All posts tagged "high school"

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SAT Practice Test at Berryessa Branch Library on May 11

scantron testHigh school students - would you like to find out how you score on the SAT?  Take a full length practice SAT test, proctored by Princeton Review.  This is a great opportunity to try your hand at the types of questions you will see on the actual test.


 There will be SAT practice test administered on Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 1:30 PM until 6:00 PM (tentatively) at Berryessa Branch Library. Please register by calling 1-408-808-3050 or come directly to the information desk.


You do not need to print an admission ticket, but must bring a couple of pencils and a calculator to the test. Check out this SAT Day Checklist to get prepared for the test.


Come back on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm for the strategy session to receive a personalized score report.  Parents are welcome to attend the strategy session.

News Know How: Separate Fact from Fiction on the News and in Facebook

News Know-How ProgramDid you hear about the wolf spider so big that it took several shots to kill it?  Did you know that Mr. Rogers was a Marine Sniper in Vietnam or that you can prevent Facebook from using your posts by including a simple copyright notification?  What about Manti Te'o’s internet "girlfriend?"


Everything you just read was a lie. How many of you have actually been taken in by one of these hoaxes?  (I'll admit to believing that Mr. Rogers was a sniper.)  Often it's one of your friends sharing it through Facebook or Twitter.  Other times you hear about it on the local news.  How do you know when something is legit?  Is there any way to tell? 


We think so.  That’s why the San José public library is offering the "News Know How" program this summer at the new Educational Park Branch.  We're bringing in real reporters to show you how to separate fact from opinion and hoax from reality.  For two weeks you’ll work with Reporters, Librarians, and your fellow teens to create your own project (check out last year's projects).  Now you may be asking yourself.  Why should I spend two precious weeks of my summer actually learning?  Well, not only will your project be presented online for you to show off, you'll also receive a stipend (read money) for going through the program. 


The program will run 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Monday through Friday from June 17 to June 28, 2013. Once you've applied you will be contacted in order to schedule an interview. Interviews will begin May 1, 2013 and continue until all the spots are filled. Please contact Erik Berman ( if you have any questions.

Coming Soon: News Know-How Media Literacy Program

Who do you trust for your daily news? CNN, Fox News, NBC, CBS, The Drug Report, Reuters, the Huffington Post? We have so much news coming in so fast and so frequently that it can feel like you can never catch up with the latest Supreme Court decision or celebrity gaffe.  (I just checked my smart phone and two new articles have been released on my favorite news app.)  Knowing who to believe and how to evaluate the credibility of a given article is becoming more important than ever thanks to the influx of news sources and corporate news agencies, be it independent blogs or even the posts from your local library (which of course are impeccably credible).   


That's why the San José Public Library, with the help of American Library Association and the Open Society Foundations, is offering the News Know How media literacy program this June at the newly opening library, Educational Park.  The Library will be recruiting 15 students to participate in a special two week crash course in media literacy.  Students will learn how to critically evaluate the news they see every day.  They will spot misinformation and propaganda; they will check sources and distinguish between a reporter's fact and opinions.  In the end, as teams, they will produce their own report, sharing what they learned with the rest of the world.


The program will run from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Monday through Friday from  June 17 - 28, 2013 at the Educational Park Branch of the San José Public Library.  Participants must commit to the full two weeks and to completing the final project.  In return they will receive a stipend.

Operation Prom Dress at the Library

Willow Glen Branch Library is one of 9 San Jose branch libraries participating in Operation Prom Dress.  This program is sponsored by the Office of Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen in partnership with Comerica Bank.  Drop boxes are available to donate a new or gently used prom dress at the library. Don't let a tough economy discourage students from attending Prom!  Willow Glen Branch Library is located at 1157 Lincoln Ave. between Meridian and Lincoln Avenues in San Jose. 

Hey, Back Off! , You Grow Girl! , and Inside Out and Back Again

Hey, Back Off! book coverWritten by two teachers, Jennie Withers and Phyllis Hendrickson, M. Ed., Hey, Back Off! sheds lights on the topics of Teen Harassment and Bullying At School.  It helps both parents and teens understand more about the Harassment Law , the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (outlawing harassment),  the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (prohibiting discrimination based on disability).


This book helps readers realize different types of bullying: cyberbullying (sending mean text messages), sexual harassment, verbal teasing, and hitting or punching.  It explores different cases and different personalities:  passive teens (who have passive parents) becoming victims, and bullies being bullies because they have aggressive parents, and it shows how a person can become assertive from being passive or aggressive.  It portrays true life experiences of agressive people and how they become that way.  After reading the chapters on these cases of Passive Personalities and Aggressive Personalities, I realized that the authors have helped people on both sides of the spectrum:  victims of bullying and the bullies.


October was the Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. is an important web site to check out.  Go to "Resources, "Public Awareness", click on "Bullying Prevention Awareness Month" to learn about "Facts and Tips for Teens" to stay safe from cyberbullying.  This site also provides us with links regarding other types of abuse/bullying:  "Finding Help for Sexually Abused Children", "National Homeless Youth Awareness Month", and "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month".  Under "Get Help Now", there are links to crisis hotlines, victim assistance programs, how to deal with school crises, how to help abused or neglected children, and more.



You Grow Girl! book coverWritten by two conselors and moms, Gina Scarano-Osika and KimDever-Johnson, this book You Grow Girl:  A Self-Empowering Workbook for Tweens and Teens is definitely a book to be shared with your friends and you parents/teachers/conselors.  It helps you build self-esteem and body confidence, understand and maintain healthy eating attitudes, learning about stress management and how to cope with stress, how to nourish positive thinking and eliminate negative feelings.  It depicts female role models from various backgrounds and ethnicities.  It encourages teens to become beautiful inside and out by giving teens different scenarios and thought-provoking exercises.  Issues such as culture and peer pressures, deceptive media images, food/weight, mindfulness, etc. are also explored. 


Gracefully prepared by two conselors, this book offers a lot of wisdom to girls ages 9 to 16.  Strongly recommended to not just girls, but to Moms and Dads alike.


Inside Out & Back Again book coverAfter hitting the book market in 2011, this book Inside Out and Back Again quickly became a best-seller.  The month of October was the Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and this book once again was actively sought after.  Every year thousands of high school students are being bullied due to differences in religion and culture or norm, or the way they portray themselves, dress, talk, or socialize.   Among these student victims of bullying, many came from Vietnam.  This book is a series of heartfelt poems telling stories of how Ha`, the protagonist, went through years of being bullied by her classmates, and how she coped with bullying. 


Her story is symbolic of the high school life of many other Vietnamese students and students of other ethnic backgrounds who came here to America when they were in the ages of 9 to 18.  In the end of the book,  Ha` delivered a powerful message to the world:  she stood up, "gave her bullies a lesson" by becoming an excellent student whom both her family members and the school officials were so proud of.


This book won many awards such as Newbery Honor, National Book Award, and was placed on the New York Times Bestsellers list.  You can access the Newbery Medal home page through SJPL (San Jose Public Library) home page,, under "Homework, research, articles", then go to "Research Guides", "Books and Literature", "Book Awards", "Newbery Medal".


June was the month to recognize the refugees' plight.  Again, check out the web site to understand the refugees and the circumstances they have to live through.  Go to "Resources", "Public Awareness, click on "World Refugee Awareness Month". 


Hopefully you will see the image of yourself and your friends' through these books and the web sites recommended here, and will do your part to foster a better learning environment for your school.


Ha` was one of hundreds of thousands of political refugees who left Vietnam in 1975 when she was 10 years old.  She and her family settled in Alabama.  Her pen-name is Thanhha Lai.  Her first name is Ha`, Thanhha`, or Thanhha.

Youth in Revolt!

Youth in Revolt coverAre you ready for a movie that is so ridiculous it will make you laugh until you cry? Youth in Revolt, an adaptation of the novel by C.D. Payne, is a film following a smart yet impulsive 14 year-old boy as he tries to win the heart of Sheeni, an eccentric girl he meets on a family vacation.  The movie unfolds into a series of unfortunate events as Nick (played by Michael Cera) goes to outrageous lengths to get the attention of this seemingly unattainable love interest, played by Portia Doubleday.  As Nick finds trouble with every turn, we are introduced to his quirky best friend Lefty and his dysfunctional divorced parents.  The colorful characters and gut-busting story make this a great movie to help you relive your past!


And if you loved the movie, you can read the novel it is based on -- Youth In Revolt: the Journals of Nick Twisp by C.D. Payne.  Find it at one of our branch libraries!

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