Summer is here and we have lots of ways to celebrate with the library! Here are our Top 5:

  1. Take part in the Summer Reading Game! More information on the benefits of Summer Reading can be found in this article. And don’t worry, adults can play too!
  2. Enjoy all the virtual programs we have on offer this summer! From Piñatas, to “Pizza Parties” to Pythons! We have something for everyone. 
  3. Check out these librarian-curated book lists - for babies through teens - with great summer reads!
  4. Pick up a free Summer Reading 2021 “Reading Colors Your World” coloring book at your local library!  Featuring designs submitted for our Teen Summer Reading Artwork Contest, these coloring books provide hours of relaxing, creative fun for all ages!  Share what you color with us #MCLColorYourWorld.  Available while supplies last.
  5. Come visit us! Some of our libraries have opened back up.

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 learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

Last month we told you about resources for families this summer. And now we’d like to highlight a few of our favorite outdoor activities that we think you may enjoy:

  1. Gateway Discovery Park: Art and cultural activities will be hosted all summer long at this East Portland park.
  2. Gresham Japanese Garden: A beautiful Japanese garden to visit, plus they are holding many events this summer. 
  3. Interactive Fountains and Splash Pads: Portland Parks and Recreation hopes to have it’s fountains and splash pads open this summer and it’s a great way to beat the heat!
  4. Local guidebooks: Check out a guidebook on exploring the area with kids. 
  5. Harper’s Playground: Find inclusive playgrounds for all abilities around Portland and beyond. 
  6. Mike Bennett's A to Zoo: Wonderful outdoor art displays that bring fun and education to the whole family. Currently they can be found in NE Portland.
  7. Mural map: Three maps of Portland’s Street art: a walking map of the Alberta Arts District; a biking map of the Central Eastside Industrial District; and an all-city highlights map. 
  8. U-pick farms: U-Pick farms in Portland and Multnomah County, sorted by county.
  9. Walking with Ramona: Do you love Ramona Quimby? Well you can walk in her shoes with this walking map of Ramona’s neighborhood.
  10. Walks around Portland: Portland Bureau Of Transportation’s has many suggested walks, including one that goes to the North Portland Library. And there are also ones for bikes!

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 learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

rainbow pride flag
The beautiful thing about young people is that they react to the world around them through wonder, imagination, and questions...lots and lots of questions. In June, some of these questions may have something to do with Pride Month and what it means to be LGBTQ+.**

  • “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.  

Read Up 

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.  

Celebrate! 

Portland Pride Parade is happening virtually this year on Sunday, June 20 at 11 am. 

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 learning@multcolib.org 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.

Back in December, at the height of the winter surge, a friend shared an article in USA Today about how students are handling virtual/online school in the time of COVID-19. It was loaded with negativity, pessimism and hopelessness. Students are “lagging academically” or “even further behind - with time running out to meet key academic benchmarks.” Throughout, the article quoted a diverse mixture of kids and parents from around the country, all saying the same thing: there’s been learning loss, kids are failing and falling behind.      

We’d like to tell a different story, one that doesn’t dwell on loss, but focuses on how we move forward. We want to celebrate how far we’ve come, and the progress we’ve made this year, despite, well, everything. We’ve seen agility and perseverance from students adapting to unfamiliar, challenging circumstances. We’ve seen the best kind of support systems: parents, caregivers, teachers, and community members going above and beyond. We’ve observed students learning in so many ways that have nothing to do with academic benchmarks, but are just as important. We’re here to support you as this dynamic learning continues into the summer and beyond.   

Speaking of which, soon, we'll begin our annual Summer Reading program, encouraging kids to read whatever interests them, all summer long!  Thanks to the support of The Library Foundation, as well as our amazing staff and volunteers, we’re able to safely continue offering gameboards, prizes, programs, and fun for the whole family. So after this strange school year, we’d like to offer some positive reasons why you and your family should join us for our Summer Reading Program this year:

a Latino boy, 5 or 6 years old, sits on a bed and reads a book.  He is smiling.

  • Explore your interests and learn about the world around you!  Read!
  • Keep your brain engaged and growing!  Read!
  • Your mind thrives the more you...Read!

 

Summer Reading starts June 16. Stay tuned for more information by checking our Summer Reading page and/or following us on social media (see bottom of the page).   Check out our Summer Reading 2021 booklists for recommendations from library staff!

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 learning@multcolib.org with any questions

When families register by June 1, teachers and schools can do more welcoming and communication before school starts, easing the transition for incoming kindergarteners.

Flyer on registering children for Kindergarten in PPS.

If you live in Multnomah County, you can identify your school or district by texting "MYSCHOOL" or "MIESCUELA" to 898211.

Here are some Register for Kindergarten resources at the major school districts in Multnomah County.  Several of them have welcome videos, including in multiple languages. 

The following information is specific to the Portland Public School (PPS) District.

Kindergarten videos: Hear from families and school staff about how to register and get ready for school! Videos are posted on the Kindergarten tab of the Early Learners website and are available in English, Chinese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese.

Register for School by June 1: There are so many benefits to registering early such as families hearing from school staff about events, summer transition programs, and information about the start to school. Please register online or call the school for a registration packet. 

Early Kindergarten Transition Program Applications: Apply now to be eligible for this inclusive, family-centered bridge program, for children entering Kindergarten or first grade at an EKT school in the Fall. EKT schools include: Boise-Eliot/Humboldt, Cesar Chavez, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Faubion, Harrison Park, James John, Kelly, Lee, Lent, Rigler, Rosa Parks, Scott, Sitton, Vestal, and Woodmere. Applications and flyers are posted on the EKT website or call the school for paper applications. 

Pre-K Applications: PPS is currently accepting Pre-Kindergarten applications for the 2021/22 school year. Online applications are available and paper applications can be requested by emailing prekprograms@pps.net or leaving a message at (971) 501-0111. 

Ramp up to Kindergarten: This fall, every family will receive a relationship-based conversation with their Kindergarten teacher prior to the start of school. In addition, every child will receive a small group “warm-up” orientation to classroom and building routines prior to the official first day of Kindergarten. School staff will be communicating their specific schedules with incoming families. Finally, teachers will delay student assessments so families and school staff can focus on building relationships for a welcoming start to the school year. 

Finally, the PPS Early Learners Website includes an FAQ document that answers parent questions about Kindergarten. FAQs are available in English, Chinese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese.

And you can find general contact info for all the school districts on the Multnomah Education Service District website.

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 learning@multcolib.org with any questions.

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