Archive for June, 2011

Zoom in on Saturn at Tellus Museum this Friday

June 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturn is one of the most awe-striking and recognizable heavenly bodies. This Friday, children can get a closer look at Saturn as Tellus Museum in Cartersville hosts an astronomy workshop featuring the ringed planet.

The workshop will be held from 9-11:30 p.m. and will include a planetarium show and a viewing in the on-site observatory.

This program is open to children 8 and up. Kids must be accompanied by a paying adult. Call 770-606-5700, ext. 417 to purchase tickets.

Categories: Enrichment

Girls Get IT programs give young women insight into technology careers

June 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Girls and young women who love information technology sometimes have a hard time finding mentors and role models who work in the field. The local group Women In Technology (WIT) hopes to change that through its Girls Get IT programs, happening soon.

On select Saturdays this summer and fall, girls can get a behind-the-scenes tour of some of Atlanta’s leading IT companies: IBM, McKesson, Accenture and Cisco. (Ages vary for each of these tours.)

In July, girls can participate in a job shadowing program, spending time with women who work at, McKesson, SunTrust or Turner Broadcasting/CNN.

No specific deadline to apply is posted, but organizers ask that girls who are interested submit an application as soon as possible.

Categories: Enrichment

How to find summer reading that fits your child’s age and ability

June 8, 2011 2 comments

Many gifted kids are advanced readers, presenting parents with a tough challenge: finding books that are challenging enough for our kids’ ability, yet still age appropriate. I mean, your 9-year-old daughter may read on a 7th grade level, but that doesn’t mean you want her reading a Twilight novel.

Thankfully, there’s a tool that can help you search thousands of books to find a good fit: the Accelerated Reader BookFinder. Accelerated Reader — often known simply as “AR” — is a reading program used in some schools. But even if your child’s school doesn’t participate in the AR program, you can still use the BookFinder tool.

Just follow the link above to go into the BookFinder’s Advanced Search mode. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Leave the top section (Author, Title, ISBN, etc.) blank.
  2. For “Interest Level,” select your child’s grade level group.
  3. ATOS Book Level refers to your child’s reading level. The ATOS system expresses the level in a X.Y format, where X is the grade and Y is the month in school. So a child whose ATOS level is 4.3 is reading at a level where the average 4th grader would be 3 months into the school year. The BookFinder asks for a range, so if for example your child reads on a 5th grade level, you could enter 5.3 in the left-hand box and 6.3 in the right-hand box (always good to have them read up a bit to build their skills.)
  4. Under additional criteria, you can select a specific genre that your child likes, or simply choose fiction or non-fiction. You can skip this step, but you will get more results than you can manage.
  5. If you want, choose to sort the results by title, author or rating.
  6. When you’ve entered all the variables you want, click on Go.

When the search engine returns a list of books that meet your criteria, you can click on any book in the list to get more information about it, including the word count. (A tip: If you look at the number labeled as “AR Pts” in the description, you can get some idea of how long the book is. Books worth 0.5 points are usually picture books. Books worth 1 point may be chapter books. Books worth 2 points or more are short novels, and so on.)

Happy reading!

Categories: Enrichment

“Creative Kids” magazine seeks literary and artistic kids for its advisory board

June 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Does your child like to express his creative side by writing stories or poems, drawing pictures, or taking photographs? If so, he could become part of the advisory board of Creative Kids, a magazine for kids, by kids, published by Prufrock Press, a well-known publisher of works for gifted children.

Children have until July 1 to apply. Those selected for the advisory board will give the editors feedback about the magazine’s content, review products for the magazine, and contribute original work to be published in the magazine. Although the search information doesn’t specify an age range, the magazine is intended for kids ages 8-16, so I have to assume that’s who they want.

Not ready for this level of commitment? Kids can always submit individual creative works to the magazine. Just follow the instructions in the submission guidelines.

Categories: Enrichment

Check out more than books at your local library this summer

June 1, 2011 1 comment

I try to look far and wide to find fun, educational activities for kids. But this summer, free fun may be as close as your local library.

Sure, you already know that public libraries offer summer book clubs and reading programs for school-age children. Maybe you even know they have chess clubs and family game nights. But did you know you can build LEGO vehicles, learn Chinese, study mummies and see planetarium shows, all at your local library at no cost?

Here’s just a sampling of activities going on at metro area libraries this summer. Follow the link to your county’s public library system to see the full calendar of events. (You can sneak a peek at other counties, too, but note that some activities will be open only to county residents, so if you’re thinking about traveling across county lines, call to check first.)

  • Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System: Starting this Saturday, June 4, teens can take part in a free drama camp that meets Saturday afternoons at the Dogwood branch…. Learn about mummies June 9 at the Northside branch…. A Science Academy at the Alpharetta branch on June 13 will teach kids about biology, paleontology, oceanography and even volcanology.
  • Clayton County: A kids’ Scrabble club meets occasionally at the main branch…. Make stained glass on June 14 at the Riverdale branch…. Learn about the polar regions of Earth on August 6 at the main branch.
  • Cobb County: The Wheeler High School robotics team will give a presentation this Saturday, June 4 at the East Cobb branch…. Middle-schoolers can get a taste of Chinese language on June 6 at West Cobb…. The East Marietta branch will host an 8-week creative writing workshop for teens, beginning June 7.
  • DeKalb County: The mobile planetarium from the Fernbank Science center will be at the Chamblee branch on June 6 and at Clarkston on June 28….  Snakes and other reptiles will be at the Northlake branch on June 14…. On July 9, kids can build and race LEGO vehicles at the Stone Mountain branch.
  • Gwinnett County: Reviewing the summer calendar, I see a lot more entertainment and crafts than educational programs. The Five Forks branch presents an introduction to origami for teens on July 28…. The Zoo Atlanta Zoomobile visits Five Forks on August 2.



Categories: Enrichment