Teacher Resources

Donating School Supplies

It's time to stand in line and complain about the high cost of school supplies. Parents groan, whip out their pieces of plastic, gnash their teeth, and pay up. It's what we do every year. Even after checking for the best sales and rebates, the total is still hard to take. But this is what we have to do. And yet, have you ever considered that you are lucky to be able to do it at all?
Read on for ways you can help less fortunate kids get the supplies they need.

Christmas Around the World

If it's December, it's time for that familiar topic for reports: Christmas Customs Around the World. Fortunately, the library has a number of resources to help you.

Norton Juster: Phantom Toll Booth Designer

Milo was bored. So very bored by school, by books, and by toys that when he found a package marked "One Genuine Turnpike Tollbooth" he figured he couldn't possibly get any more bored by looking at it. So he opened it, set it up, climbed into his electric car and sped off for adventures in Dictionopolis, the land of words, and Digitopolis, the land of numbers. Accompanied by the faithful watchdog Tock, he faces the raucous Dischord & Dynne, the Terrible Trivium, and many other odd and wonderful creatures.

A Childhood at War: The Stories of Uri Orlev

Imagine: the roads to your neighborhood are blocked by armed guards. You cannot leave without risking being shot. You have neighborhood stores, neighborhood meetings, and for a while, things go along in a scary way, and you get to the point where it seems almost normal. But people do disappear, a few at a time.

Every morning you follow your Dad into the rope factory where he and all the other men have been told to work. When your mother doesn’t come back home from visiting another walled off neighborhood, you don’t ask too many questions. She may come home, but she probably won’t. It’s better not to ask.

Farmyard Animal Friends

This year's Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair runs from July 23 to August 2, 2009. There will be many things to see and do, but the farm animals, homebaked goodies, and homegrown vegetables are always popular.

Beautiful Butterflies

They flutter around the tall, bright flowers in springtime and summer, only stopping to drink sweet nectar or lay their eggs on green leaves. Who would believe a gorgeous butterfly could come from a homely caterpillar?

You can watch this miracle happen at your house. Grab a butterfly book from the library to learn how to find their eggs and raise them from creepy-crawlies into splendid winged beauties. While you wait for them to grow, try a butterfly folktale or two. People around the world have made up stories about butterflies!

Chincoteague Ponies

On the last Thursday in July, the wild ponies on Virginia's Assateague Island will make their annual swim across to Chincoteague Island. Many of the foals will be auctioned off to raise money for the local fire department, just as they have since 1925. The custom of rounding up the ponies is much older, dating back to the 1700s at least, and it has always been held with a lot of celebration. Today, you and your family can visit Chincoteague during Pony Penning, enjoy a carnival and great seafood, and perhaps bring home your very own foal.

Pah-Rum-Pum-Pum: Follow the Drum

As every baby who's ever beaten a spoon against her high chair knows, there's nothing more fun than the rhythm of a pounding drum sound. Fast or slow, loud or soft, people around the world use the drum to build community spirit.

Make Your Own Board Games

It's a long time 'til summer. Nights are cold and seem to last forever. T.V. can get boring. Video games, likewise. Fortunately, there's a cure for the winter blahs. Gather your family together for an hour or two of face-to-face gaming with a twist: you can make the games yourselves to match your family's interests.

Here Comes Johnny Appleseed

If you saw a man walking by your house barefoot, wearing old clothes and with a tin pot on his head, you'd likely wonder where on earth he came from. But if you lived in Indiana or Ohio in the early part of the 1800s, you just might recognize your wandering neighbor, Johnny Appleseed.