Are you looking for a fun way to get your family or a group of friends outside for fun and some exercise? Go geocaching! Geocaching has been around for a little over a decade. Using a GPS unit or smartphone, you are given the hidden container’s coordinates, or the "X" marks the spot, and you are off on a new adventure. The fun is in finding the "treasure" but for kids it might be all about trading the goodies in the box with a small trinket brought from home. The idea is if you take something from the cache you should replace it with something you brought of equal or greater value. The cache typically has a log for you to record the date and your name or alias and a collection of miscellaneous items. Geocaches are located all over the world but the San Francisco Bay Area, in particular, has loads of hidden caches just waiting to be discovered!
To get you started, you can find more information about geocaching before you head out in the San Jose Public Library collections.
Geocaching.com – comprehensive site with information about geocaching, GPS coordinates of cache locations as well as upcoming events.
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) – offers beginning classes to introduce you to geocaching. They also have a passport program, the Preserve Circuit Geo-challenge, where you locate the MROSD’s hidden caches in a number of their preserves, stamp your passport with the official stamp then turn the completed passport into the district office for a limited custom District cache tag (while supplies last).
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence incidences at their core are about one individual’s desire to have absolute power and control over another person. When a perpetrator begins to feel that power eroding, they will do whatever they can to regain power, including killing the people they seek to control. In the end, the perpetrator ensures that the victim cannot leave and start a new life. Children, other family members, neighbors, co-workers, and innocent bystanders are all put at risk if they are near when the violence erupts. Domestic violence affects every aspect of our community. It is not just a problem for those in a particular economic class, age group, ethnicity, religious group, or of a particular sexual orientation. (Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Council 2011)
What can be done?
Alzheimer's... so many families are coping with this disease, trying to make sense of it, and trying to figure out how to help suffering family members or friends. I just read an excellent fiction book that tackles this subject, and the nice twist is that this book is for young audiences, generally about 10 to young teen. An Early Winter by Marion Dane Bauer is the story of an 11 year old boy who can’t believe there's anything wrong with his grandfather... he seems just fine most of the time. The book is thoughtful and sensitive, and very on target with the confusion, emotions, and difficulties faced by so many families in this situation. I recommend this book highly, but it made me wonder if I could find similar books for a young audiences. I found a few: A Beautiful Pearl by Nancy Whitelaw, The Graduation of Jake Moon by Barbara Park, and If I forget, You Remember by Carol Lynch Williams. For younger children there's What's Happening to Grandpa by Maria Shriver. In Spanish there’s El Abuelito Ha Cambio (Grandpa Has Changed). All are available in SJPL libraries.
- Claire Glennon, SJPL
National Autism Awareness Month
My Brother Charlie, by Holly Robinson Peete
For all ages, My Brother Charlie is a beautifully written, heart packed, brightly illustrated, clear and simple introduction to autism.
National Autism Awareness Month (A few facts)
San José Public Library Resources on Autism:
Social Workers in the Library
Celebrate the Month of the Young Child at the San Jose Children's Faire!
The Faire is expected to draw over 5,000 attendees to the outdoor festival, held at Discovery Meadow (in front of the Children's Discovery Museum), in downtown San José.
The theme this year is "Rock, Roll & Read" and features family-oriented stage entertainment, special attractions, and activity booths offering hands-on activities for children ages 2 -12. Families can obtain information about education, child care, recreational programs and health and safety resources.
For more information call (408) 808-2617, or visit www.sjpl.org/moyc
Eily, Michael and Peggy O’Driscoll are hungry. They are growing up in Ireland during the Great Famine. The potato crop has failed year after year, so their Father has gone looking for work, their baby sister died recently, and now their Mother is also leaving. She’s determined not to let her three remaining children go hungry, so she walks to town to try to sell her last few personal possessions, her wedding dress and lace shawl.
Mother returns with a little food and stories of famine and fever, both of which left many of the townspeople dead. In some cases entire families have fled the town, some leaving Ireland for other countries. After a few days Mother decides she must leave again to search for her husband, as once more the family is close to starvation. When she doesn’t return, as expected, the children are threatened with eviction from their home and are to be sent to the workhouse. The three children leave a message for their Mother with a neighbor and begin the journey to a far off town where they hope to find relatives to care for them.
The remainder of the book takes us along on this very difficult and challenging journey as the children try to reach their Mother’s family. They walk through all types of weather, finding food along the way, while trying to avoid anyone who might wish them harm. They are amazingly resourceful as they deal with illness and wild creatures.
The author has written a fictionalized, but historically based book of what we now call the Irish potato famine. It can be difficult to read some of the situations involving the children, but throughout the book they encourage each other and overall remain hopeful. Marita Conlon-McKenna provides a brief history of the Great Famine of 1845-1850.