KDL Blog ‘Parents & Kids’ Category

African Folktales at the Kentwood Branch

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Miz RosieCome enjoy a dramatic, energized storytelling experience! People of all ages are invited to African Folktales with Storyteller Miz Rosie, taking place at 2:00 PM on Saturday, March 1 at the Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch. Miz Rosie involves her audience and young and old alike will be swept up into African and African-American folktales that teach cultural diversity, history and life skills. The engaging oral tradition performed by Rosie will be accompanied by songs and instruments. Sponsored by the Friends of the Kentwood Library.

We hope to see you there!


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Teen Film Festival — One Winner’s Story

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

001As the time draws near for the next Kent County Teen Film Festival on Saturday, February 22 at Celebration! Cinema North from 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM, one of last year’s winners, Emily Livermore of East Grand Rapids, reflects on seeing her work on the big screen and how it’s shaped her career aspirations. Read Emily’s story here. See you at the Festival!





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Counting by 7s

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

This award-winning book will inspire you. Willow Chance is a 12-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions. When Willow’s parents die in a car crash, she learns to push through the tragedy with a fascinating, diverse and fully surrogate family. Readalikes for this book include Wonder, Out of My Mind and Mockingbird.





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Baseball at KDL

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

It’s hard to believe with all the snow on the ground and frigid temperatures that it is almost time to kickoff baseball season.  Exciting indeed!  Even though Spring Training starts at the end  of February and opening day isn’t until April 1, there is a lot of preparation that should go into the new season and KDL is here ready to help you in your preparation.

We have a wide array of books for kids who are just getting started with the game and are interested in its history, including fabulous books on the Negro Leagues such as We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.  You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! and You Never Heard of Willie Mayes?! are exceptional biographies about two of the best who ever played. We also have biographies on current players such as Miguel CabreraJustin Verlander or Bryce Harper.

If you are looking for something a bit more in-depth about advanced stats, we have the modern classic Moneyball as well as others such as The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team From Worst to First or Hot Stove Economics: Understanding Baseball’s Second Season.

These and many more baseball books and DVDs are available at all of the KDL branches.  Baseball books are Guys Read Approved!

Moneyball  Baseball    Miguel Cabrera   The Extra 2%


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Miss Barb: A Hometown Hero

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Barb and KidsThis morning, our very own Barb DeYoung was honored as 91.3 WCSG’s first ever Hometown Hero! Barb, beloved youth librarian at the Byron Township branch, was surprised with this accolade during her morning storytime in front of all her little fans! Don and Steve, DJs from WCSG’s Family Friendly Afternoon Show, recognized Barb as an ordinary person doing extraordinary things and making others’ lives better. Barb was nominated as a Hometown Hero by her longtime friend, Robin.

Congratulations Barb! We are so proud of you and all the great work that you do. This recognition was well-deserved!


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Librarians Save Lives, Vol. II

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

jyostWhen KDL’s 300 or so staffers received hours of CPR and first-aid training in December, its value was well understood without ever having to use those newly acquired skills. Before the year was over, however, collection development librarian Tammy Schneider used what she learned to save her young son from choking during a family meal.

Then just last Wednesday, Jocelyn Yost, an adult librarian at the Grandville Branch, was shelving videos near the children’s area and noticed a mother on the floor with her toddler son, who was choking on a piece of candy. The mother called for help, and Jocelyn used her recent training to dislodge the candy from the boy’s throat and clear his airway.

“It all happened very quick,” Jocelyn recalled. “I have to say, I really felt comfortable just jumping in. The main thing they teach you in that training is ‘You can do it,’ that doing something is better than doing nothing.”

Let’s hope we never have to use these new skills again. But know that if we are called on to do so in the future, KDL staff are ready.


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Take FREE Online Courses Through KDL

Monday, February 10th, 2014



We have another awesome new resource now available to KDL patrons

Learn4LifeLearn4Life features over 300 instructor-led online courses focused on professional development, technology skills and personal enrichment. New sessions start every month, and each 6-week course offers well-crafted lessons, expert online instruction and interaction with fellow students in a lively discussion area.

These are the types of classes that may cost hundreds of dollars to take from a for-profit company, but they are available for free with your KDL library card! Here are just some of the wide range of courses available:

See a complete list of courses here!

2 lessons are released each week during the 6-week class session, and each lesson is estimated to take 2 hours to complete. A certificate of completion is available at the end of each course, which may be accepted as proof of continuing education by some workplaces or institutions. There is no penalty for not finishing a course, and there are no limits on how many you can sign up to take.

You can watch a guided tour video of this new product or try it out yourself. If you see a course that interests you, there’s still time to enroll for the February session, which starts on February 19.



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Early Lit Bits: Music Minute

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Itsy Bitsy SpiderClassic children’s songs and rhymes build a network of shared experiences between the generations. Learning “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” or “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” is a rite of passage for little ones and a chance to share in the childhood memories of their grownups. This year make a habit of singing daily with your little one!

Afraid you won’t remember all those songs from your childhood? For inspiration, check out one of the many books or CDs of children’s songs at the library. Sharing both the book and the CD is a great way for you and your child to learn a song together. Try Itsy Bitsy Spider in both formats — very helpful in memorizing the many verses of this classic song! Once the words are memorized, your child will proudly show how they can “read” the book by singing the story.

– Sara M. at KDL’s Sand Lake /Nelson Township branch



This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.


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KDL on WGVU Radio — Early Childhood Essentials

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Morgan on WGVUEach month KDL staff join Shelley Irwin on the WGVU Morning Show to talk about what’s going on at the library. This month, listen to Youth Specialist Morgan Doane talk about our free Early Childhood Essentials classes for parents & caregivers.

Upcoming classes include:

• Inexpensive Green Early Literacy Activities
• Getting Ready to Write, 0 – 3 Year Olds
• Getting Ready to Write, 3 – 5 Year Olds
• Finding Balance in Everyday Life
• Discovering Play
• and more!

Sessions offers one hour of professional development. Pre-registration is required and class size is limited — click on the links above or call 616-784-2007 to register. (Adults only please; child care is not provided.)


Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download WGVU2-6-14.mp3

(photo courtesy of Shelley Irwin)


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New TrueFlix Learning Resource for Kids

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

TrueFlixWe are pleased to offer a new online resource just for kids — TrueFlix from children’s publisher Scholastic!

TrueFlix uses interactive nonfiction books (called “True Books”) to help students hone literacy skills, build knowledge of subject-area content and cultivate 21st-century skills through the inquiry process. All titles are supported with related content and primary sources featuring videos, audio, images and text. This is similar to a related product from Scholastic, BookFlix, but focuses on purely nonfiction content instead of including fictional storybooks.

For example, if you’re a little sick of the local weather, you can watch a video and read a book about Tropical Rain Forests:

Rain Forests

Each book includes a “Read Along” option so the text can be read aloud. Key vocabulary words are also highlighted, and can be clicked on to display definitions:


TrueFlix supports Common Core standards by featuring multiple text types and a cross-curricular, nonfiction focus. There are also related educational resources available, such as lesson plans, project ideas, quizzes, word matches, primary sources and web resources.

You can watch an overview of this new product, or try it out yourself!


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