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Friday, May 29, 2009

Ms. Yingling is Giving Away Books

Ms. Yingling blogs "One Librarian's attempt to read all the Young Adult Literature in the world and shoot her mouth off about it." She wrote me to say that she is giving away some books, so I thought I pass the information on.

"Thanks to Nicole Bruce of The Book Report Network, Ms. Yingling is giving away a three book set of Patrick Carman's Atherton Trilogy. It's easy to win. You will need to do the following:

E Mail her ( a very short message about your favorite science fiction or fantasy series. What is it and why do you like it?
  • Deadline is 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 5th.

  • Be prepared to give Ms. Yingling your actual mailing address if you win. Kids, check with a parental unit to make sure this is okay. She will need to give your address to Ms. Bruce.

That's it. Winners will be decided by Ms. Yingling and her board of student helpers!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Middle School Talk tonight

I am speaking tonight about navigating middle school choice at the Carroll Gardens local branch of the Public Library (Union/Clinton). I am starting at 6:30 sharp.

This talk is designed for the parents of incoming 4th and 5th graders, but all are welcome and it would be interesting for parents who are taking a long view and interested in understanding what may be coming up in the years ahead. It is about procedure rather than specific schools, and parents have told me that it calmed some anxiety and helped them get a handle on their options. I have also been told that it was even occasionally amusing.
There will be lots of time for Q&A. Parents from all districts are welcome. There is no need to RSVP for this evening's talk.

I will be giving this talk again on June 9th at 6:30 at the Prospect Park local library branch (6th Ave./9th St.) RSVP to for that talk so I can have an idea of numbers.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Author/Illustrator talks to schools

I just heard Melanie Hope Greenberg speak to several elementary classes this morning at the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. She is the author/illustrator of many picture books including "Down in the Subway" and her current "Mermaids on Parade". She was adorable and so interesting and the room of 60 or so kids just ate it up. She describes her process in a very engaging way. She walked us through the illustration process from her plans through preliminary sketches to the finished work. She described the editing process and how it is helpful and hard sometimes. She showed us pictures and told us stories about her inspiration and gave personal details that she weaves into her work, which made us feel like real insiders. The kids were jumping out of their seats to ask questions and she spoke to them with an ease that let me know that she was with her people. Today she was speaking in conjunction with the show of her work in the youth wing of the Central Library (free to the public through June 13)
She is always available to speak to local elementaries. All you PTA's should call her to set up a program for your librarian!
Also a little shout out for the libraries. If you have a little to spare they are in dire need. You can contribute to your own local branch too. No amout too small.
They are also planning a special start to summer reading festival on June 4. Come sign up for your summer reading goodies and have fun in the plaza. That is a school holiday so come and enjoy the library! More information on that shortly.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Navigating MS and HS Choice

Joyce Szuflita, NYC School Help, is giving four free talks. Anyone who is mystified by this process will benefit from this clear and calm approach to a complex system. I have given these talks at several schools to packed houses and the parents were very happy to get the information and be able to ask me unlimited questions, so I decided to take the show on the road.

I will also be holding "High School Choice: Short List Workshops" in July and September. We take the HS Directory and a pair of scissors and create a short list folder so that you can plan your tours and keep it all straight. There will be lots of discussion of specific programs, what to look for, strategies and how to be prepared for the search season. These workshops will be about 1.5 hours, $40. parent/ $10. student. I am still setting the dates and venues, but if you are interested email me and I will send you a class notice.

Middle School Choice
Wednesday, May 27
Carroll Gardens Public Library (Union St. and Clinton St. Brooklyn)
near the Carroll St. F stop

Tuesday, June 9
Park Slope Public Library (6th Ave. and 9th St. Brooklyn)
near the 7th Ave. F stop

High School Choice
Wednesday, June 3
Carroll Gardens Public Library (Union St. and Clinton St. Brooklyn)
near the Carroll St. F stop

Tuesday, June 16
Park Slope Public Library (6th Ave. and 9th St. Brooklyn)
near the 7th Ave. F stop

All talks are held in the downstairs meeting room at 6:30 sharp.
RSVP to with the date you will be attending.
For information: 718 781-1928

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gifted and Talented Letters are out

Many schools are giving tours of their G&T programs this coming week. You should contact the school directly to confirm a tour and RSVP. Because of the increased number of children scoring above the 90th percentile, district programs have been added.

If your child is eligible for the Brooklyn School of Inquiry, they are having an Open House at the Brooklyn Historical Society on Tuesday, May 19 at 6pm. I know it is late, but definitely worth the time. If you find you need help with information or an objective perspective I am happy to help.
Call Joyce at 718 781-1928.