Highlights of the Week: Mindfulness Approach to Stress, Toddler Art Time: Pride Crafts & More!

5/24 |  Understanding Hearing Loss

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In collaboration with Summit Medical Group, an educational community lecture on “Understanding Hearing Loss” was presented by Jed A. Kwartler, MD, Director of Summit Medical Group, Otology/Neurotology, and Audiologist Mary-Kate Vaughn. Recognized as a leading ear surgeon in the New York metropolitan area, Dr. Kwartler performed New Jersey’s first cochlear implant in a child in 1993. His talk focused on basic ear anatomy, disorders of the outer ear, external ear care, functions of the middle ear, common disorders and diseases of the ear.

Audiologist Marykate Vaughn spoke of the importance of hearing tests, signs of hearing loss, types of hearing aids, and advances in hearing assistance technology,
communication strategies for those affected by hearing loss, and ways to protect your hearing.

The audience received a good deal of authoritative and well presented information on this critical topic of hearing loss– one that can have far reaching impact on the lives of those affected and those around them –and a closed caption service company was employed to transcribe the speakers words onto a screen to aid any hearing impaired members in the audience.


 

6/5 | Toddler Art Time: Pride Crafts

Pre-schoolers ages 2-5 created colorful rainbow crafts in celebration of Pride month!

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6/6 | Mindfulness Approach to Stress

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The Library’s presentation on “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction,” in collaboration with the Summit Medical Group, attracted a lot of interest and brought in over 100 attendees. The presenter, Nicole Swain LPC, NCC, ACS, ACT, is a Diplomat of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and provides Ccognitive Bbehavioral Ttherapy (CBT) services to individuals and couples for a variety of disorders.  In addition, she has specialized training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to help patients dealing with chronic stress.

Nicole started with a general overview of MBSR, which was conceived by Jon Kabat – Zinn, PhD, and is based on the principle in Eastern Philosophy of “paying attention with purpose”. Three decades of research, Nicole said, “demonstrates clinically relevant reductions in both physical symptoms and psychological distress for those who have training in mindfulness and  MBSR”. Cultivating awareness of the mind and body in the here, and now and being non – judgmental, are two of the important premises of the method.

She addressed that MBSR has two forms of practice: Formal (this includes various meditation practices including concentration and insight meditation), and Informal (bringing mindful awareness to daily activities such as eating, chores, exercising, and so on).

At the end of her talk, Nicole had the audience participate in a 15-minute mindful breathing meditation that was very calming.  

 


6/12 | Play ‘N’ Learn

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Toddlers had a fun and educational time with their parents and caregivers as they strengthened their pre-reading skills playing with homemade toys made from everyday objects.  The toys were constructed from paper towel tubes, cardboard, tissue boxes, and cereal boxes. As they played, parents and caregivers added to their toddlers’ vocabulary by talking about the bright colors and different textures of the pompoms that the toddlers dropped down the paper towel tubes. They counted ducks and named animals whose photos were taped to the cereal box blocks and built towers with the blocks.

 

 

Highlights of the Week: NJ’s Changing Climate, Mediumship Demonstration, Get Your Woman On & More!

4/18 | NJ’s Changing Climate 

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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:

 

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4/25 | Little Bookworms – Grades K-1

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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

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Ordained Spiritual Medium and author of the book Speaking From Spirit, RoseMarie Rubinetti Cappiello gave a talk on mediumship to a crowd of ninety-eight people.
A professional in her field, Rosemarie conducts classes at different locations on various spiritual, psychic and energetic topics. She has done thousands of private medium readings and demonstrations throughout NJ, NY, and Conn. Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University, teaching yoga in the Phys. Ed. Dept.
For the demonstrations, Rosemarie asked the audience if anyone had ever gone to a medium, and several in the audience raised their hands. She passed the microphone around to a few people who then briefly relayed their experiences. After, she began to tune into the energy around her and said she felt that someone named Daria was speaking to her. One woman responded that it was her deceased aunt.
Another instance of this was when a Chinese woman stood up and asked if Rosemary could sense anything about her. Rosemary said that either she or someone in the family was artistic. The Chinese woman then exclaimed that her brother did calligraphy, and in the eyes of her parents, was “the perfect son.”

4/30 | Get Your Woman On

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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.”

 

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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

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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!

 

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: Sleeping Better Naturally, Senior Happening, and St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

3/15 | Sleeping Better, Naturally

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The third in our series of community health lectures in collaboration with the Summit Medical Group, Dr. Mairanna Shimelfarb, MD, who specializes in Integrative Family Medicine, addressed the epidemic of sleeplessness and enlightened the audience about natural ways to get sound, restorative sleep.

Her talk, which was coincidentally held on the eve of World Sleep Day, discussed why you need to sleep, why you cant get good sleep, why it’s important to do something about it, and how to do it naturally!

Dr. Shimelfarb spoke about the stages of sleep, different types of insomnia, causes of sleep trouble, and the different factors that can help contribute to a good night’s sleep, including a healthy diet, and reducing mind noise (disconnecting from electronic devices).
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Along with other ways to relax, Dr. Shimelfarb did a video demonstration of two effective relaxation methods , including a 4:7:8 breathing exercise pioneered by Dr Andrew Weill, and an introduction to the Pranayama breathing technique as shown by Yogi Nora.
Dr. Shimelfarb’s presentation, Sleep Better, Naturally, can be viewed in it’s entirety.

 


 

3/16 | Senior Happening: The Great Lady Songwriters

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Fred Miller performed one of his lectures-in-song, “Great Lady Songwriters,” in honor of Women’s History Month. Guests also got in the spirit of wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Miller explained that many women, including four of the most notable ( Dorothy Fields, Kay Swift, Dana Suesse and Ann Ronnell), were prolific composers and lyricists. Though they never gained as much notoriety as the Gershwin brothers or Irving Berlin, their work was the core of Tin Pan Alley.

As the 1920s brought many changes in American culture, music moved ahead with inventions like the phonograph, radio, and sound movies. Jazz also transformed the music industry. New York City, with its concentration of theaters and publishing houses, became the center of the music world and at the center of the city was a small area called Tin Pan Alley. The musicians of Tin Pan Alley blended ragtime, jazz, and ballads to create a new brand of song that was witty and sophisticated. Fields, who was born in Allenhurst, NJ, brought us “The Way You Look Tonight”, “On the Sunny Side of the Street”, and “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” — just a few of more than 400 songs she wrote for Broadway musicals and films.

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Carolyn Leigh teamed with Cy Coleman and other songwriters to write songs for Mary Martin in Peter Pan, including “I’m Flying” and “I Won’t Grow Up.” Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett also sang Leigh tunes, such as “Witchcraft,” “Young at Heart,” and “The Best is Yet to Come.” Leigh also wrote “Hey Look Me Over,” for Lucille Ball in Wildcat.

Miller ended the program with another prolific female songwriter, Peggy Lee. Lee may be better known for her smooth and smoky voice, her career as singer, songwriter, composer, and actress spanned six decades. After leaving the Benny Goodman Orchestra, Lee teamed with her husband to write songs in the 1950s, then worked on her own. She wrote for Disney Studios, and sang some of her own songs in Lady and the Tramp. 

Senior Happening is funded by Friends of the Library with a grant awarded by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, administered by the Essex County Department of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

 


 

3/20 | The Shannachie of Glendunbun Ballybeg

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Even though it was sleeting, about thirty people attended the program, including one couple who drove all the down from Sussex County.