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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It’s Greek to Me!

Lightning Thief Fans – Check out this special event!

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.

@ the Library – Displays & Activities:

April gets into full swing this month with several new displays:
April is National Poetry Month.   Take a look at the poems & add your do-it-yourself creations to our Time to Rhyme poetry display on the bulletin board behind the reference desk – we have poems to illustrate, poetry starters and blank paper for your original creations – bring them to a librarian and we’ll be happy to post them!   Or check out Bruce Lansky’s funny poetry website gigglepoetry.com!

Teens, there is still time to enter your poems for publication in our Annual Teen Poetry Compilation.  Stop by the Youth Services Reference Desk for more information. 

In the mood for Little League?  Check out our Batter Up! Great Books about Baseball display atop the magazine section.  We also have books for Easter, Passover, and Earth Day atop the holidays section.

April is also Autism Awareness Month – check out the books in our Parent – Teacher display area.

Make Paper Cranes for JapanOur display: Keeping Japan in our Hearts & Minds continues 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. The Bezos Family Foundation is donating $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.  For more information, see 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:

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.  There will be no regular story time programs the week of April 16-20.  For full details on this and other programs, see the Bridgewater Library Online Calendar.

Evening Storytime (For families with children) Tuesday April 12, 2011
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM   No Registration Required
Join us for family drop-in storytime and hear stories, songs and more!

Chapter Book Club  Wednesday April 13, 2011 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM  (Limited to grades 3 - 4) Registration required
How to train your dragon : the heroic misadventures of Hiccup the Viking by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III; translated from the Old Norse by Cressida Cowell.  Young Hiccup may be the son of Stoick the Vast, chief of the Hairy Hooligans, but he isn't exactly heroic Viking material.

Saturday Seuss… Stories and a Craft!  
(For ages 3 - 8) Saturday, April 16 at 10:00 am
Join us as we read stories from our favorite “Doctor”
then make a Seuss-tacular craft!
Registration Required.

Monday at the Movies 'TANGLED'  Monday April 18, 2011  1:30 PM to 3:30 PM  (For families with children) No Registration Required 
When the kingdom’s most wanted – and most charming- bandit Flynn Rider hides out in a mysterious tower, he’s taken hostage by Rapunzel, a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair.

Lego Club (For Grades K - 2 only) Registration Required Wednesday April 20, 2011  1:30 PM to 2:30 PM    Lego Club (For grades 3-5 only) Registration Required.  Wednesday April 20, 2011 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM  Get together with other Lego-maniacs, share ideas and tips on building, and have a great time! Library Legos will be available for building.   (K-2 Parents and guardians, you are welcome to stay and build with your registered child.  However, due to the nature of the materials, if you plan to stay we ask you to please make other arrangements for siblings younger than Kindergarten age.)

Earth Day - Invention Convention! (For ages 5 - 11) Monday April 25, 2011  4:30 PM to 5:30 PM  Registration begins April 11.
REDUCE**REUSE**RECYCLE! -- Join us as we celebrate Earth Day by making new things out of old materials....our only limit is our imagination (and the materials we have on hand)! Please bring in (clean) cardboard food boxes, bottle caps, yogurt containers, paper towel rolls -- and anything else you can think of to share with the group as our building materials -- then we'll see what we create!

Rocket Readers (Limited to grades 1-3) Tuesday April 26, 2011  4:30 PM to 5:30 PM.  Registration begins April 12   An exciting program for brand new readers! At each program we will discuss a book, play some games or 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. Good Night Good Knight by Shelley Moore Thomas. The Good Knight is on his watch when he hears a sound. Roar! Is it a dragon? A great big dragon? He searches the woods and finds a surprise. Join us for a discussion and a craft.

Talk It Up (Limited to students in grades 5 - 8) Registration Required
Tuesday April 26, 2011  7:00 PM to 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.  Extra Credit  by Andrew Clements. A forced pen-pal exchange turns into friendship between Illinois sixth-grader Abby Carson and Sadeed Bayat, the best English-language student in his Afghan village. When Abby's first letter arrives in Bahar-Lan, 11-year-old Sadeed is asked by the elders to compose his sister Amira's reply since it isn't proper for a boy and girl to correspond with one another. But soon Sadeed can't resist telling Abby that it is he who has been writing to her.

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.  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 begins March 28
 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:


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.  
FREE Theater Performance at the State Theater in New Brunswick
Milk & Cookies—a Free Performance Series for Children

Jim Rohe: Songs and Stories from Near and Far Saturday, April 09, 2011 at 10:00 AM &  12:00 PM 
MILK & COOKIES is a lively, interactive, and FREE series featuring storytelling, music, puppetry, and more. Recommended for children ages 3-8 and their families, Milk & Cookies invites young people to discover the joy of watching, listening, and interacting with the arts.  
Come meet storyteller Jim Rohe in his Milk & Cookies debut. Jim will be bringing along his guitar, harmonica, and tambourine to accompany his international tales in both English and Spanish. The program is free, but advance registration is required. To register, contact Jennifer Cunha at 732-246-7469, ext. 545 or jcunha@statetheatrenj.org

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.

The Children’s Museum’s next program  Kites, Airplanes and Boomerangs-Celebrating Flight  takes place on Sunday April 10th from 1 to 4 PM in The PeopleCare Center, 120 Finderne Ave., Bridgewater.
Suggested donation is $3 per child. More info is available at 908-595-0001 or www.childrensmuseumnj.org. 

Actors Shakespeare Company at New Jersey City University, a professional theater company in residence at the University, will present The Lear Project, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s King Lear that will be directed by Jessica Perez, a senior at McNair Academic High School.
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Jessica Perez
WHEN: Friday, April 8, through Sunday, April 10. Performances will be held at 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturday and at 3:00 PM on Sunday.
NJCU’s West Side Theatre, 285 West Side Avenue in Jersey City.TICKETS: free and open to the community.  Call 551.200.2931 for more information and to make reservations. Donations for the theatre company are accepted at all performances.
Kids Go Free to Shakespeare LIVE! on April 16

 Holistic Moms Network of Somerset County, NJ   Monthly Meeting April 12th 7-9 p.m. at the Bridgewater Library.   We are excited to present Karen Ranzi, author of the book "Creating Healthy Children Through Attachment Parenting & Raw Foods".
Ms. Ranzi has been a leading expert in the field of nutrition and child development for over fifteen years. She will describe how to physically nourish our children by giving natural, uncooked foods, and how to emotionally nourish them through meeting their needs at each level of growth and development.  Dads, grandparents and children are always welcome!

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!

Planning on sticking around for Spring Vacation? – check out these (relatively) local possibilities:
If the kids are driving you nuts during the Spring vacation, here are some ideas to entertain them within driving distance of home. Click the links to get more information.

  • My, what big teeth you have! The Digging Dinosaur Exhibit opens at the Morris Museum. (The Morris Museum has Super Science Saturdays and other programs for children as well.)
  • The Touch Tunnel is back at the Liberty Science Center! See how long it takes to navigate the pitch-black maze without using your eyes.
  • If the kids are bouncing around the house out of boredom, then take them to indoor play zone like Kid Junction in Branchburg. The Open Play option makes it easy to drop in when you just can't stay in the house any longer!
  • Did you know there's a zoo right in the middle of NJ? The Animal Kingdom Zoo in Bordentown houses an extensive wild animal collection--some of which are endangered. Teach your kids the importance of preserving the environment while they visit with their favorite animals.
  • Head on down to The Adventure Aquarium in Camden for the wildly popular Spring break event, Button's Birthday Bash. Party with Fisher Price's Little PeopleTM. Marvel at circus performers, and watch as Button the 3,000 lb. hippo devours a watermelon cake with vegetable decorations.
  • The Princeton Art Museum has a self-guided tour, The Writings is on the Wall, with activities for families to do together. Introduce your kids to the world of art or let their creative juices flow with thoughtful discussion and interaction.
(Thanks to Ruth Ross at njartsmaven.com for these listings.)

Youth-Spring-Break-Programs-RVCC-SomersetCounty-NJRVCC is also offering quite a few Spring Break Classes for Kids (April 18-21st). Click here for details.

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. 

Here are a few of their listings:
Patti Lupone & Mandy PatinkinSunday, April 10 - Winnie The Pooh Presented By Sign Stage On Tour. A spoken and signed performance of Winnie The Pooh.    Where: Mayo Center for the Performing Arts, Morristown    When: 1:30pm & 4pm        Cost: $12

Sunday, April 10 - The Little Star That Could - RVCC Planetarium Learn about the stars in our galaxy and the planets in our solar system.  (for families with kids ages 6-12)    Where: RVCC Planetarium, Branchburg     When: 3:00 PM    Who: Ages 6-12     Also, Saturdays except April 23rd:  The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket Saturdays, April 2, 9, 19, 30, 3 p.m.picture inside the planetarium Travel with two adventurous youngsters in their cardboard rocket as they explore the Sun and the planets of the solar system. This show is designed to encourage the use of libraries, enhance language skills and develop individual imagination. (recommended for ages 6-12accompanied by an adult)

Tuesday, April 12 through Wednesday, April 13 - Knick Knack Paddy Whack  Join nationally acclaimed storyteller Diane Ferlatte and musician Donna Viscuso in a celebration of American traditions and culture through storytelling and songs. Space is limited so register early. Where: Zimmerili Art Museum, New Brunswick When: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM  Call 732.932.7237, ext. 640 to preregister.

Saturday, April 16 - The Berenstain Bears in Family Matters  There's trouble in the treehouse ... Brother hides his bad quiz in the cookie jar. Sister befriends a frog and hides it in the cookie jar. Papa hides the wrapper from a forbidden candy in the cookie jar... It's up to Mama to sort things out! Where: RVCC Theatre, Branchburg  When: 1 pm & 3:30 pm Who: Ages 4+ How: Visit RVCC online to reserve tickets  Cost: $12

Let Your Fingers Do MORE Walking:

Important new Child Seat Safety Guidelines:
Last week, both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) issued new recommendations for child seats.
The new guidelines advise parents to…
  • Keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until they reach two years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer.
  • Most children will need to remain in a booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years old. The booster seat’s shoulder belt should lie across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not near the neck or face. The lap belt should fit low and snug on the hips and upper thighs, not across the belly.
  • Children should ride in the rear of a vehicle until they reach 13 years old
Read more at the Macaroni Kids Safety Website – we have a link to this site on the “Useful Links for Families” section of this blog.

Good-For-You GamesCheck out this Commonsense Media article Why Play Is So Important for Kids' Health Between the Wii, the Kinect, and the Move, active games are closing the gap between real and virtual. Maximize the benefits by putting the "play" back into your kids' games. Experts discuss how to connect the virtual and the real worlds of play and games.  (Not sure if a videogame, DVD, film, music or TV show is age-appropriate for your child?   Look it up on Commonsense Media! – we have a link to this site on the “Useful Links for Families” section of this blog.)

Spring means testing season in the schools.  If you would like to help your children prepare for the NJASK, the library subscribes to LUMOS, a test prep database specifically geared to this test.  You can find a link to this site under the USEFUL LINKS FOR FAMILIES  on the right side of our blog under NJ ASK -- Test Preparation.

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