DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!


Apr 29 2009

Get Outside!

by Nancy M

hopscotchSpring is here, and despite the rain and ridiculous amount of pollen in the air, this is the time to get outside and enjoy the warm days before the onset of the sweltering Georgia summer–unless, of course, you’re allergic to pollen. If you don’t suffer from allergies, then grab the kids, head outside, and play some fun outdoor games. What to play, you ask? I recently came across this website and found it loaded with games that I played as a child. Games like Ghost in the Graveyard, Four Square, TV Tag, Capture the Flag and more are all listed with instructions. If you do suffer from allergies, it’s a fun website to look over and reminisce about those school yard days of yore.

The Library also has books that can help motivate you to get outside:

sidewalkgamesSidewalk Games by Glen Vecchione
runjumphideslidesplashRun, Jump, Hide, Slide, Splash: The 200 Best Outdoor Games Ever by Joe Rhatigan

What were your favorite games as a child?


Jun 18 2008

Summer Camp

by Ginny C

Are you struggling to find something for your kids to do now that school’s out?  It’s not too late to register for some of the summer camps being offered around Atlanta.  There are plenty available.  Most last 5 days and are offered through July.  The majority are for children age 5 through 17, but there are a few for pre-schoolers.

Atlanta Parent has an extensive list of day camps in the Atlanta area as well as overnight camps sorted by state.  Day camps are organized by interest, including art, sports and drama among others.

Atlanta Moms also has a list of day camps in the area.  Many of them are in the northern part of the city, but it does include some in Stone Mountain, Decatur and Lithonia.

Don’t forget to check out local universities which also might be hosting camps this summer.  Oglethorpe, Emory, and Georgia Tech are all offering day camps for children.

There are plenty of summer camps in Atlanta and DeKalb County.  Whether your child is interested in cooking, basketball, computers, gymnastics or something else, you’re sure to find a camp for them through one of these sites.


Jun 11 2008

Traveling with Children

by Ginny C

Traveling with
children can be fun and exciting. It can also be challenging and
hectic. If you’re going on vacation this summer, whether it’s for a
weekend or for a week, you need to be prepared. The library has several
good books about where to go and what to do. I’ve listed a few of them

500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up: From
Frommer’s, this interesting guidebook is not organized by destination,
but rather by what kind of place it is. For instance, historic
battlegrounds are in the War and Peace section. The Grand Canyon is in
Out & About. Other sections include Cities Great and Small, Lost in
the Mists of Time (the Coliseum, Machu Picchu), and Walk with the
Animals (zoos, nature reserves), among others.

Parent’s Survival Guide to I-75: This
unique travel guide lists kid-friendly stops along Interstate 75, from
Detroit to Orlando. It’s organized by state and lists the attractions
by exit number. It also lists which exits have fast food restaurants
with playgrounds and where the rest areas are located.

100 Best Family Resorts in North America: Organized
by region, this handy book lists family friendly resorts that have
activities for adults and children. Among its features are descriptions
of the accommodations, dining options, activities for children and
activities for families.

Fun with the Family – Georgia: If
you’re looking for trips close to home, check this one out. It lists
all the attractions, historic sites and parks in Georgia.

Take Your Kids to Europe:
Even if you’re going abroad this summer, we have something for you.
Foreign countries can be especially tricky to navigate with children.
This takes the guesswork out of it by listing attractions that kids
will enjoy.

These are just a few
of our guidebooks for traveling with kids. Check out our catalog for
even more. And here’s a hint, when searching for books, use keywords
like “kids,” “children,” or “family” to find ones like those above. You
can also narrow the search by adding specific cities, states or
countries. Whether you stay close to home or venture abroad, have fun
and happy travels!

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May 21 2008

Catch the Reading Bug!

by Ginny C

If you have a school age child, you know why he or she is looking forward to Friday, May 23.  It’s the last day of school, of course.  Another day to look forward to is Saturday, May 24.  That’s the first day of the 2008 Vacation Reading Program.  This year Georgia has joined with 47 other states to Catch the Reading Bug (our theme for this year’s program.)  We have a reading program for children of all ages: Wee Reader for babies from birth to two years; Catch the Reading Bug for those ages 3-12; and Metamorphosis for teens ages 13-17.

Signing up is easy.  Just visit any DeKalb County Public Library and tell a staff member you want to participate.  You can view the rules here.  Prizes include tickets to Zoo Atlanta and Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

On Tuesday, May 27 musician Eric Litwin will help us celebrate the start of our Vacation Reading Program at our kick off parties at 3 locations around the county.  There’s one near you so we hope you’ll come out and join us for songs, storytelling and crafts.

Come in anytime between May 24 and July 31 to Catch the Reading Bug.  And don’t forget to check out our program schedule for special children’s programs all summer long.


May 14 2008

Read It Again

by Ginny C

“Read it again! Read it again!” How many times have you heard that after reading Horton Hears a Who to your pre-schooler for the third time in one night? Do you have Brown Bear, Brown Bear memorized from repeated readings to a toddler who begs to hear it again and again?

Don’t despair. It’s perfectly natural for children to request favorite books over and over. Even if you’re tired of reading them, your child may not be. With each reading, he or she is learning something new, from associating the pictures with the words to how a story is structured. They also learn the joy of being able to “predict” what is going to happen.  Following the text with your finger as you read will help reinforce this.
You may want to ask your child what happens next. Can they tell you what the
purple cat sees in Brown Bear, Brown Bear? Chances are, after a couple
of readings, they know the purple cat sees a white dog.  And how smart
they feel for knowing that!  After hearing the same story several times,
they may even have memorized enough to be able to “read” it to you. As they get older and more familiar with the alphabet, they’ll start to recognize specific letters and words. They will learn that c-a-t spells cat which corresponds with the picture.

These are just a few reasons to encourage repeated readings. Follow this link for a more detailed explanation of the benefits of reading it again, put together by The University of Texas at Austin. The next time your child demands that you “read it again,” you’ll be happy to pick up Goodnight Moon.  For the tenth time. In one day.

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Apr 14 2008

Book Awards for Children

by Ginny C

There are so many awards given out each year to children’s and young adult books that it can be difficult to keep them all separate.  The biggest awards in children’s literature are the Caldecott and the Newbery. The Caldecott Medal is awarded for outstanding illustrations in a picture book.  Generally, these books are written for preschool and elementary age children.  The Newbery Medal is awarded for outstanding writing in a chapter book.  Books that win the Newbery are often written for children in upper elementary through middle school, although some books written for the teen audience have won the award.

Although the Caldecott and the Newbery are the most well known, there are other awards to be aware of.  The Sibert Award is given to the best children’s informational book (i.e. non-fiction.)  The Pura Belpre Award is award to the author/illustrator of the book that best depicts the Latino culture.  The Michael L. Printz Award is given to the author of the best book for young adults. 

The above awards are sponsored by the American Library Association and are given on a national level.  On a statewide level, Georgia also gives awards to outstanding childrens books.   The University of Georgia’s College of Education sponsors the Georgia Book Awards.  Once a year they release a list of 20 nominees in two categories: Picture Storybooks (for k – 3rd grade) and Chapter Books (for 4th – 8th grade.)  Throughout the year, children read and vote on their favorites and the winner is announced the following year.

For Georgia teens, there is the Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers.  Started in 2004, it highlights fiction and non-fiction books written for grades 9 through 12.  Teens can vote for their favorite titles in schools and public libraries.

Check out the websites for complete lists of current and past winners and nominees.  They are a great place to start if you’re looking for something for your child or teenager (or for yourself) to read.  And don’t forget that most of the titles are available in the library!


The DeKalb Early Learning and School Readiness Commission
(DELSRC) and their partners have joined together to launch the first annual
“DeKalb’s Children Read!” literacy campaign in November in order to promote the
importance of early reading and to make books accessible to all children.

Each year the Governor and the First Lady choose a high
quality children’s book to send home with each child in Georgia’s Pre-K
program. This year’s book is Where is
the Green Sheep?
by Mem Fox. Making
quality children’s literature available to families is a goal of the DELSRC, Georgia’s Pre-K
Program and the Governor’s Office. DeKalb County School’s Pre-K program has
used the gift of Where is the Green Sheep? as an opportunity to promote
literacy and parent involvement by hosting Family Literacy Week, November
5-9. This is being expanded into a
county-wide literacy initiative and DELSRC is providing Where is the Green
to childcare centers, homeless shelters and DFACS.

Here is how you can celebrate Family Literacy Month:

  • Volunteer to read Where is the Green Sheep? at your child’s Pre-K center
  • Visit the library with your child
  • Get your child a library card
  • Read to your child at least three times a week, or better yet, every day
  • Let your child see you reading
  • Keep lots of books in your home

Here are some additional resources on early learning and school readiness:

Bright From the Start, Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning
Colorin Colorado  — from a Spanish phrase that is often said after reading a good story,
“colorin colorado” is a bilingual website for parents and educators
who wish to help children become successful life-long readers
Get Ready to Read!   —  a national program to build
the early literacy skills of preschool children
Zero to Three  — lots of information on infants and toddlers for both parents and professionals


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