Monday, June 24, 2013

Miscellaneous Monday - Five Fun Youth Party Themes

As a youth librarian, I am always looking for fun program ideas.  I’ve noticed that a lot of our programs would make fantastic children’s parties.  Here are five fun ideas that go beyond the traditional party themes. (Links are to my Pinterest boards for those themes).

A great theme for preschoolers through tweens.  Design your own superhero, complete with logo and mask. Hold a trivia contest and run an obstacle course.

This is sure to delight tweens and teens. Trivia, snacks, crafts and a zombie apocalypse drill.

Give manicures and pedicures, make jewelry, lip gloss, bath salts and more, sip mocktails from fancy glasses. Tween and teen girls will have a blast.

Upcycling is all the rage! Crafts made from materials that would normally be recycled or thrown away, such as egg cartons, bread tags, floppy disks, and cereal boxes.

Show a whimsical side with a tea party inspired by Alice in Wonderland.  Giant tissue paper flowers, brightly colored sweets, and a game of “flamingo” croquet.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Miscellaneous Monday - First Book and Summer Slide

This was originally posted on my Ama Reads blog

For the past several months I have been a part of a Local Advisory Board for First Book.  This organization is important to me not only as a youth librarian, but also as someone who very nearly became an English teacher.  When you throw in the fact that I cannot remember a time when books were not an important part of my life, it is understandable that I would want to be involved with First Book.

A non-profit organization that provides access to new books for children in need throughout the United States and Canada, First Book strives to alleviate the illiteracy issue plaguing our nation’s poorest residents by partnering with organizations, classrooms, and other groups in the community.  In addition to providing books, First Book raises funds to use for grants.  If you work with children in an area with a high level of poverty, you may be eligible for a grant through First Book. 

As school lets out children are susceptible to Summer Slide.  While this is an issue for all youth, it is especially so for those in low-income areas.  With little or no access to quality books or even computers, these children are at a disadvantage. Over the summer months, children in low-income households fall behind an average of 2 months in reading. Thankfully most libraries have free Summer Reading Programs that can help alleviate the educational divide, but unfortunately, many children may never step foot in a library. 

This is where First Book can help.  For instance, the local chapter of First Book has a program called Food for the Brain Campaign in which they visit a number of community meals and nutrition sites and give new, free books to the children attending, providing those from low-income households with reading materials.  By going to where the children are and giving them books First Book helps to fight Summer Slide.  

Want to help support First Book?   Local Advisory Boards are made up of people from all walks of life - teachers, librarians, business owners, retirees, parents, grandparents... anyone can volunteer.  They can use donations of funds or of time, whether ongoing or only once.  Check out their website to search for a Local Advisory Board near you.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Scent-Sational Saturday - June Specials!

It's June!  Celebrate the warmer weather with the fruity scent of Mango Cooler - June's Scent of the Month!  All Mango Cooler scented items are 10% this month. This seasonal scent is only available for the summer catalog, so stock up now!