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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Coming Up on April Fool’s–Will Someone Stop the Snow and Cold Already?

@ the Library
Vote for Your Favorite Book Monday 4/4!

alt textChildren's Choice Book Awards  (For ages 5 - 10) Monday, April 4 from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Registration Required.  Your Opinion Counts! Come vote! We'll see the titles nominated for best children's choice picture book author & illustrator, then vote for our favorites. And our votes will help determine the national winners! (If you are a chapter book reader, you can also check out and vote for the chapter book nominees here.

@ the Library – Displays & Activities:

Make Paper Cranes for JapanCheck out the display: "Keeping Japan in our Hearts & Minds" on the back side of the Youth Services Reference Desk, along with 8.5x8.5 paper & origami crane instructions.  You can help Japan by making paper cranes. These simple yet powerful gestures will trigger a $200,000 donation from the Bezos Family Foundation—$2 for each crane received—to Architecture for Humanity’s reconstruction efforts in Japan. The goal is 100,000 submissions, then, the cranes will be woven into an art installation—a symbolic gift from youth worldwide to their Japanese peers.  At the end of April, we will be sending the cranes we make to StudentsRebuild.org.  

Incidentally, if your child is upset about the news from Japan (or Egypt, Libya, or anywhere else!), check out the article “How to Ease your Child's Disaster Anxiety” from Macaroni Kid Safety.

@ the Library – Programs:

Reminder for this weekend:
“Presley and Melody” Music with Care! (Suggested for 3 and up) Saturday, April 2 at 10:30 am.  Celebrate Spring (we hope!) with the music of Presley and Melody.  Join us for a delightful, song-filled Saturday morning! No registration required.

Next week:

Super Retro Game Night  For all ages - Families welcome! Wednesday, April 6 from 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm It’s a blast from the past! Come to our Retro Game Night and play video games from the last 30 years!! No registration required.

We still have a few spots available to:
Read to Spence (For children ages 5 and older) Practice reading out loud to Spence, a Certified Therapy Dog, in a comfortable, nonjudgmental environment. Bring your favorite book or choose one of ours. Sign up at the Youth Services Reference desk for your one-on-one 15 minute time slot. Call 908 526-4016 x126 to Register.
Thursday, April 7 from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm    Space is limited.

Singing with Carol  Join the Mooooo-sic! (For all ages) Monday, April 11 at 10:00 am. Join our Farm Frolics and “sing with the animals”! No registration required.

Family Story Time continues on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Toddler Time on Wednesdays at 10 & 11 a.m. and Thursday at 10:30 a.m. and Baby Lap Sit on Thursdays at 9:30.  For full details on this and other programs, see the Bridgewater Library Online Calendar.

And don’t forget – you can attend programs at any of our NINE member libraries – just click on the “Events/Programs” tab at the top of our home page (or on the right side of our children’s home page) for schedules and information.

For Teens:

Mark your calendars – Registration for teen summer volunteers will run from April 1st-30th.  Starting this Friday you can print a form by selecting the “volunteers” tab on left side of the teen home pages.  (Forms MUST be returned in person to the library by April 30th – NO LATE FORMS will be accepted! )

Volunteer Opportunities (For students in grades 5 - 6)  Attention students in grades 5 and 6, here is your opportunity to make a difference by volunteering at the library. Wednesday April 20, 2011 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Volunteer hours will be limited to the above listed date and time.  Registration Required.
Teens…  Mark your calendars for this Career Fair at Bound Brook High School for Somerset County residents ages 15-18 on Saturday April 2nd from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.   WALK-INS WELCOME.

SAT/ACT Combo Practice Test  For grades 10 – 12 Saturday, April 9 from 9:30 am - 1:30 pm Registration Required.
Deciding between the SAT and ACT? Kaplan's combo test will allow you to take both! A free practice test is one of the best ways to get ready for the real thing. By taking this practice test, you will learn exactly what to expect on test day and receive a complete individual analysis of your results. There will also be a follow-up seminar that discusses how the SAT and ACT are used in college admissions, the difference between the two tests, and important test-taking tips and strategies.   A follow-up session to get your scores and ask questions from a Kaplan representative will be held on Monday, April 25 at 7:00 pm.  Can’t make this program?  The library subscribes to several test prep databases that you can use 24/7.

And at the Somerville Library that same afternoon:

Poetry Workshop  Saturday April 9, 2011  3:00 PM to 4:30 PM Grades 6-12 Registration required.
Poet and musician Chris Rockwell will perform his poetry, then show us how to write and perform our own. The workshop is open to all levels, whether you're a skilled poet or want to learn how to write. Participants will receive notebooks and poetry magazines.

Around the Community:

Morris County Historic Sites OPENING WEEKEND  - Come out for family fun! April 2nd, 2011  10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Click here for details & directions.
Cooper Gristmill

  • Join in celebrating the 33rd season at Cooper Gristmill. Learn the Gristmill's history and how much flour it can produce in a day. Time: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (The last tour of the Gristmill begins at 3:30 p.m.)
  • Cost: Donations appreciated  Call: 908-879-5463 for more information.
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

  • Experience farm and domestic life during the early 20th century and help with various chores. Reserve a tour of The Willows, the home of the Foster family. Help Caroline Foster celebrate her 134th birthday by enjoying a slice of cake!
  • View Fosterfields’ new exhibit "Letters to Emma."
  • Cost: $6.00 adults, $5.00 seniors, $4.00 children (4-16) $2.00 children (2-4)  Call: 973-326-7645 for more information.
Historic Speedwell

  • Unveiling of Speedwell's brand new Orientation DVD!
  • Guided tours through the Vail Home and Factory Building
  • Explore our new exhibit Expanding Speedwell's Horizons: The S.S. Savannah! Cost: $4.00 adults, $3.00 seniors, $2.00 children (4-16)   Call: 973-285-6550 or e-mail info@speedwell.org for more information.

Marianne & Tom TuckerMUSIC AND STORIES OF THE CIVIL WAR with Marianne and Tom Tucker In Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. Refreshments served during the intermission SUNDAY, APRIL 3, at 2 PM WHERE: Farmstead House, 450 King George Road, Basking Ridge   For info:  347.927.8748, or visit www.farmsteadartscenter.org   TICKETS: $20 per person/Student & Seniors $10  Order online  (a limited number of tickets may be available at the door.)  Appearing in period dress and performing on guitar, banjo, tin whistle, zither and concertina, Marianne and Tom Tucker will present Music and Stories of the Civil War that is part of the Farmstead Arts First Sunday Concert Series. The duo will sing songs and tell stories that reflect on life during the war in the 1860’s. Folk Musicians Marianne and Tom Tucker (Photo Credit Tom Tucker)


Celebrate our feathered friends with family hands-on fun activitesSkies Alive Family Fun Day with lots of fun activities.  Saturday, April 2, 2011
WHEN: Saturday, April 2, 11Am–4:30 PM WHERE: The Newark Museum, 49 Washington Street, Newark

"Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. March 25 - April 16  Friday & Saturday – 8PM  Sunday – 2PM at the Somerset Valley Players in Hillsborough. This high-spirited musical rocks the stage with the classic Biblical story of love and redemption in ancient times, as favored son Joseph with his coat of many colors becomes exiled by his jealous brothers, to find his true calling in the strange new land of Egypt while coming to grips with the power of lies and injustice.

JamesWhole GroupJAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH By Roald Dahl WHEN: March 25–April 17, Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays and Sundays at 4:00 PM WHERE: The Growing Stage on Route 183, 7 Ledgewood Avenue in Netcong TICKETS: $18 for adults, $14 for children and seniors, group rates and birthday party rooms available 973.347.4946 or www.growingstage.com

Looking ahead to next weekend:

The Lightning Thief Festival in Princeton

Get ready to, like, totally GREEK out! It’s time for Princyclopedia, Cotsen Libraries' huge, annual event where we bring a book to life through a multitude of hands-on projects, activities, live shows, and demonstrations. This year's book is The Lightning Thief, and we promise to do it justice. Step into Medusa’s lair, talk tactics with Greek warriors, taste nectar & ambrosia straight from Olympus, take a ride (literally!) on the Minotaur, enjoy a “Pegasus-eye” view of Princeton, and adventure in the amazing world of mythology, magic, art, history, and clashing titans of Ancient Greece! SATURDAY, APRIL 9 10:00am – 3:00pm No registration required  Open to the public and free of charge   All ages  Click here for more information, parking and directions.

ClickonImageforCreditInformation Art for Families at the Princeton Art Museum (most Saturday Mornings, see calendar for upcoming programs.)   Animal Bingo Date/Time: 4/9/11  10:30 am - 1:00 pm  Join us on Saturday mornings for family fun in the Art Museum. Drop in anytime between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and enjoy a self-guided, interactive tour followed by a related art project. Each week has a different theme. Come for fifteen minutes or two hours--whatever your schedule allows. All ages are welcome. No tickets or reservations needed.  

The Annual Battle of Bound Brook 2011

April 9 and 10. Family Friendly All Ages
The boom of the cannon and the crack of the musket will be heard on April 9-10 when the Battle of Bound Brook will be fought in the streets of Bound Brook and South Bound Brook.  During Battle of Bound Brook 2010: Washington’s Army at Middlebrook 1777-1779, re-enactors and historians will bring the Middlebrook encampments of 1777–1779 to life. “This is a very exciting event,” said Tom Harabin, President of Friends of Abraham Staats House.  “It makes history come alive when people can see the soldiers living their daily lives in the encampment just as they did when Washington’s army was here over 200 years ago.”
The 2-day program explores the American Revolutionary War during the time frame of the Battle of Bound Brook and the American army's use of Middlebrook in the years 1777 - 1779. Experience this important period in New Jersey's and America's history. Activities include: Marching, Drilling and Street Battle Reenactments, Soldiers Encampment, Historic House Tours and Exhibits.  Check out the complete schedule.
Parking: Parking for events in South Bound Brook is available along Main Street, in the Elm Street Parking Lot and along public streets in the area of the Soldiers Encampment. Parking in Bound Brook is available throughout the town and in Billian Park. Intermittent street closings are expected during the weekend in South Bound Brook and Bound Brook to accommodate the street battles and march of the soldiers.
Directions: Old Presbyterian Graveyard, southwest corner of East Street and East High Street, Bound Brook, NJ 08805 Historic Abraham Staats House, 17 von Steuben Lane, South Bound Brook, NJ, 08880.

Abraham Staats House

17 Von Steuben Ln, South Bound Brook, NJ 08880Venue Phone: 732-469-3472Phone: 732-469-5836
Saturday, April 9  Ticket Pricing: Grounds/Street Battles -Free Historic Abraham Staats House (tours/presentations/exhibits) $8 adults, $4 under 18
Field Exploration The Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge has a slew of educational programs for children and families this Spring.  Check out their schedule here!  

Looking for more things to do?  Check out the many Events Listings under the USEFUL LINKS FOR FAMILIES  on the right side of our blog.  Two very useful events consolidators for our area are Hillsborough Macaroni Kid & Warren Macaroni Kid.  Check out our previous blog entry for more events this week. (Thanks to njartsmaven.com for some of these listings.)

 Let Your Fingers Do the Walking:

RIF Reading is FundamentalLooking for reading ideas for your family for every day of the year?  Print out these monthly calendars from Reading is Fundamental and post them on your fridge!

Looking for  summer camps?   The Somerset Hills School District Newsletter lists a lot of local options. 
Both these items are available as links under the “useful websites for families” on the right side of this blog.  (If you are getting the blog by email, click on the header to go to our blog webpage.)

From the Novelist Newsletter:  In the News: "Talked Out of Tantrums"
Book Jacket"Reading to your kids may help keep them from throwing fits." This attention-grabbing opening line from a brief piece in the February 2011 issue of Psychology Today is a reference to a study by Michigan State University's Claire Vallotton and Harvard Medical School's Catherine Ayoub entitled, "Use Your Words: The Role of Language in the Development of Toddlers' Self-Regulation". This important early literacy report was published in the Fall 2010 issue of Early Childhood Research Quarterly. In it, the two professors relate how they found a positive relationship between vocabulary (the number of words a toddler knows as opposed to talkativeness) and self-regulation (the capacity to control one's behavior and emotions), especially for boys. This is significant since on average, the language abilities of young males tend to lag behind those of their female counterparts.
While the Psychology Today piece did not directly explain how vocabulary grows (it was implied through the first line and a photograph of young kids with books), the University of Michigan's Susan B. Neuman stated at the 2010 ALSC Institute in Atlanta, "Books are the single most important avenue for learning new words." Speaking in conjunction with her role as an advisor to Every Child Ready to Read, Dr. Neuman also said that "phonological awareness and letter names are the strongest predictors of reading success in the primary grades BUT vocabulary and comprehension will be the strongest predictors from grade 4 on of reading success and school completion." As this recent study of self-control and emergent literacy makes clear, vocabulary is not only important for cognitive development but for emotional and social growth as well. Rather than give inattentive and agitated preschool boys medication, it sounds like what we really should be giving them is books and opportunities to discuss them.
NOVELIST CONNECTION: Looking for a handout that will provide reading guidance for parents of children ranging in age from newborn to six? From www.somerset.lib.nj.us select “Electronic Resources” (in the search section on the right), then toggle Journal Title to Database Name and type: Novelist and select NoveList K-8 Plus. On any page in NoveList K-8 Plus, enter "reading tips for parents;" then click on Search. Click on the Lists & Articles tab to find the chronologically-arranged "Reading Tips for Parents," which has been reprinted with permission from the innovative Colorado State Library Reading Project.  
Want more information on how to use NoveList K-8 Plus?  Ask our librarians!

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