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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: https://www.epl.ca/blogs/post/the-coolest-recipes-to-beat-the-summer-heat/

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! https://www.epl.ca/

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: https://www.epl.ca/blogs/post/what-teens-can-do-to-keep-busy-this-summer/

Without Missing A Beat: Music Helps Kids Keep Learning All Summer

July 13th, 2010

Over summer break, kids often complain they are bored. Without the daily structure of school, it’s a challenge for parents to keep kids occupied, let alone stimulated and learning.

While it is good for students to have a break every so often, two months is a long time to go without the discipline they have in the school year. Watching TV or sitting in front of other screens all day is not good for their development and can contribute to weight gain and other problems. Kids who aren’t engaged using their brains can end up feeling tired, listless and lazy.

Fortunately, parents can help their kids stay mentally stimulated and ready to learn over the summer. Playing a musical instrument is a great way to keep kids in learning mode.

When a young person plays a musical instrument over summer break, they are doing more than polishing their skills on their particular instrument. They are using their brains in ways that will boost their ability to learn when they return to school for the fall.

One of the biggest benefits of music lessons and practice is requiring kids to use their problem-solving skills. Learning to play a piece of music requires them to break down complex passages into smaller parts, identify the core problem and come up with a solution. These are the same skills students use to solve problems in math and other academic subjects.

Music lessons in violin, piano and other instruments offer a great structure to keep kids learning over the summer. But not all families are able to invest the time and money required. For these families, the ocarina is a great first instrument.

A little pocket-sized wind instrument with a pleasing sound that dates from ancient times, the ocarina is easy to play and inexpensive. Kids and adults who have not played a musical instrument before can pick up simple melodies quickly with the aid of books and recordings.

The ocarina can also be a springboard to other instruments that require a higher level of commitment. Kids can ease into learning some of the basic aspects of pitch and rhythm and develop confidence to inspire them to keep learning. If they show real promise and enthusiasm they can always go on to a more difficult, expensive and time-consuming instrument later.

The ability to learn on your own really sets the ocarina apart from many instruments. This is not something you would want to try with violin for instance, as it can be really painful for both the person trying to learn and those listening. Even with instruments considered easier to learn, like guitar, beginners should seek out a teacher. If you are going to do something, aim to do it well because you won’t get the same benefits if you do it badly.

Whatever instrument you and your child choose, get your child in the habit of practicing on a daily basis. For the more challenging instruments, I encourage students to continue their lessons with their teacher over the summer. Those who skip summer lessons end up having to go back and re-learn things in the fall.

Here are some tips for parents who want to introduce their child to a musical instrument:

See which instrument excites your child. 

It’s never a good idea to just pick an instrument and tell the child they are going to learn it. Taking your child to a concert is a great way to introduce a number of instruments at once. If they like a particular one, take them to a music store or someplace they can touch and try it. If they are not enthralled with a particular instrument, show them others until you find one that sparks their interest. They should like the sound of the instrument and want to play it.

Find your child’s favorite style.

 Don’t be disappointed if classical violin or piano is not your child’s favorite. They can get the same benefits from learning various different styles of music. The idea is not to be too narrow or limiting but to let your child explore.

Make music part of your home life.

 Kids that have come to me from homes where families don’t sing or listen to music regularly often learn a lot slower than those who enjoy music on a daily basis. If a mom has been singing to her child since infancy, the child will have a more developed sense of pitch and timing. Music is like a language. If you are really immersed in it, constantly listening to it, you are going to pick up the language much more quickly than by studying it as a separate part of your life.

Make the timing right.

 When a child can begin learning an instrument depends on the instrument and the child. For violin I recommend most students start between 3 and 5 before they have school and other activities vying for their attention. Depending on methodology, 4 or 5 is a good time to start learning piano or guitar. Guitar, violin and cello come in fractional small sizes suitable for little ones. Students need to be a bit older for most wind instruments — about 7 for flute, about 9 for clarinet. The exception is the ocarina, which can be started as young as 3. Of course children can start singing as babies.

Be involved with your child.

 It’s important for parents to be involved with their child’s music practice. Younger children especially won’t know how to practice without some parental guidance. Kids often want to play through a song – if they get stuck at a certain spot, their inclination is to go back to the beginning. Parents can help by encouraging them to work on the difficult parts separately, and then put them back into the song.

With music, parents have the wonderful opportunity to share with their children an activity that is creative, stimulating, inspiring and fun. Music is also the perfect avenue for children to learn the discipline, skills and confidence that can help them in academics and all areas of life.

Laura Yeh is a performer and music educator trained in the Suzuki method of instruction who teaches violin and ocarina at the St. Louis School of Music to children as young as 3 and adults. Laura and her husband Dennis have collaborated with ocarina makers around the world to produce new models of the ocarina. They have designed and produced many unique and innovative ocarinas sold by STL Ocarina (http://www.stlocarina.com).

Tags: Books, Toys

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