I remember my first election. I was ten years old and there was a long line, but the reward was an “I Voted” sticker which I proudly wore. The next morning, I eagerly asked who won and was disappointed that it wasn’t my mom’s candidate. That was the first time I ever took an interest in politics and all of these years later, I still remember the experience. When you vote tomorrow, you have a chance to create similar memories. Take your young person and talk to them about the election process. If you’re not sure what to say, the library offers excellent resources some of which are featured below.
“Today on Election Day” by Catherine Stier captures the excitement of voting from the point of view of several young protagonists. On election day, one child waits to cross the street with construction workers, restaurant servers and a pilot, all of whom are heading to the polls. Another is going with his 18 year old brother to vote in his first election. Yet another joins his grandfather who, in all of his years of voting, has pushed down a lever, punched a card and even marked a paper ballot. Stier successfully relates the voting experience to an early elementary audience. Readers will finish the book with an understanding and sense of pride for our election process.
We know the majority of you weren't yet old enough to vote in this year's general election, but we wanted to give you a chance to be heard. So we came up with two candidates for our mock election and invited you to elect one as your president. Over 1,000 of you voted in the library and online!
The candidates were:
Edward Cullen from Twilight, "Because no one else has 111 years of experience!"
Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games, "Hungry for change? Vote Katniss! "
and the winner is ... Katniss Everdeen!
Children may not be able to vote in the general election, but from October 6 through November 6, 2012, nearly 2,000 kids voted at the library and online for their choice of President.
This year's candidates were:
Fly Guy: "Not just your average fly on the wall!"
Ladybug Girl: "She never flies away when things get hard!"
And the winner is ... Fly Guy!
If you want to help your child learn more about the election process, share Virginia Johnson's wonderful article, "The Presidential Election: How It Works" from our website.
Call me clichéd, but autumn is one of my favorite times of year. On a physical level, I can pull out my cozy sweaters and boots and be consistently warm, and on a spiritual one, I can kick leaves with my husband and enjoy the breeze while walking the dogs. Somehow picture book authors successfully capture all of the wonderful elements of this beautiful season of change.
The five titles for the Scariest Book Contest have been selected!
Prizes will be awarded.
Does thinking about your favorite horror title put you in the mood to read more? Checkout librarian Craig Graziano's flowchart to help you navigate some new suggestions. We also have several great book lists to choose from in Reading Matters, like:
What do you dare to read? If you are a teen, the Central Rappahannock Regional Library system wants to know. Teen Read Week is coming and in support of this year’s theme, “It Came from the Library!,” we’re asking teens to nominate the scariest book ever written on our Teens@CRRL Facebook page or our Teens.Librarypoint.org Goodreads page. In the next few days, we’ll narrow the list down to five titles and starting October 14th teens can visit our website and vote for the scariest book. Unfortunately, I’m too old to participate, but if I could here are the titles I would choose.
Area residents have a new way to learn the strength of that last wind gust or how much rain fell during a recent downpour. The Central Rappahannock Regional Library system has a weather station located at its England Run branch in Stafford County! Anyone can view current temperature and humidity on the England Run branch page or get historical weather data for the past week or months by clicking through to the wunderground.com page for our location. Information is also shared with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of their Citizen Weather Observer Program for use in their weather prediction models.
For some area eighth grade students and their school librarians, summer didn’t just mean relaxing by the pool and catching up on sleep. Instead, they attended biweekly meetings to discuss forty-one nominated titles for the public library’s 2013 Cafe Book classes --book discussions for seventh and eighth graders in area schools. This committee provides a rare opportunity, as adults and teens serve side by side, brought together by a shared passion--books. Teens told us they appreciated that their “opinion was encouraged and taken seriously” and “valued” by the adults. It all came down to a final meeting with the goal to choose only twenty titles. You can imagine the debate that ensued as each book’s plot, characters and appeal were considered. Finally, the list was decided, unfortunately leaving behind some wonderful titles. Here are some of my favorites that were “left on the cutting room floor.”
After watching the Olympics for sixteen glorious yet exhausting days I have learned more about losing than winning. There were amazing accomplishments, but while I cheered for the winners, it was those who handled their defeat with an admirable and touching dignity and grace, that truly resonated. Anyone who has played a game with a young child or a sore loser of any age knows that losing gracefully and good sportsmanship are invaluable lessons. These books capture the spirit of that childhood love for winning even when they don’t.
Over the next few weeks I expect to be sleep deprived and living in a daily news bubble. Every bleary eyed daily interaction that follows will be worth staying up past my bedtime to cheer athletes from around the world. My own obsession began with Nadia Comaneci and I’m convinced Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Gabrielle Douglas will excite a whole new generation of fans. After all, the Olympics don’t come around every year and the spectacle, willpower and determination of the competitors is riveting.
In “How to Train with a T-Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals” by Michael Phelps and Alan Abrahamson, Phelps provides insight into his success, translating the hard work it required into stunning numbers and easy to understand terms. He trained for six whole years--a kindergartner’s entire life--swimming a total of 12,480 miles during that time. “That’s 183,040 trips around the bases” and it’s “like swimming the full length of the Great Wall of China three times!” His legs became so strong he could press “300 pounds 60 times” which is the equivalent of pressing a tyrannosaurus rex and ten velociraptors. Children will enjoy the comparisons and will have a deeper understanding of the preparation it takes to be an Olympic athlete. An added bonus is that they will be able to follow Phelps’ pursuit of a new record for the most Olympic medals.