Whether your children go back to school this week or have already been at it since August, it is a time for settling into school routines. Books and stories are great ways to help children understand and become more comfortable with changes and challenges they might experience in school, can help open the door to conversations about difficult or uncomfortable topics, or can simply be a way to share a laugh.
Summer was made for reading: carefree vacation days, sitting at the beach or by the pool, relaxing outside in a deck chair or hammock. I’ve been enjoying my summer reading time immersed in teen fiction, ranging from fantasy to books that delve into realistic explorations of characters' lives. I’ve read several books this summer that have met my reading needs, whether I’m looking for escape and entertainment or to get a window into someone else’s life.
The votes have been counted, and Central Rappahannock Regional Library came out on top. Once again, Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine readers have chosen Central Rappahannock Regional Library as a winner in their 2018 Family Favorites awards - this time in two categories: Best Tutoring Service and Best Indoor Activity.
Though some of our area kiddos are still wrapping up the school year, the Summer Reading program is in full swing at the public library, with registration open for all ages - and kids and teens already earning incentives for reading. Keeping kids and teens reading over the summer is vital to prevent “summer slide” (summer learning loss), and Central Rappahannock Regional Library makes it easy to keep books in their hands. Reading suggestions for all youth are easy to come by at CRRL. Librarians love to help readers find their next great reads and have created Good Reads lists, available at every branch and online, for reading suggestions for students in kindergarten through high school. For middle schoolers, there is also CRRL’s Cafe Book Top Picks list, where they will find the titles that over 800 area 7th and 8th graders selected as their favorites from this year’s Cafe Book reads. In addition to booklists, CRRL also offers the Book Match and My Librarian services, where CRRL librarians give personalized reading recommendations to readers of any age.
Join us for Fun Fest, and wrap up the summer with a fun, family-friendly celebration at the library.
Organizations from across our community will gather at Fun Fest to celebrate children, families, and the fun of summer with games, activities, ice pops, and more. You might make bubbles or play a bean bag toss game. You might see dogs or ponies. Each library will have something special to enjoy. Visit more than one Fun Fest to multiply your fun!
Central Rappahannock Regional Library is excited to begin offering a new early literacy class specially developed for children and youth of all ages who are on the autism spectrum or differently abled. Presented at a preschool level of development, Sensory Time has the same early literacy elements as all the classes in our Grow a Reader initiative: stories, songs, and activities that allow children to develop the skills and practices they need to become ready to read.
We are in the midst of National Poetry Month, a great time to put a renewed focus on incorporating poetry into the reading habits of our children. Poetry is special in the way it captures imaginations with so few words, making it perfect to explore with children, who enjoy the short verses, succinct phrasing, rhythm, and rhyme that make poetry unique.
Children are big dreamers, but it can be hard for them to sustain those dreams when faced with adversity or even just plain apathy they sometimes face. I am especially reminded of this now, during Women’s History Month, when I am reading about women throughout history who had to fight hard to achieve their goals and dreams, and thinking about how hearing these stories can inspire children today to keep pursuing their dreams. Children can see in these tenacious women examples of what is possible with hard work and dedication.
Last week I was on the edge of my seat, along with other lovers of children’s literature, as this year’s Youth Media Awards were announced by the American Library Association. I’m always thrilled when one of my favorites wins, and I rush to read the winners and honor books that I am not familiar with. These books exemplify the richness of children’s literature and are some of the best-of-the-best picture books from 2017.