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Jill J. Outreach Librarian, Kids & Families

As the weather turns colder, we find ourselves spending more and more time indoors.  Why not turn cooking with your kids into a fun, healthy experience which helps reinforce elements of early literacy too? 

Recently, my 5 year old son came home and asked me “Mommy, what is lasagna?”  I used this opportunity to have a lot of fun!   I found a cookbook with attractive photographs  and showed him how to use the index to look for “L” for lasagna.  After we found a great recipe, we grabbed some paper and pencils to create our shopping list.  I had him do a combination of drawing pictures of food and writing words.  We headed to the store, looked for our ingredients together, brought them home and got everything ready to go.  We had a lot of fun reading the recipe together and following the different steps on our way to making our fantastic lasagna dish.  My son had so much fun with this cooking adventure and felt very proud for helping make such a yummy creation.  To top it off, he got to practice reading and writing activities AND we got to spend some wonderful, fun, quality time together. 

Check out your local library for some great cookbooks.  Be sure to look for ones that focus on cooking with kids to find simple, fun recipes with colorful photographs to really attract your kids’ attention.  Here are a few I would recommend:

Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

With the Rae Pica Movin' and Groovin event coming up on October 14 at the Lakewood Cultural Center, I just had to write about movement. Moving our bodies strengthens our brain and reading skills.  Did you know the simple act of touching your left foot with your right hand and vice versa (or crossing the midline) activates each side of your brain?  Crossing the midline powerfully impacts reading, writing and physical development.  

  • Read this article from North Shore Pediatrics.  It gives detailed information about the importance of 'crossing the midline' as it pertains to brain development and future learning. There are activity suggestions like 'Pop bubbles with only one hand' and 'Reach for a bean bag across the midline and throw it' to get you and your child started.

The video from Clamber Club shows children participating in different activities that encourage 'bilateral intergration' or using both sides of the brain.  

Have you ever moved to familiar songs like 'Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' or 'We're Goin' on a Bear Hunt'?  These songs use TPR or Total Physical Response.  TPR is fantastic for first and second language learning.  Like showing a picture to represent a word, the meaning becomes clear when one sees it in action (ie. moving your arms like the wheels on the bus). Matching actions to words helps children (and adults;) see, feel and hear the meaning.  Did you know you were already an expert in such a sophisticated concept?! 


You will notice we move a lot in Storytime. Try Storytime songs and movement at home! 


Image credit: Flickr

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration


Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with us! Four of our libraries are hosting a special story time followed with a performance by Grupo Tlaloc, a danza Azteca group. The grupo is the first and oldest group of its kind in the Denver area, promoting 35 years of educating, performing, and understanding of the native culture of Mexico and the Native American way of life to our community. Join us for this fun and entertaining program.

Age: All. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Location / Lugar:

1 p.m. Saturday, October 3

1:30 Saturday, October 10

2 p.m., October 17

2 p.m., Saturday, October 24

Vengan todos para celebrar el Mes de la Herencia Hispana con nosotros. Vamos a empezar con una CuentaCuentos para niños y luego una celebración de baile hecho por el Grupo Tlaloc un grupo danza Azteca. El grupo es el primer y más antiguo grupo de su tipo en el área de Denver. Tienen 35 años educando las comunidades diversas, dando espectáculo de bailes, ensenando y mejorando la comprensión de la cultura nativa de México, así como el estilo americano nativo de la vida a nuestra área. Por favor, vengan con nosotros, que va hacer divertido y una programa entretenido.

Los niños necesitan estar acompañados por un adulto todo el tiempo.

Todas las edades están bienvenidos de venir.


Also, join us to make and decorate Mexican Sugar Skulls.

2 p.m. Saturday, October 17
Wheat Ridge

4;30 p.m. Thursday, October 29

Sharpen your pencils and your skills!



Need help with your homework? The Golden Library and Colorado School of Mines Phi Gamma Delta fraternity offer free help for student in grades 1-12 in any subject. Take advantage of this homework help and avoid the evening homework frustration battles.

Reservations are not required.

4-6 p.m. Every Wednesday and Thursday
September 9 – December 10

Please note:  Homework help will not be available November 26 because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Anna, Kids & Families Outreach


Did you know singing with your child is one way to prepare your child to read? How does singing help with reading?

- Songs introduce new words. Song lyrics often use different vocabulary than our everyday spoken language.

-Also, the different musical notes couple with the different syllables of a word. Singing and listening to you sing will help your child understand the structure and sounds of a word.

-Reading books that can be sung is a great way to show children that words are everywhere, even in songs. Words are not just in books! 

Children learn about the world around them when you talk to them. Honestly, I run out of things to talk about with my three year old and five year old. So when I can't think of a thing to say to my boys, I sing. I don't have a great singing voice, but my children don't care! Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy has some fantastic rhyming and singing videos in a few different languages. I turn to these videos when I need new songs to sing to my boys or in my Storytimes. If you haven't visited the library for a Storytime, you should come! We sing, dance, read picture books, and sometimes we do a craft. We offer bilingual Storytimes too! Spanish and English storytimes at the Belmar and Wheat Ridge Libraries and American Sign Language and English Storytimes at the Belmar Library. 

 Check out some of these music and book suggestions. 

The Wheels on the Bus

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Fun Music

Stinky Cake

Latin Playground by Putumayo

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy Video "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush"



Photo Credit: Henti Smith


Find Election Information at Jefferson County Public Library


Libraries have long been staunch supporters of the democratic process. For years, all 10 Jefferson County Public Library locations have hosted election tables where patrons can find information about candidates and issues. Anyone can place election materials on the tables, and all are invited to do so.

Election tables went up on September 12. If you're looking for information on the upcoming election, be sure to check them out! You can find information on Library hours and locations here.


Snoopy is the Honorary Chair for Library Card Sign-up Month 2015!



September is Library Card Sign-Up Month and we’ve decided to give it a little extra oomph! If you love your library, make sure you have a library card

Snoopy, the world-famous beagle has been known as The Flying Ace, The Masked Marvel, Man’s Best Friend, and the Literary Ace makes his star return when he comes to the big screen in The Peanuts Movie from 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios. He is also proudly serving as the American Library Association’s Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month.

Snoopy will be visiting storytimes and joining outreach staff to encourage people to sign up for a library card. He’ll have Snoopy bookmarks and stickers for the little ones, and Love Your Library car window decals and bookmarks for adults, while supplies last.

Upcoming visits:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 16  Standley Lake Story Time - 10:15 and 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 16  Arvada Story Time - 12:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 17 Belmar Elementary
  • Saturday, Sept 19  Summerset Festival (Library Booth)
  • Sunday, Sept. 20  Arvada Farmer's Market
  • Monday, Sept. 21  Lakewood Story Time - 10:30, 11, and 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 23 Arvada Story Time - 12:15 and 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept 24  Welchester Elementary
  • Sunday, Sept 27 Arvada Farmers Market
  • Wednesday, Sept. 30 Glennon Heights Elementary

Check out some books on Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang.  Schedule subject to change. Please check back regularly.



Movin’ and Groovin with Jefferson County Public Library


It’s time to get on your feet and start moving! Did you know that one of the best ways to help prepare young children to read is through movement and play?

Join Jefferson County Public Library for a special program featuring renowned author and physical activity specialist, Rae Pica, on October 14.  6:30 p.m. and learn what you can do as a parent, teacher, or caregiver to make moving and playing part of your reading activities.

This workshop is designed for parents, teachers and childcare providers to help us better understand the relationship between physical activity and the brain; the value of play; and how to use movement, play and active learning to nurture a child’s ability to learn to read and think.

Rae’s lively and informative workshops and expertise have been shared with groups such as the Sesame Street Research Department, the Head Start Bureau, Centers for Disease Control, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues, Gymboree, and state health departments throughout the country. She also served on the task force of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) that created national guidelines for early childhood physical activity.

Rae is the author of 17 books, including Experiences in Movement, Great Games for Young Children, Jump into Literacy, and A Running Start: How Play, Physical Activity, and Free Time Create a Successful Child.

6:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 14
Lakewood Cultural Center
470 South Allison Parkway
Lakewood, Colorado

The event is free but we encourage you to reserve your seat now!


About the author: 

Rae Pica has been an education consultant, specializing in the development and education of the whole child, active learning, and developmentally appropriate practice, since 1980. She is the author of 19 books, including the award-winning Great Games for Young Children and Jump into Literacy, and her most recent, What If Everybody Understood Child Development? Rae is known for her lively and informative presentations and has shared her expertise with such groups as the Sesame Street Research Department, the Head Start Bureau, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues, and Gymboree. Rae also served on the task force of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) that created national guidelines for early childhood physical activity, blogs for Huffington Post, and is cofounder of BAM Radio Network, the world’s largest online education radio network, where she hosts Studentcentricity, interviewing experts in education, child development, play research, the neurosciences, and more.

Author Visit & Wheat Ridge Reads: Laura Pritchett


Laura Pritchett, author of Hell’s Bottom, Colorado, will be making visiting Wheat Ridge Library on Thursday, September 17 at 9 a.m.

The book was chosen as part of Wheat Ridge Reads,  a citywide book club, sponsored by the Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission. Presented annually, Wheat Ridge Reads is designed to promote literacy and a shared reading experience throughout the city.

Hell’s Bottom, Colorado is a collection of short, linked stories. Winner of the Milkweed National Fiction Prize and the PEN USA Award for Fiction, Hell's Bottom, Colorado, focuses on one extended ranching family in Colorado, unfolding the stories of various family members with warmth and gritty reality. On Hell's Bottom Ranch, a section of land below the Front Range, there’s Renny, a women who prefers “a little Hell swirled with her Heaven,” and her husband, Ben, who’s “gotten used to smoothing over Renny’s excesses.” A day of haying turns violent in “A New Name Each Day.” In “Rattlesnake Fire,” Ben and his estranged sister must decide whether to put aside their differences to save families trapped by a forest fire. There is a daughter who plays it too safe and a daughter plagued by only "half-wanting" what life has to offer. In Pritchett’s masterful hands, the western landscape becomes a zone of familial crisis and, sometimes, transcendence. 

Raised on a Colorado ranch, Pritchett is the author/editor of seven books, a writing coach, and an activist. Still a Colorado resident, she is on the faculty at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, and provides one-on-one coaching as well as workshops on a variety of writing topics. She has published more than 100 essays and short stories in magazines (including O Magazine, High Country News, and 5280). She holds a PhD from Purdue University.

9 a.m., Thursday, September 17
Wheat Ridge Library

6 p.m. Wednesday, September 16
Clancy's Irish Pub
7000 W 38th Avenue

Sponsored by the Wheat Ridge Reads and Wheat Ridge Cultural Commission.

Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

I threw around all sorts of ideas for a blog this month: second language resources, school topics, etc...  I will definitely post on those themes another time.  Right now, I just want to have fun!  More importantly, I have come across new 2015 titles about monsters that shouldn't be missed! 

Worst in Show by William Bee 

Funny illustrations and a sweet story about celebrating all kinds of winners.


Five Stinky Socks by Jim Benton 

A rhyming story about why each of his five socks are so STINKY!


The Monsters Under My Bed by Rebecca J. Razo 

Read this bedtime story and learn how to draw monsters!  Monsters won't seem so scary when you draw them as cuddly creatures.  


Tickle Monster by Édouard Manceau 

Like 'Go Away Big Green Monster' by Ed Emberley, kids will love deconstructing this monster with tickles!


Monstruo, ¡Sé Bueno! by Natalie Marshall 

A simple and silly book in español about how to behave or 'comportarse' in different situations.   

There are so many new books with Monster themes for 2015 that I can't share them all here.  A hint: To find more titles on jeffcolibrary.org, type '(Monster 2015) (Children's Easy Collection)' in the search.  Using the parentheses or () is like doing an 'Advanced Search' without the added step!  

Photo credit: Flickr


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