Highlights of the Week: Little Bookworms, Raw Food Workshop, & More!

4/11 | Little Bookworms: Grades K-1

Breath in…hold…breath out. Miss Gina shared stories about mindfulness in this week’s Little Bookworms Elementary Enrichment class. Gina shared the enchanting story, Anh’s Anger by Gail Silver and the inspiring tale, What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada.  

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To help children relax and calm their minds, Gina taught the children how to make “Mindful Jars.”  She used recycled water bottles, clear glue, water, food coloring, and some glitter to create beautiful jars for the children to use to help them relax before bedtime, or whenever they need to take a mindful minute.

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4/12 | Raw Food Workshop

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With the assistance of raw food nutrition author, coach and chef Karen Ranzi, M.A, thirty-five eager attendees learned how they could incorporate the raw foods lifestyle into their routines and eat their way to healthier, energetic, and more vibrant selves.

Karen Ranzi is an award winning author, internationally renowned speaker, raw food coach, certified raw food chef, speech and feeding therapist, and the creator of SuperHealthyChildren.com and the NJ Raw Food Support Network. She became a passionate advocate for the raw food lifestyle when she saw that a plant based diet helped heal her family members from life threatening-illnesses.

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During the workshop, Karen spoke about the general poor health that afflicts our families, including problems caused by processed and refined foods (with the consumption of acrylamide ), as well as nutrient loss. Karen explained that a whole plant nutrition is beneficial due to healthy protein sources, drinking more water, and fiber-rich foods that are dense in various nutrients and minerals. According to Karen, fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables offer many health advantages such as increased energy, stamina, resistance to illness, increased attention span, improved digestion, better sleep patterns, preventing diseases, feeling younger, and more.


 

4/14 | Cell Phone Photography Workshop

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10 Rules of Photography: Rule of Thirds, Framing, Symmetry & Patterns, Balancing Elements, Cropping, Depth, Background, Leading Lines, View Point, and Experimentation

The two hour session led by Heidi Sussman, an exhibiting photographer, instructor and mixed media artist who combines natural and digital media with her images, began with a slide presentation covering the cell phone as a photographic tool. 

Discussing the elements that constitute a strong photo, Heidi explained that “Your cell phone is just another tool to create photos; you need to understand the rules of photography to create good images.” To help with this process, she went over the basic elements of a good photo, such as lighting, composition, contrast, and a focal point.

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Heidi shared some important guidelines for taking better cell phone pics including keeping its simple, showing depth, shooting from a low or high angle, aligning subjects on a diagonal, and capturing close up detail. The second half of the workshop covered apps that can be use for the photo editing process to enhance images, or for creative and artistic results. Utilizing one of her favorite apps, Heidi ended with a hands-on session with the app Snapseed.

 


 

4/17 | Get Lit Adult Book Club

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“What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “mud?””

That’s how Librarian Karen deWilde kicked off our compelling Get Lit book discussion of Hillary Jordan’s Bellwether Prize winning debut novel, Mudbound.

If this sounds like a book club you’d enjoy, pick up a copy of next month’s book, Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella, register for our May 15th meeting, and join us!

 


 

4/18 | Little Bookworms: Grades K-1

Giggles from the full class were heard coming from the Program Room as Librarian Gina Vaccaro read some of her favorite silly stories, such as Monster Mess by Margery Cuyler, the fun modern twist of the classic fairy tale, Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox, Monster Needs One More by Natalie Marshall. and The Good For Nothing Button by Charise Mericile Harper (an Elephant & Piggie-like reading book).

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Organic Granny Smith apples, organic sunflower seed butter, and sunflower seeds were used to create silly edible creepy creatures.  Teen volunteers washed and cut the apples while Gina was reading, then the children used their imaginations to put their creepy creatures together. Various candies attached with the sunflower seed butter helped decorate and give the creatures some character.  The children enjoyed eating their masterpieces and parents were happy it was (mostly) healthy.

 


 

4/18 | Senior Happening: The Stephen Fuller Quartet

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Over 120 attendees were treated to an afternoon of entertainment when the talented Stephan Fuller Quartet performed crowd favorites, such as Love is Here to Stay and Send In The Clowns. Composed of Nick Scheuble on drums (Rockaway, NJ), Belden Bullock on bass guitar, and Tomoko Ohno on piano, the quartet was a hit, with people remarking how wonderfully talented they all were. One woman reminisced with tears in her eyes as the band played Stardust, explaining that it had been her wedding song many years ago.

Enjoy a short clip from the performance, as the quartet plays their version of  Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon

 

***Senior Happening is made possible in part by Funds from the NJ State Council of the Arts/Department of State, a Partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

4/22 | DIY Earth Day Terrariums

Teens had a wonderful time making terrariums with recycled jars, living plants, and cute animal figures. It was a beautiful spring day, so Teen librarian, Karen Dewilde, took the group outside to gather suitable plants. Karen used her knowledge of gardening to talk about the precautions necessary when gathering plants from nature. Each participant chose their plants and added layers to the terrarium to create a unique little world.

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Highlights of the Week: Video Game Design, Springsteen and His Layered Lyrics, Yakety Yak & More!

4/3 | Yakety Yak Grade 2-3 Book Discussion

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To do something different this month, the Yakety Yak members were asked to read and bring their favorite book to discuss at the book club meeting.  Most of the second and third graders chose fiction stories, but one child brought his favorite book, a non-fiction book about the history of flight. To begin the discussion, youth librarian Amanda asked the children to share why the book they brought was their favorite. During the discussion, children rolled a giant dice that had questions printed on each side. They then had a chance to answer questions about their fiction book’s setting, genre, and their favorite character. For non-fiction books, the questions included what the child’s favorite fact from the book was and whether or not this book was a good book about the topic.  

Next month, the group will be reading Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence and will be making mochi to taste.    


 

4/3 | Video Game Design: Ages 9-14

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The Video Game Design program kicked off its first session with a great group of kids (ages 9-14) and some teen volunteers.  These kids will meet every week through April and May to learn about computer programming while creating their own video games.  During the first session, the kids created a simple animation as an introduction to the coding platform, Scratch. Next week, they will be making a racing game.

 


 

4/3 | Xtreme Readers Book Group: Grades 4-5

The group read Tim Federle’s hilarious and heartwarming Better Nate than Ever, a story about a Broadway musical-loving eighth grade boy who is sure his stardom awaits if he could just leave his unfulfilling small Pennsylvania town and dysfunctional family behind, and head to NYC.  The group enjoyed the book and are eager to read the sequel, Five, Six, Seven, Nate!. Youth librarian Gina discussed topics such as families and siblings, best friends, bullying, musicals, and New York City.  She also presented the author’s biography for a look into his own experience in Broadway. Readers enjoyed watching Federle promote Better Nate Than Ever in his interview with the president & producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, Thomas Schumacher as they ate their snacks.

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4/4 | Little Bookworms: Grades K-1

The theme for the second session of Little Bookworms was “You!”. Miss Gina shared Paige Britt’s thoughtful picture book, Why Am I Me?, Todd Parr’s empowering Be Who You Are, and one of Gina’s all time favorite Dr. Seuss books, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

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The class enjoys Miss Gina’s stories!

To celebrate uniqueness, Miss Gina taught the children how to create salt painting name art.

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4/5 | Springsteen and His Layered Lyrics

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Facing a crowd of Bruce Springsteen fans, Professor Prudence Jones from Montclair University presented a lecture on Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen’s music, focusing on the lyrics and the folk songs his own music stems from.

Some examples Professor Jones presented were: Blind Alfred Reed’s song “How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live” was about the hard times of the Depression, but Springsteen borrowed the last refrain from that song and used it in the context of Hurricane Katrina; Springsteen borrowed from Irish immigrant Patrick Glimore’s song, “When Johnny comes Marching Home” ; and other artists that influenced Springsteen were Woody Guthrie, Curtis Mayfield, Hank Williams Jr,  Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Clarence Clemons, and Bob Dylan.

Another interesting fact Professor Jones pointed out was Springsteen’s use of Appalachian English in his lyrics, with words such as “we’uns,”  “you’uns,” “y’all,”  “them’s,” “young’uns,” and “hain’t.”