Children's Programs and Services

New Children's Programming Monthly and New Bonus Issue

It’s bonus time! In addition to the regular issue of Children’s Programming Monthly, subscribers can download a free issue, put together especially for those of you getting ready for summer reading programs. Here’s a peek at what you get:

Issue number 6, “My Clothes,” is chockablock with storytime ideas. Share a song or choose a read-aloud from more than thirty book suggestions. Plan a program around making goofy hats or ties. Or have kids help you dress a flannelboard baby. Patterns and instructions are right in the issue.   

In  the “World Wise” bonus you’ll find seven ready-made programs that take children across the world.

  • Chinese Stories”  (activities and books galore)
  • The Foolish Merchant and the Greedy Camel (an easy, one-person puppet play)
  • African Tales: Action (rhymes, fingerplays, and book suggestions)
  • All around the World (songs, books and fun facts to share)
  • The Magic Fox (a folktale to tell aloud)
  • Festivals and Fiestas/Los festivales y las fiestas: (games, rhymes, and songs in Spanish and English)
  • Sing the World (songs and activities that celebrate one world)  

Both issues are ready to download now.

If you don't already subscribe, you can purchase your subscription at the ALA Store.

Learn how to Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language in new ALA Editions Workshop

Using sign language during library storytimes is both a way to communicate with babies and toddlers and to broaden the appeal of storytimes by making them accessible to deaf children and parents. This interactive workshop will alow participants to learn from American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller Kathy MacMillan. MacMillan will use video examples to provide easy-to-learn signs that can be retaught and incorporated into storytime ideas. Librarians will be able to use the skills learned in this workshop to create programs that will help parents communicate with their children at home.

Registration for this workshop is available on the ALA Store. The workshop will last 90 minutes, and takes place at 1pm EST/Noon CST/11amMST/10amPST on Wednesday, March 23rd.

Register Today! Go tohttp://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3280

Kathy MacMillan is a freelance writer, American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller. She has contributed articles to Public Libraries, American Libraries, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates, and LibrarySparks, and is the author of Try Your Hand at This!: Easy Ways to Incorporate Sign Language into Your Programs (Scarecrow Press, 2006), A Box Full of Tales: Easy Ways to Share Library Resources through Story Boxes (ALA Editions, 2008), and Storytime Magic (with Christine Kirker, ALA Editions, 2009). She was the Library/Media Specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005, and prior to that was a children’s librarian at Carroll County Public Library and Howard County Library, where she developed and presented hundreds of programs for all ages. She holds an M.L.S. from the University of Maryland, College Park, and has been reviewing for School Library Journal since 1999. Kathy presents storytelling programs introducing sign language for thousands of children and families each year through Stories By Hand (www.storiesbyhand.com).

Submit ideas, get a Free One-Year Subscription to Children’s Programming Monthly

Do you have a successful storytime program to share? Send it to me via e-mail. If it’s selected for publication, we’ll send you a free-one year subscription to the online magazine. All submissions will be acknowledged promptly, and authors will be notified within three months if their program will appear in print. Looking forward to hearing from you….

  1. Activities and books must be appropriate for children preschool through grade 3.
  2. Programs must be submitted electronically (szvirin@ala.org)
  3. Along with read-aloud suggestions, programs can include songs; activities (musical and/ or, movement); rhymes; flannelboards; crafts; fingerplays; lists of additional books or recordings;  early literacy information; and parent follow-up activities.
  4.  Submissions must be accompanied by the author’s name, mailing address, e-mail, daytime phone, and, if applicable, library affiliation.
  5. Illustrations (no photos, please) will be accepted on the basis of quality. Simple diagrams or patterns work best. They should be drawn with black ink on plain white paper and scanned at 300dpi. If electronic submission or artwork isn’t possible, illustrations can be sent separately, to Stephanie Zvirin, ALA Editions, 50 E. Huron, Chicago, IL 60611. Please do not bend or fold the illustrations.
  6. All book suggestions must include the author’s name, publisher, and date of publication.   
  7. Recorded song titles must include the names of the recording and the recording artist.
  8. Previously published programs can’t be accepted.

I'll look forward to hearing your ideas!

Newbery/Caldecott: The Speeches Revisited

 

Anyone who has ever attended the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet at Midwinter knows the place is always packed, and it’s not the food that draws the crowd. It’s not really the company either, however fine that may be. It’s the opportunity to pay tribute to the winners and the anticipation of getting a tiny glimpse of the people behind the books. A compilation of the speeches from the last decade, In the Words of the Winners, allows us to enjoy the speeches anew, in print this time and enriched by a personal profile of each medalist contributed by a friend or colleague. Below are a few teasers…. 
 
“Anyone who has reached this podium has traveled a long trail. Few have traveled a longer than I have, across thirty years and thirty books. I am not a quick study. It has taken me this long to find the key that unlocks a Newbery: a naked woman and a snake. There is no accounting for taste, and I am grateful to the Newbery committee for theirs.” --Richard Peck
 
“Writing is naming the world.” --Avi
 
“I am often asked, “How do you write for children? How do you know what they’ll like? I’m always surprised by the question because I’d never give it much thought. I feel as if I’m being asked, “How do you write for penguins? Or wombats?” The shocking truth is: I myself was once a child.” --Mordicai Gerstein
 
“Libraries fed our passion as children, and feed it still.” --Cynthia Kadohata.
 
“I did not write stories to get people through the hard places and the difficult times. I didn’t write them to make readers of nonreaders. I wrote them because I was interested in the stories, because there was a maggot in my head, a small squirming idea I needed to pin to the paper and inspect, in order to find out what I thought and felt about it. I wrote them because I wanted to find out what happened next to people I had made up. I wrote them to feed my family.” --Neil Gaiman
 
“My favorite Newbery speech advice came from a Texas librarian who told me to speak for the shortest time allowable and to remember that I am among friends. She’s here tonight, and I have given her a flashlight, and when I have been talking for twelve minutes she is going to give me a few blinks. And after fifteen minutes, she’s just going to throw it at me.” --Rebecca Stead
 
In the Words of the Winners: The Newbery and Caldecott Medals 2001-2010, coauthored by the Association for Library Service to Children and The Horn Book. (Editions, 2011)

New Children's Programming Monthly: Welcome Winter

I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but in Chicago it’s 15 degrees. Our Midwestern weather is one of the reasons the new issue of Children’s Programming Monthly is dedicated to Old Man Winter and his frosty friends.

Not everybody celebrates snow, but it seems enough Editions authors do to enable us to present you with a wonderful array of programs that make the most of bright, snowy days. We can stay toasty indoors while sharing Kathy Macmillan’s comical prop story “Getting Dressed to Play in the Snow” or  singing along to  Rob Reid's gleeful snow-themed adaptation of the old camp song “Do Your Ears Hang Low.” Patterns to outfit a flannelboard snowman, early literacy link for preschoolers, a wealth of books to share…you’ll find it all in this month’s issue.  

You can purchase a single copy of this issue or subscribe to Children's Programming Monthly at the ALA Store.

Help Your Patrons and Your Library Go Green with Make-and-Take Recycled Crafts

Inspire patrons to reuse things they’d ordinarily throw away. Not only does this help the planet, it also fosters creativity, a quality many children don’t cultivate because they spend so much time with technology.

This activity can take place on one day, or you can provide a regular table for make-and-take crafts, varying the project regularly.

Display books featuring crafts made from recycled materials (along with examples of the more complicated projects, if you want to make some).

Set up an area in the library where interested patrons can make some of the simpler crafts to take home. Post directions with the materials, or have someone available to help people. If you lack staff for this activity, try recruiting volunteers. Some high schools have environmental action clubs, whose members might make sample crafts ahead of time and/or work at your event.

Use these super simple ideas, or consult books from the list below. Each issue of Highlights Magazine for Children also offers crafts made from household objects.

If the library doesn’t have enough materials, solicit donations through newsletters and posters.

BOOKMARKS

Children cut off the corners of reply envelopes from junk mail and decorate them with stamps or crayons.

CALENDAR PUZZLES

Children cut old calendar pictures into four to twelve pieces, depending on the picture’s size and the degree of difficulty they want their puzzles to have. Provide reply envelopes from junk mail for storing each puzzle’s pieces.

CALENDAR BINGO (A GAME FOR TWO PLAYERS)

Play Bingo with an old calendar.

Tear off the pages for three months. Make sure at least two start on different days of the week. Cut apart the squares for one month. Mix them up. Spread them out facedown in the middle of the playing area.

Each player puts one of the other months in front of him/her.
Take turns picking up a square and putting it in the corresponding section of your month. Keep playing until someone gets four in a row, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. That player wins. (The squares need not be consecutive, just in the same row. For example, you could win with 5, 7, 9, and 11 in one week, even though those four numbers aren’t consecutive.)

Store the pages and squares in reused mailing envelopes.

BOOKS WITH CRAFTS FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS (745.5)

Anton, Carrie. Earth Smart Crafts.
Bone, Emily. Recycling Things to Make and Do.
Burke, Judy. Look What You Can Make with Paper Bags.
Chapman, Gillian. Making Art with Packaging.
Friday, Megan. Green Crafts.
Jones, Jen. Cool Crafts with Newspapers, Magazines, and Junk Mail.
Kohl, MaryAnn F. Art with Anything.
Nguyen, Duy. Junk Mail Origami.
Ochester, Betsy. Look What You Can Make with Egg Cartons.
Redleaf, Rhoda. Learn and Play the Green Way: Fun Activities with Reusable Materials*.
Richmond, Margie Hayes. Look What You Can Make with Paper Plates.
_____. Look What You Can Make with Tubes.
Ross, Kathy. Earth-Friendly Crafts
_____. Every Day is Earth Day.
_____. Look What You Can Make with Dozens of Household Items!
_____. Look What You Can Make with Newspapers, Magazines, and Greeting Cards.
_____. Look What You Can Make with Plastic Bottles and Tubs.
Siomades, Lorianne. Look What You Can Make with Boxes.
Sirrine, Carol. Cool Crafts with Old CDs.
_____. Cool Crafts with Old Jeans.
_____. Cool Crafts with Old T-Shirts.
_____. Cool Crafts with Old Wrappers, Cans, and Bottles.
Sullivan, Susan White.The Big Green Book of Recycled Crafts.
Warwick, Ellen. 50 Ways to Get Your Carton.
Young, Karen Romano. Science Fair Winners: Junkyard Science.

*written for adults who work with children

Dee Anderson is the author of Reading Is Funny!: Motivating Kids to Read with Riddles (ALA Editions, 2009)

New Books from Rob Reid in the Works

I just got done proofing the galley for Reid’s Read-Alouds 2: Modern Day Classics from C.S. Lewis to Lemony Snicket, the companion to my Reid’s Read-Alouds, which was published by ALA last year. I had a great time with this project, too.  It gave me the chance to re-visit titles from my childhood as well many published during my children’s childhoods, and I found many wonderful books to share aloud with groups. As I did in the first book (and do in my Book Links “Reid-Alert” column), I included a “10 Minute Selection” for each book. I hope that gives you the perfect place to start book sharing.

I can now turn my attention to my next book–a companion to Something Funny Happened at the Library. I opened that first book with the following statement: “My job is to make kids laugh.” I still feel that way. If I can make them laugh, I have their attention. If I have their attention, I can lead them to wonderful forms of literature and storytelling, which eventually leads us to the library. The new book, tentatively called Something Funnier Happened at the Library, looks at humorous books that have been published since the first book arrived. In addition to several new story-program lesson plans, I’ll highlight aspects of humor not found in the first volume---for example, humor in graphic novels and in young adult books.

I definitely think a new companion book is needed. When I went through the first book, I was dismayed to find that many of my favorites (including Margie Palatini’s The Web Files and  Sing Sophie by Dayle Ann Dodds). Luckily, there new authors, illustrators, and titles to fill the void. Mo Willems, for example, wasn’t around for the first volume. He has certainly taken the humor children’s literature category by storm. As I’m typing this, he has two books on the NY Times Bestseller List: his third Knuffle Bunny book and another Elephant and Piggie easy reader. And this isn’t the first time Willems has had multiple titles on the bestseller lists.

So, I’ll be spending a lot of the next year reading funny children’s and teen books, so I can share them with you. I’ll be including “Laugh Out Loud Moments” for most chapter books I list (similar to my “10 Minute Selections” for the Reid’s read-aloud projects), and I’ll be creating funny, ready-to-go story program lesson plans. I like this job! Look for the book sometime in 2012. Sorry to make you wait. I have a lot more reading to do!

Every Child Ready to Read Initiative: The Next Generation

The following post has been excerpted with permission from the author’s Story time Share blog. Visit http://www.earlylit.net/programs/readtogether.shtml for more information. 

Many of you have been asking what to expect from the new Every Child Ready to Read materials. I thought I would summarize what I’ve discovered from reading the new Task Force Reports and attending the ECRR sessions at ALA Midwinter 2010 and the ALSC Institute Closing Session on September 25, 2010.

First of all, you can find the official information from the ECRR Task Force on the homepage of the ECRR website at www.ala.org/everychild.  Watch the site for updates and for the information on the new materials. At the September ALSC Institute, we were told that ECRR materials would be available for purchase later in a few months.

Dr. Susan B. Neuman, a professor of educational studies at the University of Michigan specializing in early literacy development, was hired to do the recent evaluation of ECRR, and is currently working on the new materials. She gave us an overview of recent early literacy research in both an informative and enjoyable way. Her perspective about the role of the public library in meeting the early literacy needs of those in our communities was insightful, challenging, and reassuring.

I’ve combined her information on the recent research with the information from the previous ECRR sessions and Task Force Reports.

  • ECRR will continue to focus on the parent/caregiver as the child’s first and best teacher.
  • The model will continue to be research-based; new research to be included.
  • Materials will allow for more flexibility with models for conveying early literacy information not just in adult-only workshops but also in an adult-child format.
  • Key talking points as opposed to the more structured scripts will be used
  • Modules will offer more flexibility within a workshop format.
  • Modules will not be divided by age-level; each topic will encompass newborn to age five.
  • Tools for evaluation will be included in the materials.
  • The current ECRR looks at the skill first and notes what activities support the skill. New ECRR will start with the activity first.
  • The seven modules will (probably) be: Overview, Talk, Sing, Play Read, Write, Language-rich environments (library, child care center, home)
  • Training. There will be no approved national trainers. I have heard there will be a pre-conference at ALA in New Orleans, but have seen no information on that as yet.

Childrens Programming Monthly: We Want to Hear Your Ideas!

Well, Children’s Programming Monthly is off to a good start, and we have already had inquiries about submitting programs for publication. Look for submission guidelines in the January issue. In the meantime, we have put together a selection of upcoming issues meant to please. Look for “Add It Up” in December, chockablock with programs and resources to put little ones in a counting mood.  Then welcome winter with our January issue, which promises to keep the fun inside while the cold stays out.  Have children pack their pillows and blankets in February for a cozy pajama party. Our “Good Morning, Good Night” issue will help you plan.

What themes would you like to see in future issues? Maybe a who’s who at the zoo or an issue devoted to stars and the sky?  Do you have great storytime tip? Please share! You can comment on this blog post or e-mail me. You may see your theme blossom into a magazine or your tip as part of a handy CPM Top 10.

If you haven't subscribed yet, be sure to check out the free sample issue available for download.
 

Interview with Frances Jacobson Harris

I had a chance to interview Frances Jacobson Harris, Educator, school librarian, and author of I Found It on the Internet, Second Edition.

J. Michael Jeffers: Frances, you have been a high school librarian in a very special school for how many years? Tell us a little bit about your school and also what has changed the most in your tenure?

Frances Jacobson Harris: This is my 24th year at University Laboratory High School at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Uni is a public laboratory school that serves gifted students in grades 8 through 12. We're small - only about 60 students per class (300 total). The program is rigorous and students are held to high standards. At the same time, teachers have a lot of autonomy to develop curriculum. Pretty much each of us gets to know every one of the students. What has changed the most while I've been here? Technology, without a doubt. It's changed the way we communicate and, for many of us, the way we teach. What hasn't changed is a school culture that values trust, creativity, and community. Lockers stand open, students have free periods rather than required study halls, and most every student participates in extracurricular activities and/or sports. As illustration - the class of 1972 sponsors the Wylde Q. Chicken Spontaneous Generation Award for Coloring Outside the Lines. For the most part, technology has served to facilitate this culture.

JMJ: Have these changes been good for the school learning environment?

FJH: Definitely. Advances in technology have certainly improved access to information resources and possibilities for collaborative learning. Our student newspaper is entirely online; student journalists now write for an unlimited audience (and the comments on their stories to prove it!). In fact, I wish some of our teachers would do a lot more to transform their teaching with technology. A few still use it in the same way they used overhead projectors.  

JMJ: What about the students themselves. What drives, motivates, interest them?

FJH:: Many of our students come to us with a lot of intrinsic motivation, which is a too-rare, but entirely wonderful characteristic. They are, of course, interested in all the things their peers are interested in - music and other media (including books), friends, hanging out, fitting in, and getting more sleep. Unfortunately, grades are often a big motivation around here. We don't do class ranking, or it would be even worse. Many, though, are just insatiably curious - which is a joyful thing for a librarian.

JMJ: Tell us some of the new initiatives or programs at your library.

FJH: Our main claim to fame is the team-taught computer literacy curriculum, a semester course which is required of all incoming (eighth grade) students, followed by another semester course in the freshman year. Some of my pieces of the course can be found on our website: http://www.uni.illinois.edu/library/computerlit/index.php. While not exactly "new" (we've been doing this since 1996), the courses are in constant evolution. They have given me a chance to really focus my instruction on information evaluation and responsible use of information and communication technology. These skills are particularly important in our environment because we have never installed Internet filtering software (having the University of Illinois as our Internet service provider obviates the need for E-Rate funding and its mandate of filtering software). Therefore, it's terribly important that we talk, talk, and talk with students about what they find online and how they treat one another online (and in person). The course, as well as collaborative work I do with teachers, gives me lots of opportunities to keep those conversations open. In fact, the vast majority of problems we have do not involve exposure to inappropriate content, but tend to revolve around interpersonal relationships.

It is my hope that our approach to information access can serve as a model of what "normal" could be. Yesterday I saw a tweet from Dr. Alec Couros, a professor of educational technology and media at the University of Regina, who posted "I'm feeling pretty stifled with China's Internet filtering, but it still seems more liberal than most western K12 schools." Unfortunately, I think he's spot on about the draconian way we restrict access to the Internet in schools. I'm convinced there are ways to keep our students safe AND to allow them to engage in the online world in enriching and engaging ways - ways that prepare them for the world outside school.

   JMJ: When you talk to colleagues and friends in the (school) library world, what are their biggest concerns?

FJH: Lack of funding for staff and materials are HUGE points of discussion. I also hear a great deal about restrictive technology environments - not just filters, but rules and administrative procedures that tie librarians' hands, making it difficult to deploy Web 2.0 tools, communicate with students and parents, and even update library websites. And of course, many of my colleagues are concerned about the impact of today's high stakes testing environment, one that overly ties a curriculum to preparing students for testing.  

   JMJ: You must be very proud of the second edition of I Found It on the Internet. What is especially new and significant in this edition that readers really must know and understand?

FJH:: For this edition, I was particularly happy to shine more light on what we now understand about young people's use of the Internet as it relates to safety issues. Recent research tells us that the stranger-danger "technopanic" response is no longer the appropriate one. The vast majority of kids know how to protect themselves from those textbook types of dangers. Those who do not, or who actively court risky online situations, do need our attention. But we do kids no favors when we broadcast a generic "just say no" response. Instead, we need to recognize that young people are active participants in the online world, not just passive inhabitants. Truly, they shape their online world as much as it shapes them.  I'm hoping that after people read this edition of the book they'll be better informed about how we can help kids do that shaping, as much as coming to a better understanding of what we can and should do to protect and educate kids.  

JMJ: Finally, a trick question: Since your recent book went “rather well” would you consider doing another book for Editions?

FJH: Yes - when I retire! Actually, I will probably do that (retire) within the next 5 years. Right now I hardly have time to eat. I've been spending every available minute filling this website with content: http://www.cufolkandroots.org.

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