Did you know the library is more than books? Try a scavenger hunt to explore the library website and catalog. Discover some new resouces and learn a bit about the library. How many languages does TumbleBooks offer books in? What app can you use to learn a language? When did your neighborhood library open? Try all or some of the questions. Click here for the questions and, when you're ready, here are answers and how to find them.
- “What’s with all the rainbows?”
- “Why is it called ‘Pride Month?’”
- “What do all those letters stand for?” **
Some of us are more familiar with Pride - and more comfortable talking about it - than others, so we put together some helpful tips for having those conversations during June and beyond.
Dive into the historical significance of the Pride Movement and Stonewall Rebellion in June 1969, and learn about the significance of the Pride flag. For a kid-friendly history to read and talk about together, check out Stonewall: a Building, a History by Rob Sanders, with illustrations by Jamey Christoph. Check out recommended fiction featuring LGBTQ+ characters, or memoirs written by LGBTQ+ writers. Curious about how to use they/them pronouns? There’s a graphic novel guide for you! Browse the reading lists below for more titles that may interest your family.
Listen to (and Learn from) Queer Voices
There are also excellent resources online to help parents and caregivers explore Pride and LGBTQ+ identity openly and honestly with kids. Our favorite is the Queer Kids Stuff Youtube series from LGBTQ+ activist Lindsay Amer, the self-described “Queer Mr. Rogers.” We love how this series (with four seasons of episodes!) explores topics like gender identity and how to be a good ally.
Drag Queen Storytime with Poison Waters on Thursday, June 24 at 12 pm. Join us for this special storytime featuring the fabulous Poison Waters reading stories about inclusion and diversity. Register via the link above to join via Zoom.
Support LGBTQ+ Youth
Youth who identify as LGBTQ+ benefit from a supportive network of family, friends, and peers. Check out our recent article We <3 LGBTQ+ Kids and Teens! for some organizations and resources that can help provide that support.
This article is part of our “Talking with kids” series, as featured in our monthly newsletter. Reach out to us at email@example.com if you need more support or have questions. We’re here for you!
**LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning. The + is meant to include all gender identities and sexual orientations not covered by the other letters. Read What Does LGBTQ+ Mean? for more information.
Attention, educators! Are you tired of using the same old books with your classes every year? Attend one of the library's summer educator workshops to learn about the latest and greatest books to use in the classroom. All workshops will be offered online this year.
Gotta Read This: New Books to Connect with Your Curriculum: This workshop highlights new books you might integrate into your language arts, social studies, math, science and arts curriculum. We have separate workshops for kindergarten to fifth-grade educators and sixth- to 12th-grade educators.
- Kindergarten to fifth-grade educators: This is a two-part webinar, with part one (covering language arts and social studies) on August 2 from 2-3:15 pm, and part two (covering science, math, health and the arts) on August 4 from 2-3:15 pm. A list of the featured books will be available, and certificates of attendance will be provided for educator clock hours. Register now.
- Sixth- to 12th-grade educators: Sign up now, and we’ll contact you to let you know when the online booklists are available.
Novel-Ties (for fourth- to eighth-grade educators) self-paced online workshop: Hot, new fiction to use in book discussion groups and literature circles. Register now, and we’ll contact you to let you know when the workshop is available.
Talking Equity and Social Justice: Free Booktalks for Educators and Parents: Are you looking for some new books to share with youth on topics like diversity, equity and social responsibility? School Corps librarians will share quick booktalks for educators and parents on titles that address these topics. Online booklists will be provided, and certificates of attendance are available for educator clock hours. Register now.
Contact School Corps with questions.
“I routinely prescribe nature to children and families. Nature has the power to heal."
Research suggests that taking a walk, visiting a park, or getting out in nature can relieve stress, encourage social bonds, and support physical activity. Less stress means less depression, anxiety, and isolation...not just for kids, but for adults, too!
Portland Parks and Recreation offers plenty of opportunities for adventure! Search for your next destination through the Find a Park feature, and be sure to check out their list of Inclusive Playgrounds, which is growing! Gresham also offers an array of parks and trails to explore. Troutdale, with its proximity to the Sandy and Columbia rivers, offers plenty of fun options as well, and Fairview is home to many others, including our favorite, Salish Pond Wetlands Park.
Wait, there’s more! Metro Parks and Natural Areas offer 17,000 acres of outdoor exploration! Try out the Interactive Park Finder, and while you’re there, check out their Parks and Nature News section for the latest on the ways our community enjoys nature.
We love keeping up with Metro’s Our Big Backyard magazine and exploring back issues for beautiful photographs. The latest (Fall 2020) issue features two articles written by members of our community.
- A Congolese Garden in East Portland written by Parkrose High School sophomore Thierry Ndayisaba
- Reclaiming Nature for People of Color written by People of Color Outdoors founder Pamela Slaughter
While you're outside, you can take advantage of the learning opportunities it offers. Portland Parks has created an at-home nature activities page, with links to videos and other activities that tap into kids’ sense of curiosity. You can find a Flower Scavenger Hunt, a Birds of Portland guide, and a map of Tree Museums that are open for viewing right in your neighborhood.
There’s so much to see and do out there, so take Dr. Razani’s prescription and get outside! Even just a little bit can do wonders for your health - mental, physical, emotional, and overall!
This article was written for our Family Newsletter, brought to you by Home Learning Support and available in English and Spanish. Please sign up here and you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Kids are naturally curious about the world around them. They notice differences in people, because there are differences.
Visible differences, like how we look, skin color, how we dress, and how we get around.
And less visible differences, like how we learn, how we interact with one another, and how we experience the world.
Responding to kids’ observations about people with disabilities and visible illnesses can be hard for parents and caregivers who are not sure how, or are afraid they will say something wrong.
Let’s remember that some of us are different, and experience the world differently, than others. And that’s not a bad thing! In fact, it’s a beautiful thing. Talking about it can be hard, but it’s important!
My kids' cousin has autism. I tell my kids about how his brain works differently and experiences the world differently than our brains do. We read books with characters who have autism and talk about them together. Their cousin's mother, my sister-in-law, shared a post on Facebook written by staff at the EDAM Center for Special Education in the Philippines. This part really stuck with me, and I hope it sticks with you, too.
For all the children who struggle every day to succeed in a world that does not recognize their gifts and talents, and for those who are walking beside them, please let this be a gentle reminder to be kind and accepting of all people.
Recognize that the "playing field" is not always a level surface.
Children who learn differently are not weird. They are merely gifted in ways that our society does not value enough. Yet they want what everyone else wants: To be accepted!!
At the library, we strive to celebrate differences and find common ground in kindness and acceptance. We want to support you in being comfortable talking to your kids about differences from an early age, and to keep up the conversations as they get older. Below are some resources that may help.
- Kids’ Quest from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is an interactive superhero-themed online tool to help kids learn more about disabilities
- Teaching Your Child about Disabilities and Different Abilities from Unlimited Play
- How to talk with your child about learning and thinking differences from Understood
- 25 Disability Awareness Activities for Kids of All Ages, from A Day in Our Shoes
- 5 Meaningful Ways to Teach Your Child about Disabilities via CBC Parents
This post is part of our “Talking with kids” series, as featured in our monthly Family Newsletter. Reach out to us at email@example.com if you need more support or have questions. We’re here for you!
Are you an artist in grades 6–12?
Do you know an artist in grades 6-12?
Enter a design for the 2021 Multnomah County Library Teen Summer Reading Art Contest!
The theme this year is “Reading Colors Your World.” A panel of library staff and artists will select a winner from the entries.
● The winning design will appear on the cover of all teen gameboards. The winning artist will be awarded a $100 gift card to an art supply store.
● More entries will be selected to produce a “Reading Colors Your World” coloring book that will be given to Summer Reading participants. Kids all over the county will be coloring your designs!
● The library will share the winner and all selected designs on social media.
● Here are the favorite designs from 2020's contest, by Naima (left) and Willa (right):
The box on the flyer is proportional to the final maximum measurement, and you may use it to submit your artwork. You don’t have to use the entire box, but your artwork must fit inside of it. Final artwork will be printed at a maximum of 6” x 4” (measurements may change if art is scaled down).
1. Original artwork only
2. Content should be appropriate for youth all ages
3. Black & white image only
4. If hand drawn, use black ink, marker, pen or hard pencil
5. If digitally drawn, submit as black & white EPS or high resolution (300 dpi) PNG, JPG or TIF
Please include your name, grade, school (if applicable) and a phone number or email address so we can reach you if you win.
Winners will be selected based on the following criteria:
● Follow art specifications above.
● Show innovative interpretation of the theme, “Reading Colors Your World”. Be creative, try new things, find beauty in diversity.
● Show graphic design/artistic merit.
Entries must be received by Friday, March 5. Submit your artwork electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org, bring it to your local library, or send a paper version to:
Summer Reading | Multnomah County Library | Isom Building | 205 NE Russell Street Portland, OR 97212
Summer Reading is made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation
Attention educators! Did you miss our summer educator workshops this year? They are a great place to learn about the latest and greatest materials to use in the classroom. Don't worry; we now have booklists and videos available to share.
Gotta Read This: New Books to Connect with Your Curriculum: This workshop highlights new books you might integrate into your language arts, social studies, math, science and arts curriculum.
For 6th-12th grade educators: This booklist is broken down by subject, so you can choose the topics most relevant for you.
Novel-Ties (for 4th -8th grade educators): Discover hot, new fiction to use in book discussion groups and literature circles.
Watch the Novel-Ties videos (and feel free to show them to students, too).
Talking Equity and Social Justice: School Corps Librarian Cathy Camper shares quick booktalks on titles that address these topics, in these two recorded webinars. The talks are followed by Q & A, sharing tips for how educators can incorporate these topics. A list of all the books and other resources mentioned in the talk can be found below the videos on YouTube.
Contact School Corps with any questions!
Multnomah County Library has created new Buckets of Books on science topics that align with the Next Generation Science Standards.
These tubs contain up to 30 books on a topic, plus a teacher's guide. To request a bucket, click on a Bucket of Books link below. Then click the Place Hold button and follow the instructions on the screen.
If the buckets are all checked out, you can click on a booklist link below and put books on hold individually. The booklists have similar titles to those in the bucket.
To find a complete list of all the library’s Buckets of Books, visit our Bucket of Books and Booklists website.
These books are made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to enhancing our library's leadership, innovation and reach through private support.
Everyone knows I love a good tiger-striped coat (for evidence, note our two tabby cats and one brindle dog), and that I have a soft spot for rescued pets. My family’s first kitten sauntered up to our doorstep, climbed up the screen door, and meowed to high heaven during dinner hour. My siblings and I named her, in the straightforward style of children under five, Tiger.
The author of Maverick and Me chose a more unique name for her pet (I think you can guess what it is), the real-life rescue dog this book is based upon. The story begins on a cold and rainy afternoon, when a woman finds a sick and tiny puppy with a tiger-striped coat by the side of a road. She nurses him back to health, and gets him ready to find a home.
When a young girl named Scarlett meets Maverick at an adoption event, his life takes a turn for the better. Together, they come up with a fun way to tell all of her friends about other puppies that need homes. This heartfelt picture book introduces kids to the concept of pet adoption, and will spark conversations about helping pets in need.
April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. If you're thinking of adding a new furry (or feathered!) member to your family, our local shelters have some great pets to choose from. If you aren’t looking for a pet of your own, here are other ways you can help out pets in need:
- Foster a dog or cat up for adoption at your local animal shelter
- Donate supplies. Most shelters are always in need of blankets, toys, and dog/cat food. If you happen to buy some food that your pet doesn't like, why not donate it? The Multnomah County Shelter even has an Amazon wish list to make donations easier.
- Share the idea of pet adoption with family and friends who are looking for a pet. There's nothing like love from a pet who's found its furrever home.