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Library Happenings – Many options ready for bored kids (June 3, 2015 issue)

If the kids are already complaining that they are bored, just bring them to the library. Even though our Summer Reading Programs don’t start until the week of June 15, we have a lot for them to do between now and then.
Many of our youngest patrons have already discovered the allure of our AWE early literacy station. Dozens of educational programs aimed at children between the ages of two and eight are preloaded on the easy-to-use computer. Since it requires no Internet connection, the AWE is safe and secure. Kids think they’re just playing games, but they likewise are learning to read, write, solve problems and use a computer.
As they explore science, nature, social studies, music and art, they expand their horizons. Our AWE is bilingual English/Spanish, so it can even be used to help children become comfortable with another language. I have been pleasantly surprised at how often the Spanish language option is chosen.
Another free early learning resource that is available here at your library is ABCmouse.com. Kids learn while they have fun with songs and games. There is a link to the website on each of our public access computers. Just click on the mouse icon. Let your child click on his or her age and choose a male or female avatar to access the appropriate learning level with a guest account. If you prefer, you may create an individual account so you may keep track of your child’s progress. Either way, access to the website is free while you are at the library.
Of course, we also have thousands of books. The computers may not go home with you, but the books can. Children may get a library card if their parent, guardian or other responsible adult with an unencumbered account signs up for it. This gives young people a chance to prove how mature and responsible they are. In Mansfield Park, Jane Austen wrote of Fanny Price’s great joy in becoming “a chuser of books” when she subscribed to a lending library. In Jane Austen’s day, most libraries were not free to the public. Fortunately, that has changed.
Spotlight Book
“Piranha is the latest “Oregon Files” novel from the team of Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison. An unknown adversary has set out to destroy the Oregon and all on board. As if that were not enough, Juan Cabrillo and crew find themselves contending with an American weapons designer.
The turncoat has resurrected the work of a German scientist who died in a volcanic eruption in 1902. Now in possession of unimaginable power, he seeks to establish an empire. The Captain and crew of the Oregon, however, have him dead in their sights.