mr-rogers

As a librarian I’m always looking for new ways to get kids excited about reading and learning. Recently, however, I’ve been turning to an old favorite for new ideas: Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. For more than three decades, Fred Rogers sent a simple yet powerful message to children everywhere: “I like you just the way you are.” I was a loyal Mr. Rogers fan growing up, so when Amazon added more than 300 episodes to their streaming services I decided to revisit my favorite television neighbor.

I expected to revisit a familiar yet dated childhood hero. I thought I’d watch one or two episodes and be done with it. But I found myself mesmerized from the opening song to the closing credits. I realized I had tapped into a treasure trove of ideas and early learning strategies that are every bit as relevant today as they were in 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998, and 2001 when Fred Rogers signed off on the series finale.

 

March 20th, 2015 would have been Fred Rogers’ 87th birthday. Join us as we celebrate his life with activities, songs, and fun.

 

 

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Homeschool-Group

The number of children in homeschooling has been steadily increasing nationwide, so it makes sense there would be a strong homeschool presence in Niles. That became all the more clear March 4 when 13 homeschooling mothers and their 22 student-children visited the Niles Public Library to learn about the full range of supportive resources it provides.

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Blowing-Nose

Brrr! Did December 2014 lull you into the same winter apathy it did me? The unusually warm weather was a treat, but when 2015 swept in with its bitter winds and icy snow, it caught me off guard. I’ve been scrambling to get my winter knitting projects finished and ready to wear ever since.

At first, I was only kicking myself because I wished I had a super-warm scarf to keep my teeth from chattering. Then I read about a new study from Yale School of Medicine that uncovered the link between getting cold and getting a cold. This study has vindicated a bit of motherly wisdom once consigned to the rank old wives’ tale.

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Preschool-Blog

Are you searching for a preschool or daycare for your child, but you feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to start?

Choosing a preschool for your child is an important decision, so we here at the Niles Library want to offer you all the resources you could need so you can make an informed decision. Join us at the Library on Wednesday, January 21, where we will be hosting the Preschool and Daycare Fair.

Stop by the KidSpace Program Room from 6-6:30 pm to talk with a social worker about choosing the right place for your child. Feel free to bring any questions or concerns you may have and receive tips on how to pick a preschool or daycare.

Starting at 6:30 pm, tour the Preschool and Daycare Fair in the Large Meeting Room to get the chance to talk in person with representatives from local preschools, daycares, and other early childhood centers all in one place. The fair will last until 8:30 pm.

For more information, please call 847-663-1234 or visit our website at nileslibrary.org/events.

Click here if you would like to see a full list of the preschools and daycares available.

 

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hobbit-movie

Are you a fan of the Hobbit movies? Here are some of my favorites that might hold you over until the Battle of the Five Armies is released (Dec. 17, but who’s counting?). These are my picks for live action fantasy/fairy tale/adventure/romance movies that are pure escapism. And don’t forget, you can catch up on the first two movies on the big screen here at the Niles Library over Winter Break: An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug.

Alice in Wonderland (2010, PG)

The Borrowers (1998, PG)

The Chronicles of Narnia series: Lion, Witch and Wardrobe (2005, PG), Prince Caspian (2008, PG), Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2011, PG)

Ever After (2002, PG-13)

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Walt_Disney_Pictures

In the Oxford English Dictionary, a “classic” is defined as “something which is memorable and an outstanding example of its kind.”

Disney Masterpiece collections are just that, and the fact that multiple generations have watched these beloved classics proves that they can stand the test of time.

Today let the Niles Library take you on a journey to a time way before Frozen and High School Musical. Check out some of these Disney Animated Classics that we’ve been circulating in our catalog for decades:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Dumbo (1941)

Cinderella (1950)

One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)

The Aristocats (1970)

The Little Mermaid (1989)

Little Mermaid Book

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little-authors

There’s nothing I love more than a good story. Luckily, as a KidSpace librarian, I spend a lot of time reading & telling to kids of all ages. This summer, I’ve decided to give preschoolers a chance to sit in the storytime chair in a story dictation program called Little Authors.

For decades, preschool teachers have been using story dictation methods developed by early childhood education luminaries like Vivian Paley and Carol Avery to help children put their ideas, experiences, and fantasies on paper. Story dictation is a deceptively simple early learning activity. All you need is paper, pencils, and your undivided attention. Ask a child to describe an event, idea or person; and write down the words exactly as the child says them. Then read the story back to her, and watch her face light up in pride & triumph!

Here are some of the fantastic stories written by a few of Niles’ homegrown little authors:

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src-2014

Once again, the Niles Public Library is asking patrons (especially our youngest ones) to make visiting the Library part of their summer routine. And it’s working!

KidSpace patrons are racing the calendar in this, the eighth of nine weeks of the 2014 Summer Reading Program, to read (or be read to) and get prizes, prizes, prizes… Readers (who read independently, usually chapter-book fiction) are plowing through books, as are pre-readers (whose families count how many books are read to them). Readers win tokens (“wooden money” redeemable for prizes), while pre-readers who’ve had lots of Picture Books read to them (four books earn one game play) are winning bushel baskets of prizes.

At any given time, dozens of kids are crisscrossing KidSpace reading, redeeming tokens, and playing their games, (Readers roll huge dice and move characters they choose, while pre-readers choose from several games which involve “a pup tent,” “Guess Which Animal,” and digging through sand for buried treasures.). It’s a busy place, tied together under the theme “Paws to Read” (pun intended, and in which various woodland and other cuddly animals feature prominently).

And, for those readers who earn the right to play their game at least nine times, there is a prize package that includes fun coupons and a free book in a cool tote bag. All kids who visit 9 times by August 8 can enter the drawing for a grand prize.

GRAND PRIZES ARE HOT: a scooter, a bicycle, and a Family Pack of 4 passes to Six Flags Great America

Okay, to summarize, let’s do this by the numbers:
∙ Way over 1,000 kids signed up
∙ Thousands of fiction chapter books, pre-reader Picture Books, and other reading experiences generated
∙ Hundreds of books featured in readers’ “Share a Book” sheets (think of these as very simple, user-friendly book reports)
∙ Thousands of tokens won in the readers’ game or earned (from readers’ turning in completed “Share a Book” and “Reading Challenge” sheets)
∙ Thousands of prizes and toys purchased with tokens (by readers) or won outright (by pre-readers)
Impossible to calculate: improvements to kids’ literacy as a result of summertime reading
∙ Tons (number impossible to know) of fun had by participants, staff, and the teen volunteers without whom the Summer Reading Program could not take place

For more photos of our Summer Reading Club for kids, click here!

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