Talking About September 11 with Children

It's hard to believe that we are close to the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. It's even harder to realize that many children alive today have no living memory of the event. In a recent article published in School Library Journal, Frances Jacobson Harris notes that for students currently in school, "September 11 had become history, an event that held no direct, personal signifigance for them. " www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/home/891274-312/not_fade_away_ten_years.html.csp

As the anniversary draws closer, we will be witness to a flood of media coverage and rememberances. Your children may ask you questions about the events of that day. If you have concerns about handling a family discussion of September 11th, or would like more information about speaking to your children about difficult topics in the media, we invite you to consult the resource list below:

This PDF from the 9/11 Memorial's official website is extremely helpful, particularly the advice to "Answer questions with facts."

9/11 Heroes offers their own guide, and provides a space for parents to upload their children's poems and pictures commemorating the heros of September 11th.

This link from PBS.org is a great resource for talking to your children about any tragedy or current event.

PBS.org also supplies a timeline of the events of 9/11.

You may also want to check out some of the Children's Library materials about September 11th:


 

One Day in History: September 11, 2001

Rodney P. Carlisle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Turning Points in U.S. History: September 11, 2001

 Dennis B. Fradin

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 September 11: Then and Now (A True Book)

 Peter Benoit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any additional questions about September 11th materials, feel free to contact the Children's Library at childrenslibrary@darien.org.

Speak Out Against Bullying

The Stamford Advocate has launched a project, Speak Out Against Bullying, to raise awareness about kids and teens who are bullied in school and to help erase the stigma associated with those who have been bullied.  Two teens shared their stories in the video below, and The Advocate is encouraging other kids and teens to add their voices and experiences to the conversation.  More videos, in addition to articles, will be coming out on this very important topic. 

If you would like to contribute your story, please e-mail your video to speakout@ctnews.com or visit the Speak Out Against Bullying Facebook page.

For more information about bullying, and a booklist, take a look at our post on Dealing with Bullies

 

 

 

True Small-Moment Stories from Holmes School

Stories come from all sorts of interesting places.  Sometimes we find great stories within the pages of a book at the Library.  Other times we may hear a terrific tale from a grandparent or teacher.  Sometimes, we create our very own! 

The collected anthology below contains real life stories written by the fifth graders at Holmes Elementary who participated in the Writing Workshop.  Each writer began by creating a writer's notebook and selecting two original stories as seed ideas.  Then they each chose two drafts to revise, edit, and ultimately, publish. 

The Darien Library is proud to host these wonderful original works for the entire community to enjoy.  Click the page below to open. 

 
 

Talking to Kids About Current Events

Whether you get your news from tv, the web, radio, Twitter, Facebook, or a newspaper, you've likely seen the headlines about the death of Osama Bin Laden. For adults, news like this can bring up a variety of emotions and take a while to fully process. Imagine then, the difficulty that many children have in trying to contextualize and fully absorb current events of this magnitude.

For tips on talking with children about tough issues and somewhat scary current events, check out this article from PBS.org.

Since many young children were born after the events of September 11, 2001, a conversation about the history leading up to this week's news may be in order. The Children's Library offers several child-friendly databases for history, social studies, and biographies.  These online resources, while compiled from print sources (and thereby appropriate for most homework assignments), are updated continually and offer the most current information for students. 

For additional resources and information, stop by the Children's Library or contact us at childrenslibrary@darienlibrary.org.

photo courtesy of Flickr user Abhisek Sarda

21st Century Parenting Discussion: Multi-Media Narratives & Interactive Fiction

Multi-Media Narratives & Interactive Fiction:  The New Reading Experience for Kids & Teens

Wednesday, March 9 at 7 PM in the Community Room

The media complains that kids don't read anymore--they are too tired, too distracted, and too busy to read books for fun.  In fact, in Darien, only 22.5% of students in grades 7 to 12 said they spend three hours a week reading for pleasure (Search Institute Youth Survey Results, 2008).  Would that change if we changed the way we think about reading?

Ariel Aberg-Riger, Chief Creative Officer at Fourth Story Media (NY), explores interactive fiction for teens in this talk about multi-media narratives and the new reading experience for young people.

This talk will explore how an interactive fiction series for teens works--what's in books versus on the web, how the community interacts with a story and with each other, and present examples of members' creative writing.  There will be a discussion focusing on exciting reading-based interactive projects and initiatives, and where the future of multi-media narratives for kids and teens is headed.

Raising Our Daughters - Raising Our Sons

book cover of Raising Our Daughters        

As a parent, do you:


• Worry that you are not doing enough?
• Struggle with embarrassing issues?
• Seek ways to reduce power struggles?
• Want to do everything you can to be
 an effective and competent parent?

 

book cover Raising Our Sons

Parents of boys and girls in 3rd and 4th grades are invited to join this 10-week Parent Discussion Group held in the Darien Library Conference Room. Using the Raising Our Sons and Raising Our Daughters Parenting Guides you will meet weekly with parents of children of the same age and gender to help prepare you and your children for the tween and teen years.

Tuesday mornings, 10 - 11:30 AM

February 15, 2011 - November 15, 2011

The first session will meet on Tuesday, February 15 at 10 AM in the Library's Conference Room.

Darien Library is a member of Thriving Youth: Connected Community, an initiative of the Human Services Planning Council for developmental asset building through meaningful relationships, experiences, skills and opportunities that benefit all our children. Thriving Youth: Connected Community is a movement in Darien to address the needs of our young people which were brought to light in the Fall when the Search Institute conducted the 40 Developmental Assets survey in our Middle and High Schools. If you missed the results when they were announced you can still view the presentation as a pdf here.

To see the list of Developmental Assets that will be discussed in this series, click here.

Space is limited - to register for this program, sign up by calling (203) 669-5235 or email childrenslibrary@darienlibrary.org

Can Reading Decrease Tantrums?

Can reading aloud to children limit tantrums? 

According to a new study in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, it can!  Researchers found that toddlers who possess a spoken vocabulary at 24 months show an increased ability to later on control their emotions and self-regulate.  The rationale behind the findings is that children who have the ability to verbalize their frustrations are able to more effectively control their own behavior. 

And what time-tested method have parents and caregivers used for generations to help babies and toddlers begin to develop language skills?  Reading aloud!  So, stop by our Children's Library and pick up some Tantrum Stoppers... ahem.... that is, books.

adorable yet super angry child photo courtesy of Flickr user christine [cbszeto]

"My child is a Level H reader. How do I find those books in the Library?"

"My son is a Level G.  Can you show me that section?"

"My daughter's teacher just informed us that Katie is between a I and a K.  How to I find books at her reading level?"

"Where do you keep your C books?"

These are questions that we children's librarians are asked almost every week.  Parents, caregivers, and children will frequently come to us with a Leveled Reading list or instructions from their teachers to find books on the Guided Reading scale (this method of reading instruction, also known as the Fountas and Pinnell system, uses a scale from A to Z to indicate increasing levels of book difficulty.)

 

Since public libraries are organized and arranged to facilitate browsing, searching, and to inspire a lifelong love of reading, you won't find our Children's Library organized by the A to Z levels.  So, how do you locate books that are appropriate for your child's reading level? 

 

Here are a few ways to find great books for your child:

1. Ask a Children's Librarian. 

We pride ourselves on knowing great children's literature and enjoy making recommendations.  We will usually begin by asking you or your child what kinds of books you've read recently and whether those books felt "just right" or not.  We can help you find similar titles, ones that are a little harder, or a little easier. 

2. Check out our F5 Learn to Read and/or our Kids I Read section. 

For children just learning to read on their own, a great place to browse is in our F5 Learn to Read area.  These books, also known as beginning readers, are designed to help newly emerging readers recognize common vocabulary, anticipate rhyming words, construct meaning through carefully placed illustrations, and build confidence. 

For children who are reading independently but not quite ready to delve into Harry Potter, check out our Kids I Read section.  Filled with popular chapter book series, these books help keep new readers engaged but not overwhelmed. 

 

3. Use the Five Finger Rule.

What is a level H or K or D anyway?  What does it mean?  It can be frustrating for both parents and children to locate books on their assigned Guided Reading level.  Oftentimes, the Guided Reading lists given to parents contain titles that are out of print or unavailable. 

One simple and effective way to judge whether any given book is too hard or too easy is The Five Finger Rule.  Here's how it works:

- Ask your child to start reading a page from the book.  Anytime they come to a word that they cannot pronounce or don't understand, hold up a finger.

- One finger means the book in question is probably too easy.

- Four or five fingers means the book in question is probably too hard.

- Two or three fingers means the book is probably JUST RIGHT.

Looking for more information on finding great books for your child?  Stop by the Children's Library anytime or contact us at childrenslibrary@darienlibrary.org

photo of child reading courtesy of Flickr user John-Morgan; photo of hand courtesy of Flickr user Phineas H.

 

 

21st Century Parenting: Connecting With Your Digital Native

Parenting technology series January through March 2011

Come to the 21 Things Kick-Off to learn more about the program and  meet other participants. 

Saturday, January 22, from Noon to 2 p.m.

Raising "digital natives" presents new challenges for parents.  Are you ready?

Darien Library presents a series of programs exploring the role of technology in the lives of kids and families.  Join us for film screenings, lectures, and hands-on learning opportunities for parents this winter.

Special thanks to YWCA Parent Awareness for co-sponsoring many of these programs.

January Programs

February Programs

March Programs

Kids and Teen Programs

this picture by flickr user bm.iphone

This multi-month series includes the 21 Things parenting program

There Is Still Time To Register for 21 Things!


Join in the fun – come play and learn with us!  Register online or contact the Children's Library at childrenslibrary@darienlibrary.org or 203-669-5235.

You are raising kids in a digital world. Facebook, Twitter, and a growing number of websites and social tools are becoming increasingly important in most aspects of our 21st century world. Information literacy is crucial to your children’s success in school and technology is now completely integrated into your child’s life. Today’s students want Web 2.0 tools to be a part of their learning lives because these are the tools that enable them to connect, collaborate, create, and engage in learning that is relevant, contextual and experiential.  

Why should they have all the fun?

Join us in 12 weeks of learning through engagement in online technology, in 21 simple activities that you can do on your own time, at your own pace. This program is designed to help you learn about, and how to use, Web 2.0 technologies so that you may better support, guide, and parent your digital native kids safely and confidently through both the perils and the possibilities that this brave new digital world offers. 

This program is inspired by the Learning 2.0: 23 Things program developed by Helene Blowersat the Public Library of Charlotte &Mecklenberg County and adopted by many other libraries and organizations since then. Content and style for 21 Things for 21st Century Parents has been borrowed and duplicated under a Creative Commons license. We thank them for sharing the program so that we may spread the ideas and make learning fun for parents too!

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