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Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving -- Make a Difference this Holiday Season–Donate Children’s or Teen Books at the Bridgewater Library & Food for Local Families in Need…. Also Music Program at the Library this Weekend and Thanksgiving Stories, Songs, and Crafts on Monday plus lots to do with family & friends this holiday season.


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The Adopt-A-Family program was created by Ray Walsh of Manville (no relation to Freeholder Walsh). “Our local food banks have seen a tremendous increase in the number of people seeking help during the past few years due to the recession,” Mr. Walsh said. “The goal of the Adopt-A-Family program is to make Somerset County the first in New Jersey to feed all of its needy residents.” To stay up to date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe.html.  The Bridgewater Library also collects non-perishable food donations year round in our lobby.

"This Holiday Season, Open Up a World of Possibilities..."
The Bridgewater Library will be accepting donations of new (and like new) books which will be distributed to children and teens throughout New Jersey who have limited access to books.

Book donations can be placed in the container at the entrance to the Youth Services room of the Bridgewater Library.  We thank you for taking the time to help give New Jersey's children a chance to explore the world of books.
You can make a difference in a child's life.  Donate a new or like-new book to Books for Kids!

You can also help your kids learn empathy by supporting causes that you care about on Giving Tuesday…info at: http://www.givingtuesday.org/


A little Seasonal Treat -- The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven (words: Jack Prelutsky, chorus: Cathy Darby – local NJ librarian)  Tune: “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”
The turkey shot out of the oven
and rocketed into the air,
it knocked every plate off the table
and partly demolished a chair.
Chorus: Oh my, oh me, why didn’t I follow the recipe?                               
Oh my, oh me, why didn’t I follow the recipe!

It ricocheted into a corner
and burst with a deafening boom,
then splattered all over the kitchen,
completely obscuring the room. Chorus
It stuck to the walls and the windows,
it totally coated the floor,
there was turkey attached to the ceiling,
where there'd never been turkey before. Chorus
It blanketed every appliance,
It smeared every saucer and bowl,
there wasn't a way I could stop it,
that turkey was out of control. Chorus
I scraped and I scrubbed with displeasure,
and thought with chagrin as I mopped,
that I'd never again stuff a turkey
with popcorn that hadn't been popped. Chorus

Upcoming Programs for Kids at Bridgewater Library:

Bach 2 Rock - Friends of the Library Concert Series (Ages 5+) Saturday, November 22  11am. No Registration Required.  In an amazing multi-media presentation, Caryn Lin transforms sound itself through the use of her 5 string electric violin and a myriad of modern technology that takes the audience from the classical days of Bach to today’s techno-wonders. Caryn Lin is using technology to create music!  By relating her own incredible stories of overcoming obstacles, Caryn Lin presents a program that is as inspirational as it is educational and entertaining.

Play Group (Birth to 3 years) Monday November 24 10am. No registration required. Come and play with toys, dance to music, and make new friends! Repeats December 15th.


Thanksgiving Fun: Story and Craft (Ages 3-9) Monday, November 24 4:30-5:30 p.m. Registration is required and begins on November 10. Turkey trot over to the library for holiday stories, songs, and crafts! 


No Storytimes/Toddler Times/Baby Times this week. Library closes 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve and is closed Thankgiving Day, Open Friday & Saturday 9-5 (normal hours).

Gifts & Giving: Story and Craft (Ages 3-9) Monday, December 1 4:30-5:30 p.m. Registration is required.Get an early "wrap" on your holidays with seasonal stories and songs plus a chance to make your very own wrapping paper!

Family Night Storytime (All Ages) Monday, December 1  6 pm  Wear your PJs to our all ages storytime! No registration required.

Storytimes resume December 2nd and run through December 18th.

imageStorytime (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.

Toddler Dance Party (Ages 2-6)  Saturday, December 6 at 10:30 am 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!

imageJingle Bells: A Pony's Holiday Tale! (Ages 5-12)  Monday, December 8th from 4-5pm. Registration is required and begins November 24th.  Animal lovers! Join us for a magical tale about a very special pony, Jingle Bells! Our special guest will be Miss Margie from the Lord Stirling Stable. Bring all your questions about horses and ponies and stay to create a beautiful holiday craft!

Tail Waggin' Tutors (Ages 4+) Tuesday, December 9th repeats December 11th 4-5pm Registration in-person or by phone only. Registration begins November 18 Children will have the opportunity to practice their reading skills by reading a story to Xena the Therapy Dog, a friendly, eight-year-old chocolate labradoodle.  Each child will have 10 minutes to read a favorite story to his or her new, canine friend.


Programs for Tweens & Teens at the Library:

Tween Volunteers (Grades 4-6) Monday, December 1. 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 Advisory Board (Grades 4-6)Tuesday, December 9  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.


Teen Advisory Board (Grades 7-12)Tuesday, December 9  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!

Practice SAT - Presented by Kaplan (Students in Grades 7-12)Saturday, December 13  9:00 am - 2:00 pm. Registration required .
Are you taking the SAT this spring? 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 (which will be mailed to you 7-10 business days following the test).  Don't forget a #2 pencil and calculator!
PLEASE NOTE: No admittance after 9:15 am.

Around the Community:



Junie B. Jones, the Musical

WHEN: Sat., Sun., November 15, 16, 22 and 2, 1 PM
Groups of 20 or more $12
CALL NOW FOR TICKETS: 732.548.5600 or visit www.forumtheatrearts.org online

Junie B. Jones, the Musical brings that ever-popular book series to life ON STAGE!Sneak a peek into the "Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal" of the outspoken and lovable Junie B. Jones!

MEET JUNIE B. JONES and her friends after the show! Take selfies!  Get autographs!

Take a look at the whacky and wonderful cast of Junie B. Jones, the Musical!

Jason Jackson, Tyler Barnick, Samantha Cook, Shannon Garahan, Christa DiLalo Petti, Brandon Arias and Lyra Koncsol


Free Museum Passes to Morris Museum available at the library.










Let Your Fingers Do More Walking:  

If you are travelling this holiday season, consider taking a scenic route:

N.J.'s 10 Most Scenic Roads: It's time to hit the highway

Emery's Berry Farm off Route 539 in New Egypt makes great pies; the market is open year-round (Peter Genovese/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

Speaking of Thanksgiving eats, here are some timely tips:

Food Safety Tips for Young Children

If you have young kids or grandchildren, here are some things you should be aware of  Author: Sarah Klein in

As a baby grows into a toddler, you can teach him or her about handwashing. Practice singing a song like “Happy Birthday” two times while washing to ensure that he or she has washed for long enough. Kids should be washing their hands after using the bathroom, before and after handling food or eating, after playing with pets or visiting a petting zoo, after coughing or sneezing, and whenever they are dirty.

Some foods are more likely to cause foodborne illness in kids, so you should avoid feeding a young child:...[Read More]


Do your children do chores? Should they?  Interesting column on research relating to this question:

Richard Rende: A generation without chores

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Published: October 25, 2014

I recently moderated a talk for a colleague of mine, who was addressing a large group of parents. She asked me to hand out a time wheel, which listed a variety of activities that could comprise a typical day in the life of a kid today. She instructed parents to spend a few minutes thinking about how much time their kids spend on each category, and then shout out some estimates as we made our way around the time wheel.

It was clear that kids devote many hours every day to homework and extracurricular activities and social media. But when my colleague highlighted “chores,” there was a sea of smiles and good-natured chuckles in the audience, and the predominant response from the crowd was “zero.”

Research studies have shown that the amount of time kids spend on chores has been on the decline for decades. A recent survey conducted by Whirlpool revealed that although 82 percent of Americans did chores as a child, only 28 percent are assigning them to children today. Given this, Whirlpool invited me to review the published research on children and chores to understand what’s really at stake, the positive long-term benefits of this work, why we all should be concerned and what we might do to reverse negative perceptions.

After considering studies done across the past 15 years or so, two patterns jumped out at me. First, there were a number of papers published over a decade ago on the significant, and long-lasting, benefits that come from doing chores as a child. Regular, meaningful participation in household chores was linked to academic engagement and achievement, and enhanced social skills, throughout childhood and the teen years. Studies that tracked kids for decades revealed that the ones who did chores had the most positive mental health profiles in adulthood, with more likelihood for professional success, better relationships, and personal satisfaction.

The bad news is that, in parallel with the decline in chores, more recent studies have honed into a pervasive negativity that surrounds chores. Disagreements about doing chores are a primary source of conflict between parents and kids. The old tricks used to get kids to do chores, like giving an allowance, just don’t work these days. And kids aren’t the only ones who have a negative perception of chores. There’s plenty of current research showing how much mental labor adults expend on chores, and the stresses caretakers experience when thinking about getting all their household responsibilities met.

Those seminal papers that espoused the power of doing chores emphasized the caretaking aspect of growing up in a family where responsibilities were shared. The focus wasn’t just on giving kids a list of duties that they took on independently; rather, there was a sense of cohesive family interaction and joint participation in daily routines. Doing chores together carries the same benefits as other notable rituals such as family dinners — regular family interaction promotes conversation, which inspires not just talking to other family members but also hearing what they are saying.

How do we bring that spirit to the hectic lives of kids and caretakers? Recent perspectives in cognitive science suggest that it is possible to change perceptions of “have-to” tasks into “want-to” tasks if a sufficiently strong motivation can be found. Reframing chores as a way of taking care of others is one such platform. There are elegant studies showing that kids — even toddlers — are natural helpers. They don’t need prompting to pitch in when they see an adult needs help with something. It’s proposed that having more family time and conversations that focus on “we” rather than “me” or “you” can change the tone about chores in the home. And as caretakers begin to talk differently about chores — replacing complaints and nags with family talk focused on what we all need to do for each other — it’s hoped that some of that pervasive negativity will give way to a recognition that doing for our family, and others, delivers a very deep satisfaction, one that our kids will experience and benefit from.

Richard Rende is a developmental psychologist, researcher and educator. He is author of “Psychosocial Interventions for Genetically Influenced Behavior Problems in Childhood and Adolescence” (John Wiley & Sons), and (with Jen Prosek) of the forthcoming “Raising Can-Do Kids: Giving Children the Tools to Thrive in a Fast-Changing World” (Perigee). He can be reached at richard.d.rende@gmail.com.

Could This 13-Year-Old Aspiring Astronaut Be the First Human on Mars?

aspiring astronaut Alyssa Carson. The 13-year-old from Baton Rogue, La., has dreamed of being an astronaut since she was just 3-years-old. The thing is that Carson hasn’t just been dreaming; she’s been planning. Thanks to the help of her supportive and encouraging father, Bert, who realized early on that being an astronaut wasn’t just a childhood fascination for his daughter, she has spent the last eight years training to reach her goal.

Over the years Carson has been to over 20 sessions of NASA space camp making her the first person to complete the NASA Passport Program and has been to three space shuttle launches. She has even caught the eye of NASA professionals and the executive director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama, Dr. Barnhart, who think she stands a good chance of fulfilling her dream.  Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/could-this-13-year-old-aspiring-astronaut-be-the-first-human-on-mars.html#ixzz3Jieyy4N3

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