Schools

Summer Reading Programs Around Fairfield County

Whether your child is in pre-school or high school, the final works from her teacher were probably instructions about making sure to read over the summer in order to avoid the dreaded summer slide. However, with the movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved The BFG to the long awaited publication of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, this summer books are cool again, and it's a fantastic time to get kids excited reading.  Nearly every public library in Fairfield County has some kind of summer reading program in which children can win prizes. Some of these programs require proof of residency in the form of a library card, but there are a wide variety of programs of available for the community at large in libraries and other locations. We've rounded up other educational programs happening over the summer to fight that summer slide but here are some of our favorites to help keep the kids reading:

2016-17 Academic Year Calendars for Los Angeles Area Schools

Summer vacation ain't what it used to be. The majority of school districts now opt for an August start date, with only a few stragglers sticking with the old-school, post-Labor Day start. Don't just assume you know when school starts based on last year, as there's always a bit of shuffling of the schedule. This year Glendale leads the back-to-school race with a party-pooper start date of August 8, while last out the gate is Torrance, at a more traditional September 8.

Wondering where your district fits in, and how much time you have left for these 50 Free Things To Do in Summer? Read below for our list of start and finish dates for the 2016-2017 school year in and around LA County! And if what you read makes you wonder about what other school options are available to you, maybe our school guide can help.

12 Books to Help Talk About Race and Activism with Your Kids

By Gwen Glazer, a librarian in the Readers Services unit of the New York Public Library.

It’s been almost impossible for adults to process the acts of violence in the U.S. over the last few weeks amid rising racial tensions, let alone explain them to our children. But we can’t let that powerlessness trickle down to the next generation—and books can help.

From simple stories for toddlers about recognizing and accepting our differences to young-adult novels about fighting racism, this reading list offers a few selections for children of all ages to read and talk about with their parents. These aren’t historical books about the Civil Rights movement and school integration, although many excellent book lists include those topics. Instead we've rounded up a dozen books to address social justice and race, with a focus on African-Americans. We hope these titles pave the way for open conversation and empowering us to change our own communities.

The NYPL recently issued its Summer Reading Challenge and Contest, urging kids to read 20 minutes a day, along with an Anti-Summer Slide Guide in partnership with Mommy Poppins to keep kids engaged during the school break. We think these books would make great additions to your summer book bag.

New 53rd Street Library Opens with Children's Room, Teen Zone

The New York Public Library opened its brand-new 53rd Street branch in late June, offering some great features for families in a busy NYC corridor, including a spacious Children’s Room, Teen Zone, laptop bank, and programming and events for kids of all ages in a modern, subterranean setting. The 53rd Street Library replaces the longstanding Donnell Library that was razed in 2008. A series of setbacks, including the financial crisis of 2008 caused a lengthy delay in the construction of the new library, which sits below a luxury hotel and condo, but we think it might have been worth the wait.

Free, educational, and engaging library activities were indispensable during the early days with my son, so I was excited to check out the new library in Midtown West and learn more about its many offerings. Read on for a little preview of this gorgeous library, and don't forget to check out the trove of book suggestions, for babies to teens, for summer reading from the NYPL before you head in. Our Summer Slide Busters guide has even more library and STEAM-related fun activity ideas for NYC kids.

Ways to Prevent Summer Slide in Fairfield County

Slides are fun in playgrounds, in pools, and maybe even in your own backyard. However, the notorious “summer slide” is nothing to joke about. According to the National Summer Learning Association, “numerous studies have confirmed that children experience learning losses in math and reading without continued opportunities for skill building over the summer.” The good news is, summer learning experiences surround us if you know where to look.  Take advantage of all of our cultural institutions, nature centers, libraries, and museums by turning Fairfield County into a living classroom. 

Some of my favorite “educational moments” happen way outside the classroom. Summer sets the perfect stage for exploration and adventures. Fairfield County offers engaging summer reading events at almost all the libraries, live theater performances, and hands on science and nature experiences. You can even take summer learning on the road and enjoy one of these Science, Machines, and Nature Museums in Fairfield County.

Reading Time! Summer Books for Toddlers to Teens from the NYPL

Finding the perfect beach read is something of an annual hunt for book nerds and casual readers alike. And passing that literary tradition down to your kids can be a great way to stave off those endless "I'm bored" moments, not to mention keep their brain cells firing over summer vacation.

Luckily, the New York Public Library recently issued its annual Summer Reading Challenge and Contest, urging kids to read at least 20 minutes a day. Along with that came a trove of book recommendations for kids, from baby board books to early readers to teen thrillers and everything in between. There’s even a book list for grown-ups, because, hey, kids learn by watching too, right?

So whether your kids need a little prodding to pick up a book this summer, or if they’re complaining they don’t have anything new to read, check out this sampling of great book suggestions from the one of the country's largest library systems. And don’t forget to check out our activity-stocked Summer Slide Busters Guide with brainy summer play ideas for kids, including 50+ Ways to Keep Kids Off of Screens.

NY Kids Club to Open Three New Locations in 2017

NY Kids Club will open three new enrichment centers and three more of its accredited NY Preschools in January 2017, bringing to 15 the number of locations across NYC. These new tot learning spots will be situated in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Dumbo and Cobble Hill, as well as Greenwich Village in Manhattan. Each will be equipped with state-of-the-art gymnasiums for ongoing enrichment classes and open play for members, as well as classroom space for the preschoolers.

The Dumbo location at 135 Plymouth Street in Brooklyn will house five classrooms contained within an 8,400-square-foot floor plan, while the two-story Cobble Hill location at 299 Court Street comes in at 6,000-square-feet with five classrooms. Greenwich Village's 11 Fifth Avenue location will be cozier at less than half that size and three classrooms. 

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