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Thursday, September 30, 2010

October is Book Group Month - Check out our book groups or start your own!

The Bridgewater Library offers a variety of Book Groups for Children (and Adults, if parents want to do something for themselves!)  Or, if you’d like to make your own group, librarians are delighted to share ideas and show guides to help you get started. We also have children’s book discussion book bags available – each contains 10 copies of one title plus a book discussion guide.  Come by the Youth Services Reference Desk to find out more!

A reminder -- the library book sale continues this weekend (Friday Oct.1-Sunday Oct 3rd).  Hours: 9:30-4:30 Friday & Saturday, 1:30-4:30 Sunday.

@ the Library: Programs

Like to read?  Want to discuss books with others?  The Bridgewater Library offers a number of book discussion groups each month. 

Rocket Readers   Limited to grades 1 - 3 Registration Required
An exciting program for brand new readers! At each program we will discuss a book, play some games and create a “book-tiful” craft related to the story. Students should read the book prior to the program. Copies of the book will be available at the Youth Services Reference Desk. Pick up a copy when you register. Please, bring the book to the program.
Tuesday, October 26 from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Registration begins October 12
Nate the Great stumbles upon another mystery!
This one involves a missing recipe for some delicious monster cookies!
Join us as we piece together the clues and help him clean up the mess!

Chapter Book Club   Limited to grades 3 – 4   Registration required
Calling all 3rd and 4th graders who enjoy books. If you love to read chapter books but not ready for the older stuff yet, this is the book club for you!  Parents or caregivers of participants are welcome to join in the discussion.  There are enough copies for all participants especially if you reserve the book early. If you have a hard time getting a copy, please check with the youth services librarian at the desk.
Wednesday, October 20 from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
This delicious tale has all the ingredients of a terrific read: forgiveness, light, love, and soup. Despereaux is a tiny mouse with huge ears, and he lives in the castle with his family. In the castle lives a beautiful young princess and Despereaux vows to honor her. But his unmouselike behavior gets him banished to the dungeon, where a swarm of rats kill whoever falls into their clutches. Will Despereaux save his beloved princess? And what parts do the soup and the spool of thread play in this enchanting tale?

Talk It Up: Book Discussion Group  Limited to students in grades 5 - 8 Registration Required
If you love to read and talk about books, you are cordially invited to an hour of book talk and friendly company. Parents and parent substitutes are welcome to join in the discussion.
Tuesday, October 26 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The orphanage at Delphi Keep is a great place for Ian and Theodosia to grow up. They love exploring the tunnels all around the White Cliffs of Dover. One day, they happen upon a silver box in one of them and when Ian wedges it free from the sand, a vicious hell-hound, the servant of an evil sorcerer, begins to chase them and they must unravel the meaning behind the scroll of Dover cavern before darkness falls on the world.

To find out about adult book clubs or other children's & teen programs, check our online calendar.

@ the Library: Materials

The Bridgewater Library offers more than two dozen children’s book discussion kits, consisting of 10 copies of the book plus a discussion guide.  A list of these can be found by searching “Juvenile Book Discussion Kit” under series in our catalog.  Each can be reserved and circulates for 6 weeks.   If you’d like a little help getting a book discussion group started, here are some suggested titles – don’t hesitate to ask the librarians for additional titles and book recommendations:

The kids' book club : lively reading and activities for grades 1-3 / Desiree Webber and Sandy Shropshire ; illustrated by Sandy Shropshire.  Juvenile Professional  028.55 WEB

Around the Community:

Raritan Valley Community College offers several series which feature dramatizations of books. 
For children, check out their Sampler Series upcoming book-related programs include “A Christmas Carol” on November 27th, “Duck for President, Fancy Nancy and Other Story Books” on February 6th, “The Berenstain Bears” on April 16th, and “Room on the Broom” on April 30th.

For Middle Graders, Teens & Adults, they have Tuesdays with Stories  -- These are offered at noon & 7 p.m. upcoming events include “Three Cups of Tea” on October 19th, and “The Giver” on November 16th.  In addition, they are showing “The Diary of Anne Frank” on Friday October 8th at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.  (Daytime performances are listed under School-Time Performances below.)

They also have a School Time Performance Series  – perfect for field trips & home-schooling families.

Let Your Fingers Do (More) Walking:

Looking for book suggestions for your book club?  Have a title and want to see if there is a discussion guide available?  Looking for curriculum ideas for a title? Want to find read-alikes for a favorite title or author?  Want some recommended reading in a particular genre or subject?  Have a concept or issue that you want to explain to your child through books?

Somerset County Library subscribes to Novelist K-8 Plus --  a literature database which can help you all these things and many more! You can find it by going to the library home page highlighting the “online resources” tab at the top and clicking on “literature resources” – then scroll down to Novelist K-8 Plus.  If you are accessing it from home, you will be required to enter your barcode here.  Check out the “For Parents” note on the right-hand side, the recommended reading lists on the left, or type in a favorite title in the search box and see if a booktalk or read-alike list is available (select the “lists & articles” tab atop the results list.)  A librarian will be happy to show you more ways to use this powerful Reader’s Advisory tool – stop by the Youth Services Reference Desk and ask!

Around our Area:

Sunday, Oct. 3rd 10:30-4:30  Lord Sterling 1770's Festival  
Spend the day with Historical Reinactors at Lord Sterling's former estate in Basking Ridge.

& coming up next weekend  Weekend Journey to the Past
During the two-day period, twenty-six of the County's significant historic sites will be open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday and 12:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday. Many of the sites have planned special exhibits, programs, and tours. Admission and parking at each site are free.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bridgewater Library's Programs & Services for Teens

@ The Library: Programs  -- check out our teen calendar to get more details & register online.

Coming up this weekend!  SAT Practice Test
For students in grades 10 - 12 (registration required)
Saturday, September 25  from 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
The SAT/ Practice Test is designed to help students who are planning on taking SAT’s. This practice test is 4 hours long and contains representative sections from the exam. Students receive feedback that compares their performance on the exam experience both tests.

A follow-up session to get your scores and ask questions from a Kaplan representative will be held on Monday, October 4 at 7:00 pm

Make Your Own Drum and Play it!
For students in grades 5 - 7 (registration required)
Wednesday, October 6 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Explore the world of percussion instruments from different traditions around the world! Make your own instrument and learn simple rhythms to play. All materials provided.

Become a Member of our Teen Advisory Board
For students in grades 6 - 12 (registration required)
Do you want to make a difference at your library? Do you have suggestions for programs, new
books and movies? Then come to the T.A.B. meeting. Community service hours will be awarded for attendance.
Upcoming Meetings (come to any or all):
Tuesday, October 12 from 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Tuesday, November 8 from 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Tuesday, December 7 from 6:30 - 7:30 pm

Talk It Up Book Discussion Group
Limited to students in grades 5 - 8 (registration required)
Tuesday, October 26 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
If you love to read and talk about books, you are cordially invited to an hour of book talk and friendly company. Parents and parent substitutes are welcome to join in the discussion.  This month we'll be reading: 
The Oracles of Delphi Keep by Victoria Laurie
The orphanage at Delphi Keep is a great place for Ian and Theodosia to grow up. They love exploring the tunnels all around the White Cliffs of Dover. One day, they happen upon a silver box in one of them and when Ian wedges it free from the sand, a vicious hell-hound, the servant of an evil sorcerer, begins to chase them and they must unravel the meaning behind the scroll of Dover cavern before darkness falls on the world.

Multi-Gen Movie The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Rated PG-13 Recommended for patrons 13 years old and up (Registration begins October 4)
Friday, October 29 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Doors open at 6:00 pm; Movie starts at 6:30 pm
Start your Halloween week-end with the world’s most popular vampires (and a werewolf or two) while watching the second installment of the Twilight Saga, “New Moon.” Door prizes and refreshments will be provided. Come in costume for additional chances to win prizes!

@ the Library:  Materials & Displays

SCLS Teen Blog
Check out the SCLS Teen Blog for reviews, program information, and the latest news about teen books, movies and music!

Out & About -- Around the Community

Employment Readiness Boot Camp!
Held at Somerset County VoTech (4 Vogt Drive, Bridgewater, NJ 08807) 
For teens aged 15 - 18 (registration required) 
Saturday, October 16 from 9:00 pm - 3:00 pm
TEENS: It's never too early to start thinking about your future career! Somerset County United Way Young Professionals and Somerset County Youth Services Program Development Committee present: EMPLOYMENT READINESS BOOT CAMP. Sessions include everything you need to know about where to find jobs, how to write a resume, how to prepare for and act during an interview, 10 things that can get you hired or fired, and a panel discussion session to get the scoop on the ins and outs of the business world from the experts who run it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Resources for Families who have Children with Special Needs

Bridgewater Library Youth Services in the News:

Check out the pictures from our end-of-summer Library Carnival and last Saturday's program Super Silly Songs with Kurt Gallagher as posted on http://bridgewater.patch.com
(If you are new to our blog, be sure to check out our previous columns -- including "All the World's a Stage" which includes a listing of area Children's Theater Series and Reader's Theater resources on the web.)

@ The Library: Programs  -- check out our calendar to get more details & register online.

Do you have a child with special needs in your family or classroom? Bridgewater Library offers a series of programs titled "Advocating for your Child With Special Needs" (continuing education credit is available)

  • Getting the Most from Your School for Your Child with Special Needs Thursday Sept. 23 from 7-8:30 p.m. (Registration Required)   Presented by parent coaches and advocates Dr. Richard & Jane Horowitz, this workshop provides participants with the 10 essential components of an IEP, the most effective ways to manage an IEP meeting and the best methods for communicating with schol personnel about your child's progress.
  • Legal and Financial Issues for the Family with Children with Special Needs  Thursday Oct. 7 from 7-8:30 (Registration Required)  Taxation-specialist and Special-Needs advocate Herbert Hinkle, Esq. will introduce issues involved with planning for the future of a child with special needs.  Learn about guardianship, letters of intent, wills, special needs trusts, financial planning/funding strategies and other important, but often neglected, topics.
  • Transition to Preschool Thursday Oct. 28 from 7-8:30 (Registration Required)  Shakira Linzey and Amy Piano from Mid-Jersey CARES will outline the joint responsibilities of families, school districts and child study teams when transitioning out of early intervention. 
In addition, we also have these upcoming programs:
  • Weekly Storytimes for ages 2-6 (Tuesdays at 10 or 1:30), Toddler Times for 18 mo - 3 year olds (Wednesday at 10 & 11 and Thursdays at 10:30), and infant lap-sits for birth-18 months (Thursdays at 9:30) -- no registration is required.  This series runs through October 21st. 
  • Wednesday, Oct. 6 from 7-8 p.m.  Make Your Own Drum & Play It for grades 5-7 (registration required) Explore the world of percussion instruments from different traditions around the world! Make your own instrument and learn simple rhythms to play. All materials provided.
  • Saturday, Oct. 9 from 10-noon. Really Big Rigs for families with children of all ages. (no registration required) Come have an up close and personal experience with a “really big rig”! Visit the vehicles our community uses to fix our roads, maintain our streets, keep us safe and manage our emergencies.
  • Don't forget the Bridgewater Library booksale this week.  There will be an enormous quantity of children's and adult books, videos, cds, and dvds available.  Hours are 9:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday Sept. 30, 9:30-4:30 Friday & Saturday, Oct.1-2, and a bag sale Sunday Oct. 3 from 1:30-4:30.   Wednesday Sept. 29 from 4:30-8:30 there is a pre-sale (admission charged for the pre-sale only.) 

 @ the Library:  Materials & Displays

Do you have a child or student who is struggling with learning disabilities?  Noted LD educator and advocate Richard Lavoie How difficult can this be? understanding learning disabilities and Beyond F.A.T. (Frustration, Anxiety, Tension) city : a look back, a look ahead provide an incredible sense of what children with LDs experience as well as concrete suggestions on how to help.  In addition, his DVDs Last one picked, first one picked on and It's so much work to be your friend : helping the learning disabled child find social success  provide valuable suggestions for helping these children in school and social situations.

The Bridgewater Library has an extensive collection of materials on children with special needs (as well as many other subjects) for parents and teachers in our Parent-Teacher Collection.  Materials from this collection are on continuous display between the two halves of our Early Reader section with the full collection located at the beginning of our Juvenile fiction area.   Don't hesitate to ask a librarian to help you find materials specific to your situation.

Additional displays this month:

  • "All the Worlds a Stage" -- Books, DVDs, and Videos relating to Reader's Theater and the Performing Arts (see last week's blog for an extensive list of performing arts venues for kids in our community and links to Reader's Theater websites)
  • "Keep on Trucking" -- Books on trucks and other big rigs (in conjunction with our "Big Rigs" program on Oct. 9th)

Out & About -- Around the Community:

We are sometimes asked about recreational options for children with special needs in our area.  Some suggestions were recently posted on the Somerset County Neighborhood listserv. Please note, these listings are for information only.  The library has not investigated and does not endorse any of the listings.
  • Somerset County Park Commission Therapeutic Recreation (TR) Department provides year round recreation and leisure opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
  • Somerset Hills YMCA on Mt Airy Road in Basking Ridge (2mins from Rte 287 and about 15 mins from the Bridgewater Mall) has several programs for special needs kids and adults. One of the families connected with the Y is  building a separate building that will house a special needs theater arts program.
  • DC Gymnastics School in Hillsborough 
  • Rogers Dance Academy in Flemington
  • Chez Renee in Middlesex (no website) has special needs dance classes for children & adults. Call 732 356-1818 for more information.
  • Villagers Theater in Somerset offers "My Name is Matthew" -- an outreach program. Children with special needs are invited to their own special performance of their holiday show free of charge.  Call 732 873 2710 for details.
  • Princeton Public Library hosted a "Special Needs Resource Fair" last May which included information about nutritional, occupational, vision therapies, legal and financial resources, and support groups. E-mail asdnutrition@aol.com for more information.  

Let Your Fingers Do (More) Walking:

  • Somerset County Medical Center is hosting Kids in the Syndrome on Oct. 19th from 7-8:30 p.m. (Registration Required) Dr. Martin Kutscher MD, author of "Kids in the Syndrome Mix" will present a discussion focusing on executive function difficulties (such as disorganization, over-reactions, brakeless behaviors, and "future blindness") as key difficulties in ADHD. Many people with ADHD also have other parts of a syndrome mix of Autistic Spectrum Disorders, learning disabilities, anxieties, OCD, tics, depression, bipolar depression, sensory integration disorder, or central auditory processing. Dr. Kutscher empathically summarizes how to identify and sort out these issues and describes the best home, school and medical treatments. 
  • Mid Jersey CARES Early Intervention  The Mid-Jersey CARES (Collaboration, Advocacy, Resources, Education and Services) for Special Children Collaborative is a Regional Early Intervention Collaborative (REIC) whose goal is to help strengthen and improve early intervention services for children with special needs, ages birth to three years, and their families. 
  • In addition, the Somerset County Library Catalog has an online Community Information File which has listings for many organizations serving people with special needs and their families.
Comments, suggestions, queries:

Know of a program or resource we've overlooked?  Have a comment, question or suggestion for a future column?  You can leave a comment at the bottom of this blog or email us at bwljuv@sclsnj.org. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

All The World's A Stage

Have a budding actor in your family?  We may be off-off-off Broadway, but Bridgewater Library offers many ways you can introduce your kids to plays and theater right here in central NJ!  

@ The Library: Programs  -- check out our calendar to get more details & register online.

Monday Sept. 20 at 4:30 p.m.: All the World's a Stage: Reader's Theatre Folktales for Grades 2-6 (Registration Required) 

In addition, we also have these upcoming programs:
  • Tuesday Sept 14  at 7 p.m.:  Evening Family Story Time for ages 3+  
  • Saturday Sept. 18 at 10:30 a.m.:  Super Silly Songs with Kurt Gallagher for ages 3+ 
  • Tuesday Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.: Talk it Up Book Discussion for Grades 5-8 (Registration Required)  This month's book is Sent by Margaret Petersen Haddix.
  • Wednesday Sept. 22 at 4:30 p.m.: Chapter Book Club for Grades 3-4 (Registration Required)  This month's book is Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary.
  • Thursday Sept. 23 from 7-8:30 p.m.Getting the most from your school for your child with special needs. (Registration Required) 
  • We also offer weekly storytimes, toddler times, and infant lap-sits -- details can be found in our calendar.

@ the Library:  Materials & Displays

Have a struggling or reluctant reader?  Reader's Theater is a great way to build children's reading fluency -- they become better readers without even noticing it!  -- and reading a play out loud together is a wonderful way to build reading skills and fun family time together.  Search our online catalog for "Reader's Theater," check the non-fiction shelves under 812 & 822, and browse our display "All the World's A Stage"  for books, videos, and DVDs.   There are also numerous websites (listed below).

Want to give your kids early exposure to Shakespeare?  Bridgewater Library owns  Shakespeare: The Animated Tales -- these 12 tales were abridged by a noted Shakespeare scholar and beautifully animated by a collaboration of several international film studios.  We have many of the accompanying scripts (perfect for home acting sessions!) at 822.33 GAR in our non-fiction section.  The Shakepeare Theater of NJ offers touring productions in the summer which are clever, inventive, and fast-paced and offer a great way to get a first taste of the Bard!

Out & About -- Around the Community:


Paper Mill Playhouse Presents a Free Community Event in Downtown Millburn to Celebrate the Opening of Hairspray
WHERE: Main Street and Taylor Park in Downtown Millburn
WHEN: Sunday, September 19, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
Hairspray's Blowout Bash will feature rides, games, live entertainment, contests, give-a-ways, food, a special appearance from members of the Hairspray cast and more. Hairspray's Blowout Bash is a rain or shine event. Here are details and a timeline for the event.

(Thanks to Ruth Ross of njartsmaven.com for this information.)

Many local theaters offer a children's theater series -- 
  • Raritan Valley Community College offers a host of programs -- their Sampler series is geared to preschool & elementary-aged audiences, while their Family series is more for the upper elementary/middle school crowd. Middle & High Schoolers may also enjoy Tuesdays with Stories, inventive one-person interpretations of books --this year's lineup includes  "Three Cups of Tea" on Oct. 19th & "The Giver" on Nov. 16th -- both books often on school reading lists!  For home-schoolers or school field trip managers, RVCC also offers a great School Time Performances lineup.
  • The Villagers Theatre in Somerset offers a Kidsvill lineup opening with "The Jungle Book" from Sept. 25-Oct.3.  Some of their mainstage productions are suitable for kids as well.
  • The Growing Stage Theater in Netcong opens with a play based on Richard Scarry's "Busytown" series from Sept.24th - Oct 24th. 
  • Paper Mill Playhouse offers a fun lineup of family-friendly musicals as well as a specific children's series opening with Happily Ever After: A Cinderella Story on Oct. 16th. 
  • Circle Players in Piscataway opens their season with the family-friendly musical "The Fantastics" and also has two children's shows.
  • Interested in more information about "what's on" on NJ stages?  Here are some useful sources: njartsmaven.com is (as it states on the site) "your go-to spot for reviews, announcements and information about northern and central New Jersey theater, music, dance, museum exhibits and activities for adults, kids and their families,"  njartstix.org offers discount tickets to NJ professional performing arts venues, and njtheater.org provides links to many of the community theater groups playing around the state.
Let Your Fingers Do (More) Walking:

"Reader's Theater proved to be almost a magic solution for Griffith: In just 10 weeks of using RT, every child in her class had gained a full grade level in reading. After a year, the children's gains had jumped to three years of growth." Quote taken from The Power of Reader's Theater, Scholastic Instructor

There are lots of wonderful sites for Reader's Theater on the web.  Two of the best-known are: Teaching Heart: Reader's Theater Scripts & Plays and Aaron Shepard's Reader's Theater Page.  You can find many additional scripts by googling "Reader's Theater."

Comments, suggestions, queries:

Know a local theater featuring children's shows we've overlooked?  Have a comment, question or suggestion for a future column?  Email us at bwljuv@sclsnj.org.

Safety First:

Wegmans has announced a reusable bags recall of their green peas & 2009 holiday designs.  They say it is not a safety concern for children but that the bags should be returned to the stores for disposal.