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(You can also find links to great websites for families there.)
Somerset County Libraries will be closed Tuesday May 19th for Staff Training and Monday May 25th for Memorial Day.
Upcoming Programs for Kids and Parents at Bridgewater Library:
Rocket Readers (grades 1-2) Wednesday, May 20, 2015 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM. Registration is required and begins April 21. At each program we will discuss a book, play some games or create a story related craft. Students should read the book prior to the program. Copies of the books will be available at the Youth Services Reference Desk. Young Cam Jansen and the Baseball Mystery by David A. Adler. When a baseball game is stopped because of a lost ball, Cam uses her photographic memory to find the ball.
Tail Waggin' Tutors (Ages 4+) Thursday, May 21, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Did you know that dogs like listening to stories as much as kids do? 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. Registration is required and begins April 30. PLEASE NOTE: You must register in person or by phone only.
Lego Club (For ages 5 - 12) Thursday, May 21, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM. Registration is required. Hey LEGO fans, here's a club just for you! Get together with other LEGO-maniacs, share ideas and tips on building, and have a great time!
Advocacy: Developmental Milestones for Infants and Toddlers Birth to 3 Years. Thursday, May 21, 2015 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM. Registration is required and begins April 16. Jenniger Blanchette McConnell, PhD will discuss all areas of infant and toddler development, including social emotional, communication, cognition, motor development, and adaptive/self-help skills. She will identify links to helpful resources about child development and explain how to refer to NJ's Early Intervention system for a developmental evaluation at no cost to families. 1.5 professional development hours will be awarded to attendees.
Flutterby Butterfly! (ages 3-6) Wednesday, May 27, 2015 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM. Repeats from 11:30-12:30. Registration is required and begins May 13. Join us for a look at the life cycle of the butterfly with stories, music, movement, and a colorful craft!
Let's Get a Move On Preschool Dance Party (All Ages) All ages No registration. Come shake your sillies out on a summer morning!Monday, June 01, 2015 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM and 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM.
Sensory-Friendly Art Class (Ages 5-12) Thursday, June 04, 2015 4:30 PM - 5:00 PM. Registration required and begins May 21.Designed for children and teens on the autism spectrum or with other special needs. Children and teens will explore art through creative activities at various stations.
Afterschool Special: Superhero Transportation (ages 3-10) Monday, June 08, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM. Registration required and begins on May 22. Get an early start on our Superhero Summer. We'll read about a fantastical car then design our own wild and wonderful vehicles!
Sing Along: Travel Far, Pay No Fare (All Ages) Monday, June 15, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM. No registration. Join us for fun transportation songs.
Summer Reading Club! Summer Reading Club registration begins for all ages! Monday, June 22, 2015
Upcoming Programs for Tweens & Teens at Bridgewater Library:
Teen Advisory Board (Grades 7 - 12) Tuesday, May 26th 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Registration required and begins April 28.
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!
Tween Volunteers (Grades 4-6) Monday, June 01, 2015 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM Make a difference by volunteering at the library! Help out with special projects and earn community service hours. Registration is required and begins May 4.
Sensory-Friendly Art Class (Ages 13-18) Thursday, June 04, 2015 5:15 PM - 5:45 PM. Registration required and begins May 21.Designed for children and teens on the autism spectrum or with other special needs. Children and teens will explore art through creative activities at various stations.
Tween Advisory Board (Grades 4-6) Tuesday, June 9. 7:00 pm-8:00 pm. Registration is required and begins May 12. Earn community service hours by making the library a better place for you and your fellow Tweens! Come tell us what books, movies, video games, and programs you’d like at the library!
AROUND THE COMMUNITY:
PHOTO CREDITS: Ben Kator
Bernards Township, NJ: William Shakespeare’s beloved play The Tempest will be performed by The Lord Stirling Company May 8-23 in the English Barn at Farmstead Arts May 22 at 8pm and May 23, at 2pm and 8pm. Farmstead Arts is located at 450 King George Road in Basking Ridge, NJ. Tickets are $15, or $10 for Farmstead Members, seniors and children. Tickets may be purchased online at www.FarmsteadArtsCenter.org, or at the door.
The Tempest is one of last plays written solely by The Bard. It centers around Prospero, The Duke of Milan, who has been deposed and exiled with his daughter Miranda, to a distant island full of spirits, monsters and a party of shipwrecked royalty. William Ward of Basking Ridge, NJ, directs and designs this creative interpretation of this Shakespeare play.
AFFORDABLE SUMMER CLASSESFOR AGES 5 - 18
George Street Playhouse’s Summer Theater Academy celebrates each student’s creative expression; providing a fun, engaging environment to explore theater, develop self-confidence, and collaborate with others.
Registration is open, but limited. Auditions are not required.
The Museum at CHF will be open every Saturday in April--and Saturdays and Sundays from May to September.
Check their website for hours and other information to plan your visit, and stay tuned for updates about special weekend activities and tours.
Opening Saturday, May 2
From the builders of some of America's earliest railroads and farms to Civil Rights pioneers to digital technology entrepreneurs, Indian Americans have long been an inextricable part of American life. "Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation" explores the Indian American experience and the community's vital political, professional, and cultural contributions to American life and history. Weaving together stories of individual achievement and collective struggle, "Beyond Bollywood" uses photography, narrative, multimedia, and interactive stations to tell a uniquely American story, while conveying the texture, vibrancy, and vitality of Indian American communities.
Visit the museum for free (you still need to pay for theater admissions) using the library museum pass if available. The Morris Museum also participates in the Bank of America Museums on Us program. During the first full weekend of every month, each Bank of America card holder is entitled to one free general admission to the Museum. For further information, visit museums.bankofamerica.com/
PLAN AHEAD FOR SUMMER WITH SOMERSET COUNTY PARK CAMP AND ADVENTURE PROGRAMS FOR KIDS AND TEENS
Coyote Kids (Ages 4-6) --a fun nature program full of outdoor hikes, live animals, hands-on activities, games, and crafts!
Eco-Explorers (Ages 7-9) (click here for PDF)
AWESIM KIDS (Animals, Wetlands, Environmental Science, and Incredible Minds!) (Ages 10-13) (click here for PDF)
Xtreme Adventure (Ages 13-16) (click here for brochure)
LET YOUR FINGERS DO MORE WALKING:
Report debunks ‘earlier is better’ academic instruction for young children By Valerie Strauss
The debate about appropriate curriculum for young children generally centers on two options: free play and basic activities vs. straight academics (which is what many kindergartens across the country have adopted, often reducing or eliminating time for play). A new report, “Lively Minds: Distinctions between academic versus intellectual goals for young children,” offers a new way to look at what is appropriate in early childhood education.
Katz writes that longitudinal studies of the effects of different kinds of preschool curriculum models debunk the seemingly common-sense notion that “earlier is better” in terms of academic instruction. While “formal instruction produces good test results in the short term,” she says, preschool curriculum and teaching methods that emphasize children’s interactive roles and initiative may be “not so impressive in the short run” but “yield better school achievement in the long term.”
That reflects a finding in a report released earlier this year, titled “Reading in Kindergarten: Little to Gain and Much to Lose,” which says that there is no evidence to support a widespread belief in the United States that children must read in prekindergarten or kindergarten to become strong readers and achieve academic success. You can read about that report here.
Katz also writes in the new report that “earlier is better” is not supported in neurological research, which “does not imply that formal academic instruction is the way to optimize early brain development.” Rather, she says, the research suggests that “preschool programs are best when they focus on social, emotional and intellectual goals rather than narrow academic goals” and provide “early experiences that provoke self-regulation, initiative and …sustained synchronous interaction in which the child is interactive with others in some continuous process, rather than a mere passive recipient of isolated bits of information for stimulation.” Read More.
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Bored with your local swingset? Here are a few amazing New Jersey playgrounds worth driving to.