Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reading Out Loud: Don't Miss Out

Your child may be spending six-hour days at Mount Prospect School, but don’t forget that a child’s success in school depends heavily on parental involvement with the education process.  One of the most important skills your child will develop is reading, a lifelong skill necessary for success in our technological world.  Reading should also be a lifelong joy, and you can help set the stage.  Reading out loud to your children can never start too early or continue too late.  The benefits are numerous.
With preschoolers and early elementary students, you are preparing them for being able to read on their own.  They are learning that stories have a sequence, that pages are to be turned, that there is a beginning, middle and end to a story.  You are expanding their horizons and increasing their familiarity with language.  Even if your child is a fluent early reader, don’t stop reading out loud.  When you read out loud to your children, you are enriching their imaginations and their vocabulary.  You are exposing them to well constructed writing and sharing one of life’s greatest pleasures.  All of this nuance, language and style are absorbed, and you will see the rewards of your efforts you’re your student’s greater enthusiasm for literature and improved comprehension and enhanced writing skills.
Looking for some good read alouds?  Get your hands on a copy of Jim Trelease’s Read Aloud Handbook for great book lists and even more compelling reasons why reading out loud can be a family pleasure that produces academic improvement.  Or visit his website at  You can also visit Teachers and Families: TogetheRead at  We all lead busy lives, but the 20 minutes or so that you spend reading with your child is a  small moment of pure pleasure that you won’t want to miss.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month

September is Library Card Sign-up Month - a time to remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all.

A card at Bernards Township Public Library is free to residents.  Children of any age are eligible.  Parents need to show proof of residence in order to get a card.

Libraries play an important role in the education and development of children.   Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.

Bernards Township Library offers books, magazines, audiobooks, DVD's, and other multimedia materials.  Librarians are on hand to help recommend materials suitable for various ages and interests and help you with research questions.  With your library card you also have access to research databases from your home computer.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Not Your Grandmother's Library

So we all think we know what a library is like, right?  Well, think again.

Your child will never touch a card catalogue that is a piece of furniture with little drawers.

Your child will learn to search the library with the computer look-up, which
  • can be searched by key word or series as well as title, author and subject
  • shows a picture of the book cover
  • can sort by date
  • can search for websites as well as books

Your child will use online encyclopedias and databases as well as reference books.

Your child can reach out to the world from a seat in the Mount Prospect Library.

Your librarian does not have a bun, or wear glasses and sensible shoes or say "Shhh."  (Oh, wait, she has a with-it bun, shoes and glasses, and doesn't say "Shhh.")

What's in store for the 21st century?  Take a look at new guidelines from the American Association: Standards for the 21st-Century Learner.

You'll see how reading, inquiry, ethical behavior, technology skills and equitable access can best be managed in the near future.

Yes, there are lots of books in the library, and yes, the librarian does have a bun, but remember that your child's library is definitely  not  your grandmother's library.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A New School Year

A new school year brings a new outlook, and here is the start of my blogging career.  I hope many Mount Prospect parents, staff and others out there in the blogosphere will join me on this journey.

There are changes to Mount Prospect Library's funding and staffing this year, and the cutbacks make me want to promote library resources and services more than ever.

Librarians across the country are in the same boat.  We want nothing more than the opportunity to share our stuff with our communities.  There may be some limitations in how we can do this in a new and chillier economic climate, but we'll do whatever it takes to get our resources into the hands of our patrons.

So come to the library, and check it out.