Friday, August 24, 2012

The School Bus is Coming!

What happened to make the little broom miss the school bus?

She overswept.

You may (or may not) think that was a funny joke, but riding the school bus is actually serious business. Many students rely on the bus as a safe mode of transportation to school. Your child's school has rules for school bus safety, and Illinois law requires that students practice school bus evacuation each year. The drills happen on school property with the bus driver and school staff.

As your child's first teacher, you may want to talk to your child about bus safety. Staying Safe on the School Bus by Lucia Raatma could help with that conversation.

As a driver, it is also important to make sure you understand the rules of the road to keep children safe. The complete 2012 Illinois Rules of the Road publication is available at the Illinois Secretary of State's website, but here are a few reminders.

When approaching a marked school zone between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., on days when school is in operation and children are present, a driver must discontinue wireless/cell phone use, reduce speed to 20 mph, and stop and yield the right-of-way to any children or adults in the crosswalk area.

You must stop before meeting or overtaking a school bus loading or unloading passengers on a two-lane roadway. The bus driver will flash amber and red lights, then extend stop signal arm. You must then come to a complete stop. You must remain stopped until the stop signal arm is no longer extended and the flashing lights are turned off or the driver signals you to pass. Your driver’s license or vehicle registration will be suspended for three months and you will pay a minimum $150 fine if you are convicted of illegally passing a stopped school bus.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Adam's Parting Gift:Great Children's Stories for Adults

As Adam prepares to leave us to move on to the next phase of his professional life, I thought it would be nice to post his list of great picture books for adults.  We hope you enjoy!

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is the classic tale of a little girl whose pride and joy is her unique name: Chrysanthemum. In a situation anyone can relate to, Chrysanthemum's elation is quickly shattered by relentless teasing from her classmates during the first days of school. As it is an uplifting tale, Chyrsanthemum eventually overcomes the taunts of her peers and learns to celebrate the things that make her most special.

I Can Hear the Sun is a lovely tale by celebrated children's author Patricia Polacco. Lake Merritt is a place for many unwanted souls, including Fondo, a young orphan boy who lives at a nearby state home. During his days wandering the lakefront, Fondo befriends the park's lonely keeper, Stephanie Michele. While caring for the lake's flock of geese, the pair explain how it takes a very special person to be able to hear the sun.

Have you ever had a bad day? A really really bad day? Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a tale nearly four decades old, yet just as relatable today as when it was originally published in 1972. Bad days can make us so sad that we wish we could go to a place where terrible things never ever happen. But all bad days eventually come to an end. Help ease your own troubles by following Alexander through the misery, atrocity, and comedy of his very, very bad day.

I chose Duck for President because watching the news media these days can sometimes be a little disheartening. Duck for President is a hilarious tale by Doreen Cronin of a lowly blue collar duck who becomes tired of a hard life of manual labor on the farm, and decides to make a change. Pick up this story for a bit of innocent political humor, and vote duck for a kinder, gentler farm.

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? is one of the lesser read Dr. Seuss titles. In classic Seussical style, take a moment to realize that when you think things are bad, when you start to get mad, you're really quite lucky! Some people are much more...oh ever so much more...oh, muchly much-much more unluckier than you!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Volunteer Wrap Up

Now that Summer Reading Club is over we can take a huge deep breath--aaahh! Summer Reading Club is the most exciting time for our department, but it can also be the most tiring. However we have a huge help to us--our amazing teen volunteers!

We had 59 absolutely amazing, dedicated volunteers this summer. They range from 7th grade to high school seniors. They went through training to learn how to sign up kids using our new computer system. They had 2 hour shifts that they came to each week, ready to get kids excited about reading. They helped out at programs, refilled the book cart, and brought tons of enthusiasm and energy to our floor.

We celebrated our volunteers at our end of the summer party on Wednesday. Domino's donated delicious pizza and Potbelly's gave us fantastic sandwiches to feed our hungry volunteers. The teens got a chance to celebrate themselves as we congratulated them on a job well done. All our teens did an incredible job but we did pass out some awards to a few teens who went above and beyond, were extra enthusiastic, or were our super smiley volunteers. We honestly can't thank them enough!!

If you think your teen might be interested in helping out next year for Summer Reading, applications will go out in April and you can always check on the Kidding Around blog for a post announcing our call for volunteers.

If your teen is looking for service credit hours for school this year, they can still be a volunteer in the Youth Services department! Applications will go out on September 1st. Teens have to be in grades 6th-12th and have to be able to commit to doing 8 hours total (not in one day of course!). There's different jobs to be done depending on the needs of the department, but they can range from: folding brochures, making craft samples, assisting at programs, and general cleaning.

Want to know more about the volunteer program? You can (or better yet, have your teen) call us at the library. Our number is 847.376.2839 and we'd love to answer your questions.

Thanks again to our terrific teens! We hope that you guys decide to share your talents with us again next summer!

Friday, August 3, 2012

B-I-N-G-O! Summer Reading Patch

Special reminder to everyone who registered for our Reading is Sooo Delicious! Summer Reading Club. Sunday August 5 is your last day to claim your yummy prizes and certificate! In addition, when you do visit the second floor booth, be sure to ask for a TASTY Reading Patch BINGO sheet to keep you and your family busy for the rest of the month of August. Your prize for completing ten of the various activities on this sheet by August 31st is an embroidered "Reading Is So Delicious" patch ready to sew or iron on to your jacket or backpack in time for school. And it's as "easy as pie" to finish. Can you eat and draw a food that is red or green, or cook a favorite recipe together? Color in 3 squares. 

If you donate a food item to the red Self-Help Pantry bucket, or play our guessing jar game by August 5th, color in 2 more squares, and you're halfway there. Do you like to share reading books out loud or online (BookFlix or Tumblebook @www.dppl.org),  listen to CDs, audiobooks, or movies as a family? Fill in 3 more. Of course, you can also read several of the food-filled books from our Summer Reading display shelf and B-I-N-G-O! you're done! But don't stop collecting patches after this one. 

Our regular Reading Patch Club resumes September through next May. Grade school readers can choose books from recommended lists for 16 different categories (fantasy, mystery, science fiction, scary stories to name a few) to receive more unique patches. Pre-schoolers to grade 2's can be read to or read along with parents to receive their own special patches too. Please stop at the Youth Services desk in September to register for this ongoing program.