For Parents

The Schneider Family Book Award: A Legacy of Inspiration

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Seeking books about children who were blind or had other disabilities, a 9-year-old girl began borrowing books in braille from the National Library Service for the Blind.

The girl, Katherine Schneider, went on to become the first blind student to graduate from the public school system in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

A valedictorian and a National Merit Scholar, Schneider went on to obtain her doctorate from Purdue University and become a clinical psychologist and a university professor, teaching psychology courses at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, as well as counseling, supervising and administering counseling services there.

Books Your Kids Will LOVE this Valentine’s Day

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Happy Valentine’s Day!  When I was a classroom teacher, I did whatever I could not to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day.  I bought heart-covered pencils for my students, created a special morning message about Valentine’s Day, and I believe that was it.  How boring of me!

Truth be told, I didn’t want to lose a day of class time to special activities.  However, there is a way to make Valentine’s Day fun and educational.  For instance, one can take a day off from writing workshop (If you’re on-track with the unit you’re in and principal doesn’t mind!) to do some Valentine’s Day writing.  You can do a read aloud or two to inspire your students to write poems, comic books, short stories, and artwork. Then your students can give share their pieces with their family or friends after school.

Toy Libraries: A Place to Play

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Lois Eannel gets teary-eyed when she remembers that afternoon. She saw a mom bring her son into the early childhood section of the Palm Harbor (Fla.) Library and lay him down on the brightly colored rug. He must have been about 8 years  old, she thought, but a physical disability left him unable to sit up.

Eannel, then director of the children’s library, tapped the mom on the shoulder and told her she had something for her son. A short while later she brought out a Side-Lyer toy—a device made for children with special needs, with beads and lights that make sounds and vibrate when lightly touched.

And now, an important message about imaginative play

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What does a commercial-free space mean to you? With corporations doing their best to surround children with advertising from birth, providing commercial-free spaces is essential to our continued democracy, which depends on creativity and critical thinking, skills that pervasive marketing can repress. Libraries, with our continual campaign for intellectual freedom, are the perfect places to provide a commercial-free space for children.

Schoolboy's letter to save library gets PM reply

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A SEVEN-year-old boy who wrote to David Cameron to ask for his help to save a library threatened with closure was delighted when he received a reply from the Prime Minister’s office.

William Dore, a pupil at Cockerton Primary School, in Darlington, was upset when he heard that councillors were considering closing Cockerton Library, which he visits regularly with his classmates and family, as part of budget cuts.

William told his mother, Rachel, that he wanted to write to Prime Minister David Cameron, who he said was “the most important man in the world”, to ask him to save the facility.

To his surprise, William not only received a letter from Mr Cameron’s office thanking him for his “excellent” letter, but also a response from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, (DCMS) which oversees library services in the UK.