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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:

Maximizing Your Child’s Potential This School Year

September 23rd, 2011

By Dr. Anne Grall Reichel

There is no shortage of advice for parents as the school year begins. We have all heard about the importance of working with our children to establish patterns of behavior to ensure success. These typically include establishing a place and a plan for completing homework and routines that involve adequate sleep and proper nutrition. My hope in writing this article is to move beyond the typical and challenge you to consider adding a few of the following strategies. My caution is this, it might require a shift in your priorities, but I guarantee that any adult who embraces the challenge has nothing to lose and a great deal to gain.

Model! Model! Model!

Children desperately need to see adults model their own passion for learning new things. When our children see us pick up a book, a nook or go to the Web to research something we are uncertain about, we model the importance of learning for a lifetime. It is as simple as modeling our own curiosity about any major event going on in the world. For example you might say, “I just heard that Hurricane Irene is a Category 3 Hurricane, I wonder how the meteorologists figure that out?” Simply asking the question and modeling your own curiosity initiates the inquiry. Immerse yourself in learning about the subject along with your child. Think out loud as you look at websites. For example you might say, “I chose the NOAA site because I know it is a reliable source.” This models the importance of helping our children understand that not all information on the World Wide Web is created equally and that it is important to be a critical consumer of information.

Stop Enabling and Start Challenging Your Child.

I am concerned that we’ve gradually stopped challenging children and started enabling them instead. Perhaps this is through no fault of our own. As parents we genuinely care about our children. We feel for them when they are sick, when they are bullied or when they are struggling. With the best of intentions we try to eliminate the struggle, but it is the struggle that is essential to growth and a personal sense of accomplishment. As children work their way through challenges they build the confidence needed to embrace the next challenge that comes along. We have to stop doing the work for them. For example, if your child asks you to proofread something they have written don’t circle the misspelled words. Simply state, “You have three spelling errors in the first paragraph, can you find them?” If you circle the words for them they will never know how to find them on their own. Of course you could argue that all they need to do is use spell check. That is true, but that is a strategy. The point here is that it is not your homework. It is their homework. The only person who gets better at spelling if you circle and correct the words is you!

Insist On Evidence

When your child makes a “claim” about a phenomenon insist upon “evidence” to support the claim. For example, your child might make the claim that it is getting dark earlier. Simply ask, “What is your evidence? How could you be certain?” Challenge your child to think of a way to provide evidence. It might require comparing sunrise/sunset data or observing the sky at a certain time once a week over the course of a month. The point here is that children living in a complex, globally interconnected world need a new skill set. Data is readily accessible. The skill they need is to be able to make claims based upon their own critical consumption and analysis of information. If they gather information at Wikipedia insist that they verify it with another source.

Bring Back Dinner Conversation

Resist the temptation to eat dinner with your cell phone at the table and the television blaring in the background. Take time to talk about the things your child is learning in school. Raise the bar on their critical thinking and problem solving. If they tell you they are learning about a butterfly life cycle don’t just ask them to spew back facts. Challenge them by asking questions like, “Do all insects have the same life cycle?” This type of question invites further research and discussion.


By now I am certain that you are wondering how you can possibly fit this into your day. My advice is to take the time. The most important thing we can do as parents is to raise intellectually curious children, but they can’t get there if we’re not their models. Children are in dire need of role models who still find wonder in their midst. I guarantee that you will be amazed at all you will learn if you try the approach. Have a good year!

For more ideas like these please visit and learn more about my book, Expect More: Children Can Do Remarkable Things.

About Dr. Anne Grall Reichel

A passionate educator who has taught at both elementary and middle school levels, Dr. Anne Grall Reichel is an independent educational consultant specializing in curriculum and professional development of teachers. Currently consulting with school districts throughout northern Illinois, she also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the education department at Lake Forest College.

Grall Reichel is most interested in the meaningful integration of science and social studies concepts, and focuses on suggestions for teachers and parents to help improve the overall expectations of students.


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