DBRL Patron Wins Design-A-Monster Contest

Photo of MirabelThis fall R.L. Stine, famed author of the beloved Goosebumps book series, held a contest with the Scholastic Reading Club called the Design-A-Monster Contest. To enter the contest, U.S. students in grades 2-6 were encouraged to draw an original monster, come up with a name for the creature and write up a short description of what makes it so spooky. The entries were judged on originality, creativity and execution. With almost 15,000 entries from across the country, the judges had the extremely difficult and terrifying task of selecting only eleven creepy creations to be recognized.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Picture of recycling binAmerica Recycles Day, celebrated on November 15th, has passed us by. Did you celebrate with your children by utilizing your local recycling center, repurposing something that you otherwise would have thrown away or by taking the Keep America Beautiful pledge? If you did, wonderful! If you missed out on celebrating America Recycles Day, that’s okay! You can celebrate recycling any day of the year.

Recycling is a great activity for children to participate in, not only because it helps the environment and reduces waste, but also because it can be a sorting project, requiring children to pay attention to details.

A great place to start your recycling journey is your local library, where you can find children’s books about recycling and examples of recycling. When we update the DBRL buildings or buy new furniture, we give preference to local products and products that have a percentage of the content made from recycled materials. Continue reading

The Raising of America: Free Community Screening

The Raising of America Logo

Children’s earliest interactions and environments shape their developing brains, building foundations for life-long emotional, intellectual and physical health. It’s important that parents and educators understand and start conversations about how early conditions affect babies and young children, and a great way to do that is to become educated on the topic.

The Raising of America” is a new five-part documentary special that explores how conditions faced by children and their families during infancy and the early years can literally alter their brain and affect a child’s future success — in school and in life. Many families are struggling to provide the nurturing environment all young children need to thrive. How does the growing squeeze on parents — for time, for money and for resources — impact the future mental and physical well-being of their children? What are the consequences for the nation? And how might we do better? The Signature Hour (episode one)  covers all of these issues. The four subsequent episodes each dive in for a closer look.

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2015 Missouri Building Block: Hooray for Hat!

Hooray for Hat bookHooray for Hat!” is a fun, brightly colored picture book that follows animal friends as they go from being grumpy to being happy, all thanks to wonderful hats! The simple text and the animals’ facial expressions let us clearly know the animals’ moods throughout the book. Brian Won, both the illustrator and author, begins the book with a gray elephant waking up grumpy. What will change his mood!? Why, a stack of fun hats of course! Elephant then wants to show his friends his hats and share the joy.

As a gal who hosts lots of story times, I think this book is fantastic! It’s perfect as a read-aloud, boasting large bright illustrations, simple text and the message that it’s the little things in life that can brighten a grumpy mood. Continue reading

Teal Pumpkin Project

Last year I heard about a wonderful idea called the Teal Pumpkin Project. The primary goal of the project is to make trick-or-treating on Halloween safer for children with food allergies. To do this, Teal Pumpkin Project participants have non-candy treats on hand, and they display a sign and a pumpkin painted teal to let trick-or-treaters know safe treats are available. The Teal Pumpkin Project started in 2014, and it is the brain child of the Food Allergy Research & Education organization.  Logo for Teal Pumpkin Project

The Teal Pumpkin Project makes Halloween not only safer but healthier as well. If you hand out treats on Halloween, explore some non-candy options, such as pencils, erasers, glow sticks, stickers, bubbles, bookmarks, whistles or other small objects. Just be sure that you are aware of what might be a choking hazard for little ones. Don’t forget to display your participation with a Teal Pumpkin Project sign!

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