4/18 | NJ’s Changing Climate
Dr. David Robinson was met with an incredibly interested audience for his informative and engaging talk on NJ’s changing weather. He touched upon potential climate change impacts on health, agriculture, water and other natural resources, species, and other areas. Dr. Robinson spoke about different factors affecting climate change, saying, “Preponderance of evidence suggests climate change is occurring and humans are responsible for a significant portion of recent changes.”
Dr. Robinson ended the presentation by providing information and brochures on how interested individuals of all ages can contribute to the monitoring of weather/climate conditions in the local region by participating in the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network (Cocorahs is a community based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation).
He also gave a list of useful websites to check out for anyone interested in learning more:
- ONJSC or Office of the NJ State Climatologist
- The Rutgers NJ Weather Network to follow current weather conditions (maps updated every 5 mins)
4/25 | Little Bookworms – Grades K-1
We all know that with April, comes the rain. After sharing stories about clouds, Miss Gina taught the class the science behind rain clouds. See the cloud rain!
4/26 | Mediumship Demonstration
Did you know that isolation can quickly turn into loneliness? Doctors, scientists, researchers and educators are paying close attention. In fact, loneliness has been penned “the next epidemic”, and is directly linked to a whole host of health issues, including dementia and mortality. This inspirational talk by Carol Kasperowitz, a renowned motivational speaker, Founder of Retreats Women Want, Life Coach, and Teacher of the Year, mainly focused on how women in their 50s and beyond can avoid the mistake of being afflicted by loneliness in their later years.
Carol spoke about how being alone, or a “homebody,” can be dangerous for women as they get older. She has found that when women age, their motivation, desire, ability and confidence to meet new friends and form connections, wane.
In her own words: “The older people get, the more isolated they become. The physical changes are just a part of it. Children and grandchildren move on, friends can no longer be relied on for connection, because they too, are transitioning to changes. Spouses pass away, or there may be conflict with children.”
Carol encouraged the women in attendance to become “doers”:
- They’re patient: Friendship takes time and effort!
- Avoids watching TV during the day.
- Notices patterns in journal when bored.
- Phones at least 1 person a day. Avoids texting.
- “Comments,” Doesn’t “like” (on FaceBook).
- Volunteers, gets involved and feels needed.
- Schedules friendship dates on calendar.
- Goes outside, exercises at least once a day.
- Has courage to be imperfect.
Her tips for being physically and socially active:
- Walk outside every day
- Wave to your neighbors
- Join a gym/yoga/meditate
- Go to the local pub
- Volunteer. Donate. Cook something for someone.
- Go dancing
- Host a fundraiser event
- Have a girlfriend sleep-over
- Go hiking, camping, trailing
- Sign up for a class/event/retreat
- Look at a stranger, smile, and hold it
- Plant flowers, vegetables, herbs
- Work that core and exercise!
- Join a book club
- Meet with congregation after church
5/1 | Yakety Yak
Eleven second and third-graders enjoyed discussing Debbi Michiko Florence’s Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen. In the story, Jasmine is determined to help pound the sweet rice so that it can be used to make a dessert called mochi, even though her family tells her that she is too young.
Amanda and the children discussed rules and whether or not they agreed with Jasmine that this rule was unfair. Half the children felt that it was okay to limit some activities for certain ages, while others thought there should be no age limits. Amanda and the children compared how Jasmine imagined mochi pounding to be to what actually happened when she was allowed to pound the mochi. For the activity, Amanda guided the children in using mochi flour (no mochi pounding!), sugar, and water to make the recipe found at the end of the book. Everyone agreed that it was delicious!
5/2 | Little Bookworms – Grades K-1
Miss Gina shared stories about sunflowers, including the gorgeously illustrated Sunflower House by Eve Bunting, the cumulative rhyming tale that takes you through the life of a sunflower, day & night, This is the Sunflower by Lola M. Schaefer, and the warmhearted, humorous story, South African tale, Gift of the Sun: A Tale From South Africa written by Dianne Stewart.
The group enjoyed making beautiful sunflower paintings. They used recycled paper towel tubes dipped in yellow paint to create the flower petals and added their creativity to make the art their own.
***This was the final Little Bookworms class of the Spring. Look for another six-week session this Fall!