Barn, the 1st major building constructed at Duke Farms with its distinctive clock tower which though nominally serving as a stable and carriage house, also housed a circular office for J.B. Duke, his estate manager, and an apartment for his chauffer; and 3.) the restored historic 1886 Nevius Street Bridge (above), oldest documented metal truss bridge in Somerset County adjacent to Raritan Water Power Canal Park and the Duke Estate. Bridge Engineers will be on hand to welcome your visit to discuss the design and construction of the restoration process, enhanced by display board visuals. This bridge is open to pedestrian traffic with benches located along the span.

The range of historical stewardship along the way is impressive. State of New Jersey historic sites and parks include the Wallace House, and Washington Rock Park, all with relevance to the Continental Army. Local municipalities supervise and interpret places like the Old Presbyterian Graveyard in Bound Brook, the Somerville Fire Museum or the Mt. Bethel Meeting House in Warren. Under the watchful eye and dedication of organizations like the Meadows Foundation, the Heritage Trail Association, the Old Millstone Forge Association and many others, historic properties interpret and commemorate early Dutch and American heritage. Local parishes and friend's groups tend to the Presbyterian Church of Bound Brook, Coddington Farmstead, the Abraham Staats House, and others. Destinations along the way range from one-room schoolhouses in Millstone, South Branch, and Griggstown to nationally renowned museums in elegant mansions like that at the USGA Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History in Far Hills. In between, the hills of Somerset will bloom with prime fall foliage.

2014 Participating Historic Sites / Locations

USGA Museum in Far Hills
  • Boudinot Southard Ross Property /Basking Ridge (N)
  • The Brook Theater /Brook Arts Center/ Bound Brook ( C )
  • Codington Farmstead / Warren (N)
  • Duke Farms Coach Barn / Hillsborough / (S)
  • Frelinghuysen (Gen.John) House/Raritan Public Library/Raritan(C)
  • Griggstown School House/ Franklin
  • Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead / Basking Ridge (N)
  • Kirch Ford Terrell House/Warren Township (N )
  • Millstone 1860 Schoolhouse / Millstone Boro.Hall / Millstone (S)
  • Mount Bethel Meeting House/Warren Township(N )
  • Nevius Street Bridge / Raritan/Hillsborough (C )
  • Old Millstone Forge Blacksmith Shop & Museum/Millstone (S)
  • Old Presbyterian Graveyard / Bound Brook ( C )
  • The Presbyterian Church at Bound Brook (C )
  • Relief Hose Company No.2 Firehouse/Raritan ( C )
  • Somerville Fire Museum / Somerville ( C )
  • South Branch School House/Branchburg( C )
  • Abraham Staats House / South Bound Brook (C)
  • Andrew Ten Eyck House / Branchburg (C )
  • United States Golf Association/ Frothingham Mansion/ Far Hills (N)
  • Jacobus Vanderveer House / Bedminster (N)
  • Van Horne House / Bridgewater(C)
  • Van Veghten House/Bridgewater (C )
  • Wallace House/Somerville ( C )
  • Washington Rock State Park /Green Brook (N)
  • Wyckoff-Garretson House / Franklin/Somerset (S)

Somerset County's Weekend Journey Through The Past is an initiative of the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission and Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, in collaboration with dedicated representatives of local history organizations/commissions, as well as some local artists/arts organizations. Hours for the “Journey” are 10am - 5pm on Saturday, October 11, 2014; and 12 noon - 4pm on Sunday, October 12, 2014. Admission and parking at each site are free. For details about participating sites and contest entries, please click on the event website.

Some of the Arts enhancements have been made possible by the NJ State Council on the Arts/Dept. of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant, administered by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

Friday, October 10 - Saturday, October 11

Dinosaurs After Dark

Secaucus, NJ

Explore the haunted trails of snake hill, dance at a dino party, make s'mores and sing around the campfire, but beware--There's a T-Rex on the loose!

Saturday, October 11

5th Sussex County Harvest, Honey and Garlic Festival

Augusta, NJ

Shop Jersey produce at a farmers market and enjoy exhibits by the Sussex County Beekeepers Association and Garden State Garlic Growers while the kids play games.

Saturday, October 11 - Sunday, October 12

31st Annual Harvest Celebration

Chester, NJ

Enter a scarecrow contest, paint pumpkins and more. On Saturday from 12-3 pm, NBC's Produce Pete will be on hand to answer all your fruit and veggie questions! 

 

www.morrisparks.net