Like most families, we have our favorite holiday traditions. We decorate our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving and, every year, my husband watches Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol. When I was young, my father always read C. Clement Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas” to my brother and I. When my son was born, I couldn’t wait to uphold the tradition and searched for the just the right version that offered beautiful, detailed illustrations with a classic-looking Santa. I hope your family has a favorite holiday read aloud. If “The Night Before Christmas” isn’t for you here are a couple of other suggestions; of course there are many more possibilities to enjoy as well.
The holidays are a busy time, and the CRRL can help! Attend a card, wrapping paper or gift-making workshop to prepare for any celebration. It’s also a great time to connect with the community, and our holiday open houses are just the place. Want to take a moment, catch your breath and spend some quality time with your children before the big event? Join us for one of our specially themed children’s workshops. Don’t forget we also offer a wide selection of books, music, and DVDs for every winter holiday, along with books full of recipes and DIY craft and gift ideas.
My niece is a tactile learner and uses touch to explore her world. That doesn’t work so well in an art museum or when there’s an unknown sticky substance nearby, but it’s ideal for cooking! She especially enjoys stirring, whisking and manning the salad spinner. Her enthusiasm can be challenging for adults trying to “get things done” but she pitches in whenever possible. This year, engage children in the holiday cooking and they will feel proud to have part in the celebration. You can also share your family’s culinary creations with the community by using #crrlfallfood on your favorite social media sites, including Facebook and Pinterest. Here are some cookbooks to inspire and help make cooking as a family easy and fun!
If you're the caregiver for a school age child, then STEM is probably already a household word. An acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, STEM is a focused initiative in the nation's schools and ties in closely with the library's educational mission. Its origins lie with Congress’ America Competes Act, aptly named because when it comes to these subject areas, the consensus has been that our students are not prepared to do the STEM-related jobs we will need filled in the near future.
The library is an invaluable homework help resource even in the Google age. Need a tutor? We provide HelpNow which offers live online tutors in all subjects for all ages. Writing a research paper? Librarians have favorite internet search engines too, but don’t forget specialized online research tools that you can access with your library card; some even provide full-text journal articles. Studying a foreign language or getting ready for an important test? We have online resources for those homework needs too!
Every summer, area school and public librarians are faced with a challenge; find twenty of the best books for middle schoolers that have been published in the last twelve months. We’ve been meeting every two weeks since June, reading and discussing thirty-eight titles. Last week, we chose the twenty books that we believe teens will enjoy and that offer the best discussion possibilities. Besides the fact that we love books and reading why go to all of this trouble? For our Cafe Book program of course! During the school year, seventh and eighth grade students from fourteen area middle schools will read from among these titles and vote on those they feel merit a Cafe Book Top Teen Pick award. The other eighteen are still great teen reads; here are a few of my favorites that didn’t make the cut.
Who among us hasn't dreamt about finding treasure, whether as a child digging in the sand or an adult hiking through the woods? Now anyone can thanks to modern technology and enthusiastic hobbiests around the world! Geocaching is a modern day, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS enabled devices.
The library has partnered with the Stafford 350th Anniversary Committee and the Fredericksburg Geocachers to create The Stafford 350 Geocaching Trail! This is a fun, exciting and inexpensive way for families to enjoy a beautiful weekend exploring Stafford County.
Each February, hardworking area kindergarten teachers connect their students to our kindergarten library card campaign. Our goal is for every child to have the opportunity to explore the wonderful world of books, classes, and events available to them at the public library. With the teachers' help, students can easily register for a public library card and take an important step toward lifelong reading and learning.
Connecting with kindergartners in this way would be impossible to do without the teachers. This year, thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Library, one teacher at each branch was randomly selected to receive a Friends' book bag filled with wonderful books for their classroom.
Kindergarten students can join in the fun, too! Any time between now and May 31st, bring your child to any branch. Tell someone at the Children's Desk that he or she is in kindergarten to receive a free prize.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Kindergarten Library Card Campaign teacher prizes!
The library staff often journeys into the community to share our many wonderful educational, cultural, and recreational resources. From May through October you will find us at area farmers' markets. Stop by to learn about our great services while your children complete a quick and fun STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity. You can even check out a cookbook full of tasty recipes to use with the fresh produce you just purchased!