Día de los Niños / Día de los Libros - Children's Day / Book Day

Don't miss Día (Diversity In Action) activities at the Oakland Public Library.

We are celebrating Día de los Niños / Día de los Libros - Children's Day / Book Day all month long in Oakland. Juan Sanchez, entertainer extraordinaire, brings us joyous music from all over the world. He has a unique performing style full of warmth and humor that stresses audience participation and focuses on themes such as celebrating different cultures, peace building, respect, and self esteem. 

Each child attending a Dia event will receive a book to keep.  Join us:

Temescal   April 16 at 10:30 AM

Martin Luther King, Jr.   April

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Oakland Reads 2020 - A New Chance for Oakland Youth

Solution - increase the number of children reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

Did you know that only 42% of Oakland children read at a third grade level by third grade?  Did you know that only 33% of Oakland's socio-economically disadvantaged children read at grade level by the end of third grade? Did you know, further, that the ability to read at grade level by the end of third grade is a prime indicator of a child's likelihood of graduating from high school? 

Oakland Reads 2020 is an initiative of the Oakland Literacy Coalition, a group of service providers who believe that Oakland can double the number of third graders reading at grade level by 2020. 

There are four pillars that support

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Poems are Blooming at the Main Library in April

During April, experience poetry in its many forms and varieties at the Main Library.

Cover of Hickory Dickory Dock

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"Hickory, dickory, dock,

The mouse ran up the clock.

The clock struck one,

The mouse ran down,

Hickory, dickory, dock."

  

Did you know that "Hickory, Dickory, Dock," other nursey rhymes, and even many children's songs such as the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" are also poems?  April is one of my favorite months of the year because it's National Poetry Month, a time when we focus on appreciating poetry in its many, many forms.

This year, the entire Main Library, including the Children's Room

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People of Color Underrepresented in Children's Books

Nina Lindsay, Supervising Librarian for Children's Services at Oakland Public Library, continues the discussion for Monday's KQED Forum Program on the lack of diversity in children's books.

This post was originally going to be about "beauty" in children's books.  Inspired by Lupita Nyong'o's speech at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, I wanted to talk about picture books that tell children they are beautiful in real ways, like My People, Me Frida,

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Q&A Patrons ask; librarians answer: My preschool daughter is obsessed with sparkly princess stories! Is it time to worry?

Q&A: Children's Librarians answer questions all day, every day, from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers. Princess picture books for preschool-age children are in demand at every branch - but what do parents really want to know?

Q:  My daughter wants even more books about princesses wearing beautiful, sparkly dresses. I would like her to read books about confident girls whose sense of self is built on their capabilities, dreams, and interests. Do Photo of princess dollsyou have any like that – or any in which the princess doesn’t marry the prince? 

A: Yes, there are princess stories that feminists can embrace! The trick is to find the ones that will please your daughter as much as they will feed your long-term character goals for her.  I would point you to the article by

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PAWS to Read at Lakeview

Your child can read to a dog! Bring her to our Lakeview Branch on April afternoons. Sign up is required.

Boy reading to dogIs your child shy about reading out loud? Does your child avoid reading at all? Join us on Wednesday afternoons in April. Therapy Pets in Oakland is bringing dogs to the Lakeview Branch to give your child a fun way to practice reading. These gentle dogs do not judge children; they only love them. 

Research has shows that children gain ease in reading when they read to dogs. And who wouldn't love being around these mellow dogs?

Sign up for 20-minute sessions by calling the branch (510 238-7344) or by dropping by.

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Moving On Up

A list of 2nd-4th grade level chapter books recommended by Oakland Public’s children’s librarians.

Next time you’re in the children’s area of your library, keep an eye out for the Moving Up and Series Paperback books. These are special sections where you can find beginning chapter books for kids who have graduated out of early readers. Books here typically feature wide margins, short chapters, lots of illustrations, and vocabulary appropriate for 2nd – 4th graders. Super popular books in these sections include Captain Underpants, Mercy Watson,

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Q&A Patrons ask; librarians answer. My middle-grader is refusing to read.

Q&A: As Children's Librarians, it's our job to answer questions from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers. Part four puts the focus on the one person in the family who doesn't enjoy reading.

Q: I love to read, my older son loves to read, but my daughter hates it. How can I get her as excited about reading as the rest of us are? I’d be happy if she read anything, but she’d rather do anything else than read. I bring home stacks of books, and she rejects them all. When she’s tested, she can read, but she won’t do it. She’ll start a book, and abandon it. Help!

A: It may be time for a reading intervention if your child consistently answers “What do you want to read?” with; “I don't.” Emergency measures are needed!

It sounds like you did just the right thing with one child, but it's not working with this one. I'm going to suggest that you put aside your expectations about your family's reading characteristics and take some time to observe this child as if you hadn't really done that before. It might help to think of yourself as a personal assistant rather than a parent, teacher, or friend when it comes to reading.

 

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Books for Wider Horizons - Taking Storytimes to Young Children

Books for Wider Horizons - Expanding the library beyond its walls.

BWH VolunteersEvery week about 60 dedicated volunteers read to children in 40 preschools in Oakland. They have been trained, tested, and sent forth to share their joy in language and literature with some of Oakland's youngest children.

These wonderful folks have committed themselves to a pretty rigorous schedule. They spend more than 20 hours over a period of two weeks in training. Then, once they are ready, we ask them to read 30 minutes a week at a Head Start or other preschool. That may not sound like a lot of time, however most volunteers spend hours choosing books, songs and fingerplays the children will enjoy. 

One of our volunteers has been with the program for almost twenty years, as long as Books for Wider Horizons has been in existence. Others take on multiple time slots, because they love it so much. Several manage to fit their storytime reading into their lunch break. Others are retired

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Writing and Reading

Playing with shapes will help babies learn to identify alphabet letters. This will, in turn, lead to learning how to write and even how to read better.

The skills needed to learn how to read and write are connected in children's brains.  In order to ready your child for reading, try some of these easy and fun writing activities:

FOR BABIES:  Of course your baby is not ready to read or write just yet, but learning to recognize shapes is the first step towards acquiring those skills. So point out different shapes you see and describe them to your child.  Find things that are round, such as balls, and let your child explore them.  Boxes are all around you; let your child play with a cardboard box and talk about squares and rectangles.  Playing with simple shape and color puzzles will also help develop these skills.

FOR TODDLERS:  Keep playing with shapes but also have fun introducing alphabet letters.  Toddlers love hearing their names,  Expand the sound of your toddler's name by writing it on all sorts of

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