Children need a strong early learning foundation to succeed in school and life. We are proud to partner with the following local organizations to bring attention to this issue of vital importance to our community:
Did you know?
- Children exposed to books early in life have better language skills than those who aren't.
- 90% percent of a child’s brain is developed before reaching kindergarten.
- The seeds of a desirable workforce skills-critical thinking, teamwork, effective communication - are planted before the age of five.
What can you do?
Bring your children and spread the word about the library’s Grow a Reader classes. Each class is presented by specially trained staff who share stories, songs and activities that lay the foundation your child needs to get ready to read.
- Visit your local library regularly to check out titles even your baby is sure to enjoy!
- Read to your child daily and keep it fun! Stop reading as soon as they show you they're done.
- Reach out and thank parents, teachers, and all adults who help young children get a great start!
To celebrate National Kite Month, Porter Branch will once again display a variety of fabulous kites suspended from the ceiling. Enjoy these colorful beauties the entire month of April, and learn more about kites, how to fly them, and how to make them.
The exhibition will be provided by Stafford resident, Mike Clark, a lifelong kite enthusiast. Mr. Clark has more than 1,400 kites in his collection, including single, double, and quad line kites, as well as stunt kites. He started collecting and making his own kites when he was a child.
School-aged children, teens, and adults are welcome to join us at Porter Branch on Saturday, April 29, 9:30-12:00, to build, decorate, and (weather permitting) learn to fly your very own kite! Please sign up at the Research Desk, or call 540-659-4909.
Whether leaping through the vines of a rainforest or the pages of a book at the library, monkeys have lots to teach us about the ways animals live, our responsibilities in caring for the last wild places, and just how to have fun.
I'll bet you know that monkeys are furry, cute, and swing in the trees, but there's so much more to learn about them:
A Monkey is NOT an Ape
Monkeys have tails, but apes do not. Chimpanzees, gibbons, orangutans, and gorillas are all apes. They use their powerful arms and legs to swing through the trees. Many New World monkeys from South America can use their tails like another hand to swing. Monkeys from Asia and India can't do that! Monkeys, apes, and humans are all part of a family group called primates.
How can you help the Earth? There are lots of ways to get involved in conservation whether you're a kid, teen, or adult. Check out the local activities, Web sites and library materials listed below for some great ideas.
One morning, the old wooden dam on the Rappahannock River went up in clouds of smoke. It was a huge thing—ancient and strong, built in layers to tame the river so that the power of the water pushing against it could provide electricity for the town. But it had been years since anyone tapped that power. Now, the dam was falling apart, and it was decided that it had become dangerous. So the Army Corps of Engineers blew it up one morning, and the river was flowing freely again—just as it had in previous centuries. By getting rid of the dam, the river had a chance to go back to being more like it once was. There would be more fish which would mean more birds, and, really more of everything.
Outside the wind is lifting just so, ruffling the new leaves on the trees and chasing the old ones away. It's spring, a time to celebrate the rebirth of the flowers and the greening of the trees. It's time to go fly a kite and watch it buck and soar in the breeze.
You can make a simple kite all by yourself, paint it or color it with markers, and let it fly up in the air.
Leo Dillon was fascinated by Diane Sorber before he ever laid eyes on her. It was one of her paintings that caught his attention. For he did not know of any other student who had that deft, expressive technique. He was curious and a little jealous. He had a rival, and he knew it.
"Oh, by the way... "
Those were always the words my parents dreaded hearing when my brother and I were growing up. Usually, because it meant that one, or both of us, forgot about an upcoming project. Luckily, for us and my parents, we usually remembered sooner rather than later—but sometimes we did push it kind of close.
It’s not uncommon for parents and kids to come rushing into the library the night before a project is due looking for information and inspiration—but have no fear! We have some amazing project books here at the library that can help out students in just this situation. My booklist by no means has every book that would help, but it features some of the lesser known ones. Now, without any further procrastination, check out my "So, I have this project..." booklist.
“For me, the violin means everything . . . life.” —Ada Rios
In Ada Ríos’ hometown of Cateura, Paraguay, trash is a way of life. The landfill is a source of income for the gancheros, or recyclers, who spend the days picking through trash to find cardboard or plastic to sell. As a young girl, Ada wondered if she, too, would grow up to work in the landfill. Most people in her town did. Little did she know that trash would be a large part of her life in a completely unexpected way.
Between now and March 31, kindergarten students who visit any branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library are invited to stop by a Youth Services desk where they can choose a free book—just for being in kindergarten!
Once a year, we give books away to all kindergarten students in order to encourage their love of reading, fuel their imaginations, and add building blocks to their growing reading skills.