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Education Matters

The Coolest Recipes to Beat the Summer Heat

Submitted by Edmonton Public Library

Written by Caroline Land

Weather forecasters are predicting a hot summer in Edmonton. Looking for ways to beat the heat? Check out EPL's collection of cookbooks for desserts that can help keep you cool all summer long. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! These are perennial favourites and go down easy on hot summer days:

Icebox Desserts Go beyond ice cream with these ideas for cool parfaits, mousses, puddings, and more. I bet your grandparents' iceboxes never looked like this!


People's Pops Think that popsicles are just for kids? Think again! Check out some of New York City's hottest pops in this book from Brooklyn's People's Pops.


Pops! Do you like your pops chocolatey? Maybe fruit-flavoured pops are more your thing. Pops! promises icy treats for everyone, no matter what your taste preferences are.


Paletas Add a Mexican twist to your popsicles and treats with this book of recipes for paletas and other icy delights.


The Vegan Scoop Looking for a vegan alternative to ice cream? Try The Vegan Scoop for some ideas!


After you've eaten your ice cream and you need a break from the sun, drop by any of our air conditioned locations to check out even more books and cool off for even for longer!

For the full article and more information about EPL, please visit:

Top 5 Ways to Cheer Up the Lonely Days - Edmonton Public Library

Written by Hilary Kirkpatrick, EPL Outreach Worker

As a social worker for the Edmonton Public Library, I know the importance of community building and making connections for those who are feeling lonely. Having a supportive network of people and meaningful connections can give us the boost we need to feel better about ourselves and have a positive outlook on life. At EPL, there are programs specifically designed to meet the needs and interests of all EPL customers, which help bring people in the community together.

Here are the top 5 ways to utilize your local library to help alleviate loneliness:

1.     EPL Book Clubs – Book clubs offer a space where you can meet new people with similar interests (hello, fellow avid readers!) and discuss the means and motives of your favourite literary characters. Friendships are sure to blossom over a cup of tea and a wonderful book! 

2.       Baby Lap Time and Sing, Sign, Laugh and Learn Programs – New parents are at times isolated by the needs of their new little family member, and early literacy programs can provide the opportunity to make a connection for parents while babies learn through play, song and story. These interactive, free, drop-in programs are a great opportunity to connect with other new parents and give your little one a head-start.

3.       Makerspace Programs – Did you know that expressing yourself creatively in a way that is meaningful to you can help you combat loneliness? EPL Makerspace programs offers sound-booths to record a song, binding and printing services for your writing, or the opportunity to create a mini-movie with the green screen! Make friends and enjoy a fun project all at the same time!

4.       Adult Programs – Find ways to socialize based on what interest you such as learning a new hobby at the library: sewing class, adult colouring, film series, traditional arts and crafts, and more! Hobbies are a great way to meet new people, and to help yourself get out of the house. If you are feeling left out of the community because of a language barrier, EPL can help you improve your English conversations skills. We host conversation circles for English language learners that are set at your pace.

5.       Assistive Services - If you are experiencing a significant barrier or are physically unable to leave your home or a have disability, EPL provides home service where you live, whether that's an extended care facility, a seniors' lodge or your own home. We also offer specialized computers and assistive technology. If you are far away from family across the world, EPL staff can show you how to use email and Skype with your far away family members!

With EPL, connection is always possible. Let’s work together to combat loneliness and connect with our community and loved ones. A step towards visiting your local public library is a step towards ending loneliness!

What Teens Can Do To Keep Busy This Summer

by Bronwyn Hartman - Edmonton Public Library


1. Make something great: Our Makerspace has everything teens need for their next creation, including 3D printers, sound booths, a vinyl cutter and more. Encourage teens to drop by the library and get creative!

2. Find the next great read: Teens can check out our Staff Picks, talk to staff for recommendations, access eBooks and magazines through our digital collection, or just come and browse our teen section. They can also participate in one of our Summer Starts Here events happening at branches throughout the city.

3. Get in the game: Teens have a love for gaming and can join us for our many gaming programs: Minecraft, retro gaming and even old-school board games!

4. Learn something new: Our non-fiction collection and online resources have everything teens need to learn something new - from a new language, to photo editing, to digital design and more.

5. Come and hang out: On hot summer days the library is an even a cooler place to hang out! With study spaces, meeting rooms, computers and more, teens can come and lounge in an air conditioned space with us at any of our branches.

Be in the know with EPL! Sign up for EPL eNewsletter to learn more about programs and events for teens and the whole family!


For more information about Edmonton Public Library and their awesome programs, visit:

A Family That Volunteers Together... Big-Picture Volunteering at Literacy and Learning Day

September 1st, 2015

By Ramona Czakert Franson

This October, the Literacy and Learning Day Society of Edmonton will deliver a free full-day parenting conference with a keynote and workshops that cover everything from early literacy to cyberbullying. It will be the 13th annual Literacy and Learning Day conference. And it is Wendy Keiver, her family and approximately 150 volunteers who deliver this valuable event year after year.  The dedicated family team continue to be the driving force behind managing every detail of preparation, execution and follow-up of the conference. And not only do they deliver the event but they strive to make it better every year.  The workshops give caregivers the most up-to-date knowledge and research to help their children succeed. Past keynote speakers have included Barbara Coloroso and David Bouchard among many other inspirational and insightful speakers.

The keynote speaker at this upcoming conference will be Ann Douglas. The author of numerous books about parenting, including The Mother of All Pregnancy Books, The Mother of All Baby Books has grown children now and a new book called Parenting Through the Storm: Handling the Highs, the Lows, and Everything In-Between. Based on her own family experience, it is a guide to parenting a child who is struggling with a mental, neurodevelopmental or behavioural challenge. For the keynote address, Douglas will be offering advice on a big-picture approach to parenting.  It promises to be a compelling mix of practical advice and lively anecdotes from this popular and engaging speaker.

Literacy and Learning Day started in 2003. A group of parents set out to create a free conference to give adults an opportunity to obtain skills, resources and knowledge that would help to support children in school and in life.

Expanding on a similar event offered by the Peel County School Board in Ontario, founder of the Literacy and Learning Day concept, parent Dave Colburn initiated the conference with substantial monetary and volunteer support of the Delwood School Council and Delwood Parent Support Association.  Colburn gathered together a handful of parents who also believed in the value of this idea, and as a team, they forged ahead into very unfamiliar territory with a “build it and they will come” attitude.

Keiver started that first year as the Presenter Coordinator. Along with Delwood school volunteers and students, her family got involved with the massive task of collating, preparing and distributing 60,000 brochures to go out to schools. Keiver and her eldest daughter, April, also helped with registration; ensuring 1000 registrants received their first choice of workshop. This was not an easy task before a computerized registration system was put in place.  Looking back, Keiver is “not sure how we managed it.”

Keiver’s four kids were “volun-told” right from the beginning. At the time, her eldest daughter April had just graduated high school, her son Chris was in Grade 9 and youngest daughters Jodi and Taylor were in Grades 6 and 3 respectively.

Keiver notes “contributing and giving back to the community” was always part of their lives.  All of her daughters went through Scouts Canada, which has a big volunteering component. She was also on her community league board and kept the kids involved with various community activities. Her husband Russ was always supportive and helped whenever needed.  She remembers it as a very natural transition to become involved with Literacy and Learning Day. She recalls, “There was always just the expectation, this is what mom is doing and she’s going to need your help.”

Literacy and Learning Day has gone through a few organizational changes but it continues to be a family project. Keiver, the Past-President, is now the Organizing Committee Chairperson and two of her children are on the society’s board. April is the President and Taylor is the Secretary of the Learning and Literacy Day Society of Edmonton.  Taylor will also be assisting the Presenter Coordinator this year as the Workshop Hosts Crew Lead. Keiver’s children are all now adults but the whole family is ready to help with whatever task is needed to make the conference a success. And on conference day, “It’s all hands on deck.” Even a couple of Keiver’s grandchildren will be old enough to help this year.

Her daughter April calls herself a “volunteer-aholic” and credits her mother for ingraining these values in her.  April describes her mother’s influence, “Her passion for volunteering was unbelievable and she made sure that I knew that if you truly believed in something you had to be willing to get involved and change things from the inside out. Volunteering was not optional in my family growing up, although you could choose which causes got your time, and I plan on continuing that tradition in my own family.”

Just like this year’s keynote speaker, it’s pretty clear that Keiver knows a little something about big-picture parenting as well. She thinks volunteering for Literacy and Learning Day has helped her kids realize “the world is bigger than them” and they understand that they can make a difference by helping out.  Her advice to parents is to “Find those opportunities, big or small, where you can teach your children to give back to your community so they may know what it feels like to play a role in something that is of great benefit to others.”

Literacy and Learning Day is Oct. 24, 2015 at the Shaw Conference Centre. Register early to ensure your first choice of workshops. For more information visit

Ramona Czakert Franson has been a volunteer for Literacy and Learning Day since 2011.

Tags: Books, yeg

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