Welcome to our Online Newsletter and Virtual Bulletin Board!

Question or Suggestion? Contact cslevin59 (at) gmail.org.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Read Across America at the Bridgewater Library and many more programs around our community this month!

banner - Somerset County Library

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!  March 1st is Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and Read Across America Day.  This month, vote for your favorite Dr. Seuss book and draw your favorite character on our bulletin board.

Speaking of reading…how would your kids like to meet some real life authors and illustrators?  Nearly 30 authors and illustrators are coming to the Bridgewater Raritan Middle School on March 16th!

Meeting authors is even better when you know their books, so check out our display of these authors’ works above the magazines in the Children’s Room.image_thumb8_thumb_thumb_thumb

Programs for Children @ the Bridgewater Library:

Storytime Yoga for Children (Ages 6 and below) Friday, March 1st from 10:00 am - 10:30 am Registration required. Join ACE certified Personal Trainer and Karma Kids certified Yoga Instructor, Pamela Nixon, for our new Storytime Yoga series. Animal characters come to life as stories are read and acted out with yoga poses. Through the use of songs, puppets, and fun, animated poses, children will learn what it’s like to hop like a frog, slither like a snake and roar like a lion!

Just Bag It! (Ages 3-10) Saturday, March 2nd 10:30am Registration required. We’ll share the story of Margaret E. Knight, the woman who figured out how to make a machine that could fold a flat-bottomed brown paper bag, then we’ll make wild and wonderful paper bag creations.

Play Group (For parents or caregivers and children ages birth to 3 years) Monday, March 4th 10:00am No registration required Join our new group where you can play with toys, dance to music, and meet new friends! Some weeks will have special speakers; inquire at the Youth Services Desk.

Toddler Dance Party (Ages 2-6) Monday, March 4th 4:30pm 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!

Our storytimes resume starting on March 5th. Family Storytimes (ages 2-6) Tuesdays at 10 and 1:30, Toddler Times (ages 18-36 months) Wednesdays at 10 & 11 and Thursdays at 10:30 & 11:30, Baby Times (Birth-18 months) Thursdays at 9:30. No registration is required but we ask that you only attend one session each week. Even though we have four Toddler Times each week, they are quite crowded. If your child is over 3 years old, we ask that they com to the Family Storytime instead. Thanks! Full details are posted our Calendar or you can call us at 908 526-4016 x126. We also offer a satellite storytime/craft on Wednesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. at the Neshanic Station Library.

Tail Waggin' Tutors: Children Reading to Dogs (For Children of All Ages) Thursday, March 7th 4-5pm In-Person and Phone Registration Only   Did you know that dogs like listening to stories as much as kids do? Come to the Bridgewater Library for Tail Waggin’ Tutors, our new program where children will have the opportunity to practice their reading skills by reading a story to Xena the Therapy Dog, a friendly, six-year-old chocolate labradoodle. Each child will have 10 minutes to read a favorite story to his or her new, canine friend. For more information, please visit www.tdi-dog.org.**Please be on time for your time slot. If you can no longer make your scheduled time, please call the desk at 908-526-4016 ext. 126**

Kids Club (Grades 3-4) Thursday, March 7th 4:30-5:30pm Registration required and begins February 21 This month, we will get together for games, including Apples to Apples and Would You Rather.

Friends Concert Series: Presley and Melody (All ages)  Saturday March 9, 2013  11:00 AM   No registration required   Presley and Melody write it, compose it, sing it, and “rock it” at their concerts, providing nonstop dancing and upbeat children’s music. The instantaneous audience connection transforms the audience from “spectators to participators.” A satisfaction guaranteed, positively infectious and engaging concert for all to enjoy.

imagePlay Group (For parents or caregivers and children ages birth to 3 years)  Monday, March 11th 10:00am  No registration required Join our new group where you can play with toys, dance to music, and meet new friends!  Some weeks will have special speakers; inquire at the Youth Services Desk.

What's K'NEXt? (Grades K-6) Monday, March 11th 4:30-5:30pm  Registration required. Come hear about Julia Morgan, one of the world’s first female  architects – she designed more than 800 buildings including William Randolph Hearst’s magnificent castle in California, San Simeon. Then create your own architectural masterpiece out of K’NEX!

Rocket Readers: 'The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto' (Grades 1-2) Wednesday, March 13th  4:30-5:30pm Registration required  An exciting program for brand new readers!  At each program we will discuss a book, play some games, or create a story related craft.  This month's book: 'The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto'  by Natalie Standiford  The 2013 Iditarod Dog Sled Race starts on Saturday, March 2nd, and will last nine to fifteen days.  This book recounts the historical act of Balto, the sled dog who saved Nome, Alaska in 1925 from a diphtheria epidemic by delivering medicine through a raging snowstorm. **Students should read the book prior to the program.  Copies of the book will be available at the Youth Services Reference Desk.**

Eye Level Learning Center: Math Problem Solving Challenge (Grades 2+) Wednesday, March 13th  6:30-7:30pm  Registration is required  If information was food, and there was a feast at your fingertips, how would you figure out what to eat, how to eat, or why you should even eat whatever food you chose? In the world we are living, information really is like a feast waiting to be consumed. However, the challenge in making good decisions based on that wealth of knowledge is increasingly difficult. We would like to present a series of math word problems and hands-on activities, drawn from the Eye Level program, to stimulate, develop and challenge student thinking, while having lots of fun! Prizes will be awarded to those who challenge themselves!

imageEnjoy Explore India: Krazy Kats (Ages 4-8) Saturday, March 16th 11am   Registration required and begins March 1  Wear a mask and costume, hear the jungle drums, learn a tiger dance from India; what fun!

Join this exciting KraZy KatS workshop and about the National Animal of India you will learn.  Are tiger stripes yellow on black or black on yellow? How fast can they run? How big is the biggest tiger? Join this exciting workshop to learn fascinating facts about these cool wild cats. Listen to jungle stories from the Panchatantra and the Jataka collections and make a unique yellow and black KooL KraZy KaT costume. View traditional tiger dancers from the state of Kerala and learn the “Pulikali” dance performed to the rhythmic beats of Indian drums.

imageHappy St. Patrick's Day (Ages 3-10) 4:30-5:30pm  Registration required and begins March 4  Join us for an hour of Irish-American stories, crafts, and treats! Erin Go Bragh!



If you register for a program and realize that you won’t be able to come, please call (908 526-4016x126) or email us (bwljuv@sclibnj.org) as early as possible so we can make someone on the waitlist very happy. Next time that waitlisted participant might be your child!

There are ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS at other system libraries for children & teens…find their online calendars under the “events/programs” tab on our home page. Planning ahead for March? -- Check out our library calendar.

@ Bridgewater Library for Teens:



5th & 6th Grade Volunteers Wednesday, March 6 7-8pm Registration required. ATTENTION STUDENTS IN GRADES 5 AND 6: Here is your chance to make a difference by volunteering at the library! You can help the library with special projects including creating bookmarks for young children, organizing and tidying up the Children’s Room, and much more! Talk It Up: 'Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery' (Grades 5-8) Thursday, March 7th 7-8pm Registration required and begins February 21 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 the discussion. This month's book:
'Last Shot: a Final Four Mystery' by John Feinstein After winning a basketball reporting contest, eighth graders Stevie and Susan Carol are sent to cover the Final Four tournament, where they discover that a talented player is being blackmailed into throwing the final game.

imageOpen Mic Cafe Night (Ages 13+) Thursday March 14, 2013 From 7-8:30pm. Registration required TO PERFORM. 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. Depending on registration, artists will receive 10-15 minute slots to play music or recite poetry. Sign ups will be on a first-come, first-served basis. **Please help support local artists and musicians – you don’t need to be an artist to enjoy our Open Mic Night!**

TAB Meeting (Grades 6-8 Tuesday, March 19th 5:30-6:30pm TAB Meeting (Grades 9-12) Tuesday, March 19th 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM Registration required Do you want to make a difference at your library? Do you have suggestions for programs, new books, movies, or video games? Then come to one of our upcoming T.A.B. meetings! Community service hours will be awarded for attendance and snacks will be served!

Want more info about upcoming programs? Check out our March teen calendar here.

Around the Community:

Looking for events around our community? Check out the new link “Events – Daily Somerset County” under the “Useful links for families” list on the right side of this blog listing. (If you are getting this as an email, click on the headline title to open it as a webpage and then you’ll see all these useful links!)


Clifford the Big Red Dog

WHEN: Saturday, March 2, 4 PM
bergenPAC, 30 N. Van Brunt Street, Englewood
TICKETS: $25-$75
Buy Tickets

WHEN: Sunday, March 3, 12 PM and 3PM
State Theatre, 15 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick
TICKETS: $35, $30, $25, $20, $15
Ticket Office: 732.246.SHOW (7469) or online  www.StateTheatreNJ.org

To celebrate Scholastic’s beloved Clifford The Big Red Dog®’s 50th anniversary the Emmy®-nominated television series is being brought to life in an all NEW musical.

In this new tale Clifford and Emily Elizabeth journey to Birdwell Island for adventures with their friends Cleo, T-Bone, Charley, Jetta, and Mac. They will share Clifford’s BE BIG!™ Ideas, such as Share, Play Fair, Have Respect, Work Together, Be Responsible, Be Truthful, Be Kind, Help Others, Believe In Yourself, Be A Good Friend, and other timeless values with laughter, music, and dancing that the whole family will love.




Looking for fun in nature? Check out the programs at the Environmental Education Center. The Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center at 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge has Naturalist-led programs to help children and adults enjoy the wonder and the beauty of nature during winter in Somerset County. Maple Sugaring
Saturday & Sunday, March 2 & 3; March 9 & 10 at 10:00 A.M, 12:00 Noon & 2:00 P.M. on Saturdays and 12:00 Noon and 2:00 P.M. on Sundays. Everyone is invited to see how trees are tapped, how sap is collected, and witness the boiling process that produces delicious New Jersey maple syrup. Schools and organized groups may arrange for weekday demonstrations by calling 908-766-2489. The program is free. Pre-registration is not required for individuals and families. Groups are encouraged to call ahead.

imageA Fairy Tale Princess Celebration  Pax Amicus Castle Theatre in Budd Lake, NJ; 11 am   In this new musical, Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty are giving the Little Mermaid a bridal shower, and Prince Charming and four superhero friends make a guest appearance. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to dress like royalty! Tickets required. This event occurs weekly on Saturdays.

logo Planetarium at RVCC

RVCC Planetarium

Public Star Shows


Call 908-231-8805 for reservations!

the Magic Tree House

Magic Tree House: Space Mission
Monday, March 25 at 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 26 at 2:00 p.m.

Join Jack and Annie as they discover the secrets of the Sun, Moon, planets, space travel, and more.  Who can help them answer the questions left for them by the mysterious "M"?  This show is based on the same-titled, best-selling series of novels.
Recommended for ages 5 and older.

The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket

The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket
Friday, March 15 at 6:00 p.m.
Monday, March 25 at 3:00 p.m.

Travel with two adventurous youngsters in their cardboard rocket as they explore the Sun and the planets of the solar system.
Recommended for ages 6-12)

laser Cones

Laser Kids
Friday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m.

Our popular show has gotten a new song list.  Songs include "Supercalifragilisticsexpialidocious" and "Yellow Submarine," to name just a few.
Recommended for ages 6-12)

Tycho to the Moon

Space Shapes & Tycho to the Moon
Sunday, March 17
2:00 p.m.

Let's find circles, squares, and constellations in the sky.  Then join Tycho the dog as he blasts off to the Moon and Sun.  Recommended for ages 5-10.

Storybooks In Space

Storybooks in Space
Sunday, March 17
3:00 p.m.

Pages from children's books float among the stars.  We'll share stories and learn about the stars and planets too.  Recommended for ages 4-8.

Earth Moon Sun and Coyote

Earth, Moon, Sun and Coyote
Tuesday, March 26   3:00 p.m.

Coyote has a razor-shart wit, but he's a little confused about what he sees in the sky.  Join this amusing character (adapted from Native American oral traditions) in a fast-paced and fun show that tells Native American stories, explores lunar phases, eclipses, and other puzzles of the sky.  Engaging and immersive, "Earth, Moon & Sun" also examines how humans learn through space exploration.  Recommended for ages 7-12.



Are your kids pestering you for a class in theater arts, but you don’t want to spring for one if they are not really interested? Here is a free class they can take:



WHEN: Wednesday March 6, 4 PM
Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Durand Road, in Maplewood

Kids and their parents will have the opportunity to meet and work with Gail Lou, the award-winning teacher who will lead The Theater Project’sPerformance Playhouse Class this spring. The 45-minute introductory session is free to students in grades 1 through 5 whose parents are considering enrolling them in the subsequent six-week class.

During and after the free workshop, Gail Lou and Education Director Dennis DaPrile will be available to meet with parents and answer questions. Parents will be given information about the class, which exposes 1st – 5th graders to creating musical theater. That class will meet on six Wednesdays from 4:00 PM to 5:15 PM, and culminates in a presentation for friends and family.

clip_image001Gail Lou (right) is a teaching artist with 20 years experience, and a performer who has appeared in films and on television. Her teaching experience includes exposing children as young as six months to the joys of music, directing children’s choirs and high school musicals. She has been the musical director for Garage Theatre summer camp series in Teaneck since 1999, and teaches music andclip_image001[4]performance at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood.

Her recording accolades include Grammy Committee recognition for her independent single, "You Got the Vibe." Gail's children's CD, "7 Good Ways," was selected as a Parents' Choice Approved Award Winner, and two of her songs received highest honors from the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Children's category. She is the co-author of Light & Sweet—An American Tea Opera.

All the Performance Classroom activities develop kids’ confidence in themselves while they develop skills and attitudes that go beyond the stage. Whether they go on to Broadway or the board room, these skills will last a lifetime!

Parents can reserve space in the introductory workshop by email:Education@thetheaterproject.org. Go to www.thetheaterproject.org for further information. Education Director Dennis DaPrile is available to answer questions at 973.763.4029.


By William Shakespeare
Directed by Jen Plants

WHEN: March 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 8 PM and March 10 at 3 PM.
Chatham Playhouse, 23 North Passaic Avenue, in Chatham.
TICKETS: $20 for adults and $18 for youth/senior.
Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office or Online. To access the theater’s online ticketing service, simply go to ccp.ticketleap.com. The service is available 24 hours a day, and tickets can be purchased online up until three hours prior to curtain on the day of a performance.
Chatham Playhouse’s box office will begin accepting phone reservations on February 19 at 973.635.7363

Shakespeare's battle of the sexes concerns Petruchio's courtship of Katherina. The man from Verona does not have an easy task ahead of him. He tries many ways to tame her, however she has her own take on the romance. Come and experience this romantic comedy classic that has challenged and entertained audiences for centuries. See the would-be lovers battle it out, because as we know, love is a battlefield. “Shrew is fast, funny, naughty, surprising and physical—not a bit stodgy or distant. If we've done our job in Chatham this March, audiences will feel like they are part of the action—not viewing it from afar”, declares director, Jen Plants.




Stomp_press_pc_Steve McNicholasSTOMP

WHEN: Friday-Saturday, March 8-9, 2013 at 8 PM
Mayo Performing Arts Center, 100 South St., Morristown
TICKETS: $47-77
Tickets at 973.539.8008 orwww.mayoarts.org

From its beginnings as a street performance in the UK, STOMP has grown into an international sensation over the past 20 years, having performed in more than 50 countries and in front of more than 24 million people.

Throughout its life, the show has continued to change by creating new material.  It is safe to say you will never again look at supermarket carts  or plumbing fixtures the same way… or paint cans, or kitchen sinks or…



Free Public Youth Art Month Events

WHEN: Youth Art Month Exhibit Part I runs from March 1-March 10 and features students in grades 6 through 12. Part II features students in grades K through 5 and runs from March 15-March 24. Public receptions will be held from 2- 3:30 PM on Sunday, March 10th for Part I and Sunday, March 25th for Part II. Awards presentations will be held at 2:30 PM each day.
The Center for Contemporary Art, 2020 Burnt Mills Road, Bedminster, NJ.
908.234.2345 www.ccabedminster.org

Each year for the past thirteen years, in celebration of Youth Art Month, The Center for Contemporary Art has hosted exhibitions of Somerset County student work in partnership with Art Educators of New Jersey. Youth Art Month has a long history going back to 1961 and is supported by the National Art Education Association.  Each year, each state submits a Youth Art Month report to NAEA and awards of excellence are given to 4 states.  New Jersey has been in the top 4 for the past 11 years. 

This year thirteen Somerset County schools will be participating in two exhibitions during the month of March. Six works of art from Somerset County have been selected for a State-wide exhibition which takes place at the Statehouse in Trenton where over 100 pieces of student work are on display from every county in the State. The young artists selected from Somerset County are Veronica Fabiano, grade 3, from the Cedar Hill School (Basking Ridge); Sophie Marsillo, grade 5, from Central Elementary School (Warren); Jennifer Adams, grade 6, from Montgomery Lower Middle School (Montgomery); Gianna Clarke, grade 8, from Montgomery Upper Middle School (Montgomery); Rose Tarantino, grade 11, from Hillsborough High School (Hillsborough); and Kaitlin Marion, grade 12, from Somerville High School (Somerville).

Free public events are planned in conjunction with each reception.

  • On Sunday, March 10th, artist and muralist Dan Fenelon will demonstrate his unique style of art and lead a group project designed for ‘tweens and teens.
  • On Sunday, March 25th, The Center will hold a Family Open House with hands-on art projects for younger artists, and artist demonstrations led by The Center’s faculty.

About The Center for Contemporary Art
Founded in 1970, The Center for Contemporary Art is a vital regional art center with a vibrant studio art school, extensive exhibition program and important community outreach component. For further information, please call (908) 234-2345 or visit The Center for Contemporary Art online at http://www.ccabedminster.org/

Gallery Hours
Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM –5 PM
Friday & Saturday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Open evenings when classes are in session
Closed Sundays and major holidays

Speaking of books – Don’t forget to check out the new Continuous Book Sale near the Adult Music collection. The sale is sponsored by the Friends of the Bridgewater Library.

Thanks to Ruth Ross at NJARTSMAVEN.COM for some of these listings.

There are lots more things to do around our community. Look at the “Useful Websites for Families” (on the right side of this blog – click the headline if you are reading this as an email) for many more options!

Let Your Fingers Do More Walking:

Check out Imagination Soup’s lineup of great new picture books!

picture books Come On, Just Give Books a Chance! (NEW Picture Books Im Loving)



Want to show your kids how amazing and interesting computer programming can be and all the cool things they could do with it? Check out this video and the great learning links for all ages!




Top 10 skills children learn from the arts   By Valerie Strauss , Updated: January 22, 2013

(by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

(by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

You don’t find school reformers talking much about how we need to train more teachers in the arts, given the current obsession with science, math, technology and engineering (STEM), but here’s a list of skills that young people learn from studying the arts. They serve as a reminder that the arts — while important to study for their intrinsic value — also promote skills seen as important in academic and life success. (That’s why some people talk  about changing the current national emphasis on STEM to STEAM.) This was written by Lisa Phillips is an author, blog journalist, arts and leadership educator, speaker and business owner. To learn about Lisa’s book, “The Artistic Edge: 7 Skills Children Need to Succeed in an Increasingly Right Brain World,” click here. This appeared on the ARTSblog, a program of Americans for the Arts.

By Lisa Phillips

1. Creativity – Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.

2. Confidence – The skills developed through theater, not only train you how to convincingly deliver a message, but also build the confidence you need to take command of the stage. Theater training gives children practice stepping out of their comfort zone and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them in rehearsal. This process gives children the confidence to perform in front of large audiences.

3. Problem Solving – Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How do I turn this clay into a sculpture? How do I portray a particular emotion through dance? How will my character react in this situation? Without even realizing it kids that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems. All this practice problem solving develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding. This will help develop important problem-solving skills necessary for success in any career.

4. Perseverance – When a child picks up a violin for the first time, she/he knows that playing Bach right away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.

5. Focus – The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. Keeping a balance between listening and contributing involves a great deal of concentration and focus. It requires each participant to not only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.

6. Non-Verbal Communication – Through experiences in theater and dance education, children learn to breakdown the mechanics of body language. They experience different ways of moving and how those movements communicate different emotions. They are then coached in performance skills to ensure they are portraying their character effectively to the audience.

7. Receiving Constructive Feedback – Receiving constructive feedback about a performance or visual art piece is a regular part of any arts instruction. Children learn that feedback is part of learning and it is not something to be offended by or to be taken personally. It is something helpful. The goal is the improvement of skills and evaluation is incorporated at every step of the process. Each arts discipline has built in parameters to ensure that critique is a valuable experience and greatly contributes to the success of the final piece.

8. Collaboration – Most arts disciplines are collaborative in nature. Through the arts, children practice working together, sharing responsibility, and compromising with others to accomplish a common goal. When a child has a part to play in a music ensemble, or a theater or dance production, they begin to understand that their contribution is necessary for the success of the group. Through these experiences children gain confidence and start to learn that their contributions have value even if they don’t have the biggest role.

9. Dedication – When kids get to practice following through with artistic endeavors that result in a finished product or performance, they learn to associate dedication with a feeling of accomplishment. They practice developing healthy work habits of being on time for rehearsals and performances, respecting the contributions of others, and putting effort into the success of the final piece. In the performing arts, the reward for dedication is the warm feeling of an audience’s applause that comes rushing over you, making all your efforts worthwhile.

10. Accountability – When children practice creating something collaboratively they get used to the idea that their actions affect other people. They learn that when they are not prepared or on-time, that other people suffer. Through the arts, children also learn that it is important to admit that you made a mistake and take responsibility for it. Because mistakes are a regular part of the process of learning in the arts, children begin to see that mistakes happen. We acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.

© The Washington Post Company

This cozy reading nook:

And finally, check out these 30 Best Places to be if you Love Books!

No comments:

Post a Comment