PerKIDS Newsletter 2009 Spring
Vol. 3, No. 2
Hi PerKIDS! Want to know what's going on at the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library? Our spring newsletter is here and we want to spread the word!
Please let me know if I can send you books, or if I can help you with anything else! Email Rachel.Gould@Perkins.org, call 617-972-7242, or send an AOL IM to BTBLRachel.
Starship Adventure at your Library
One of the most effective ways to improve reading skills is to read regularly and often. From June 15 – August 14, let's go out of this world and have a great time reading books!
Kids and teens who read for the joy of it are the strongest readers. When you participate in a summer reading program, you reap the benefits of greater academic achievement.
In the Starship Adventure Summer Reading Program, you get to make all of your reading choices. All you have to do is tell me about the books you read, and I will send you prizes! You will receive a registration form in the mail in early June. Return your form to receive a reading log, packet of activities, and a list of great books. We will send you activities (and prizes!) throughout the summer.
Details will be sent about the great events we are planning. I can't wait to blast off with you this summer — it's going to be great!
Mars: The Red Planet
Learn more about Earth's red neighbor... Mars!
- Mars is roughly 143 million miles from the sun.
- Mars is known as the "Red Planet" due to the red appearance of the iron oxide on its surface.
- Mars has approximately half the radius of Earth and has 15% of its volume.
- A Martian year is equal to 1.8809 Earth years.
- Mars has two tiny natural moons, Phobos and Deimos.
- In May 2008, the NASA Phoenix Mars lander arrived on the north polar region and confirmed water ice on Mars.
- The Mars Science Laboratory will launch in 2011 and will take Mars Exploration Rovers to try to find more life on Mars.
Books About Mars
Contact the library to order these books, or any other books!
Mission to Mars by Franklyn M. Branley (BR 14825)
Discusses what people might find if they could travel to Mars; whether there might be air, water, or gravity; and what it might be like to live in a space station while exploring the planet. For grades 2-4.
Is There Life on Mars by Dennis Brindell Fradin (RC 50468)
Historical survey of theories about life on Mars, from ancient perceptions to twentieth-century space exploration. Discusses evidence of canals, space mission discoveries, and possibilities of future colonization. For grades 5-8.
A Look at Mars by Ray Spangenburg (RC 61095)
Discusses the history of human ideas about Mars, its geology and moons, missions to the red planet, and the possibility of life there. For grades 5-8.
Read To Achieve
On March 31, Perkins students and staff joined Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins, guard Eddie House, forward Bill Walker, and Managing Partner and Governor Wyc Grousbeck for a Read to Achieve event. The program builds a lifelong love of reading by providing greater access to books and encouraging children to join together and read.
The Celtics stars and three Perkins students read aloud from Marc Brown's Arthur Meets the President (BR 9947). They told how Arthur the aardvark won a contest with his essay "How I Can Help Make America Great" and described his adventures as he took his grand prize trip to visit the White House.
The players also discussed the African word "ubuntu" which they chant after each practice. Walker said someone who believes in "ubuntu" is caring, kind, and sees himself as part of a whole. "I cannot become better unless I help my teammates become better," Walker explained.
The Celtics and Perkins showed that reading — and basketball — are for everyone. Don't miss the upcoming episodes of "Arthur" which feature Marina, Prunella's friend who is blind. Tune in to WGBH on June 16 and June 30.
Reading Never Sounded So Good!
Have you seen our billboards lately? Clear Channel Communications has contributed over 50 BTBL billboards in eastern Massachusetts. If you spot a billboard, take a picture and send it to the Library to receive a prize!
Drawing With Your Perkins Brailler
You know how to write with your Perkins Brailler. Now you can learn how to draw with it! Library Director Kim Charlson has just published Drawing With Your Perkins Brailler.
Available in large print and in braille, the book gives step-by-step directions on how to use a braillewriter to create 28 different pieces of art. Pictures range from an elephant to a school bus to a Thanksgiving turkey to a Valentine's Day card.
Charlson was recently in Paris and visited the Coupvray birthplace of Louis Braille, the inventor of braille. Then, at the Commemoration of Braille's 200th birthday, she introduced her book to an international audience.
Now it is your turn to experience braille in a whole new way! Contact Perkins Products at www.perkinsstore.org or 617-972-7308 to order your copy!
Louis Braille Books
Contact the Library to borrow these books about Louis Braille, or any other books!
A Picture Book of Louis Braille by David A. Adler (RC 53405, BR 14002)
Presents the life of Louis Braille. Braille originated the raised dot system of reading and writing used throughout the world by visually impaired individuals. For grades K-3.
Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille by Russell Freedman (RC 44992, BR 11319)
Louis Braille attended the Royal National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris, where he had developed a system of raised dots for reading and writing that is now used worldwide by blind people. For grades 4-7 and older readers.
Louis Braille: A Touch of Genius by C. Michael Mellor (RC 63350, BR 16790)Biography of Louis Braille. Discusses his schooling, his love of music, and the advantages of his tactile reading system. For junior and senior high and older readers.
Also, contact the Library to borrow the Braille Awareness Kit. The resource packets and items included will introduce the braille system and show how braille makes a difference in the lives of people who are blind.
Red Sox Schedules
The Library offers a free subscription to an annual schedule of the dates and times of all Boston Red Sox baseball games. Contact the Library to receive a schedule on cassette or in braille.
For the third season in a row, Fenway Park offers accessible seating to fans with visual, physical, and/or hearing disabilities. For information and tickets, call Fenway Park at 877-733-7699 or TTY 617-226-6644.
- Need help with your homework? Contact InfoEyes - a question and answer service for library patrons. You can ask a question about anything! Email a question or schedule a live chat with a librarian in an accessible chatroom. Visit www.infoeyes.org for more information.
- Audio books in mp3 format are now available from the Unabridged School Download Library. Contact the Perkins Library for more information about this collection of always-available downloadable books!
The Library offers free or discounted museum passes to five area museums.
We have passes to the following fun, accessible attractions: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, and Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT. Contact the Library to borrow a pass!
The Boston Children's Museum's current exhibit, access/ABILITY, emphasizes how people are more alike than different. Learn phrases in American Sign Language, write your name in braille, try a hand-pedaled bike and take part in a multi-sensory City Walk.
The exhibit runs through August. Visit www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org for more information.
Digital Machines Coming Soon!
The new digital talking book machines will be arriving this summer! If you haven't already, contact us to be added to the digital machine waiting list. We will have digital talking books available also!
Blind and sighted athletes, world-class runners and weekend walkers run or walk side-by-side at the Vision 5K. You can run, walk, or take the Blindfold Challenge: put on a blindfold, team up with a sighted guide, and run!
The race is Sunday, June 7 at Boston College. There will be music, a food court with local restaurants, a kids' fun run and other activities.
Proceeds benefit Perkins School for the Blind, Carroll Center for the Blind, MAB Community Services, and National Braille Press. Visit www.vision5k.org for more information.
Follow these steps to come up with your chocolate age. First, choose how many times per week you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10).
Multiply this number by 2, add 5 and then multiply it by 50. If you already had your birthday this year, add 1759. If not, add 1758.
Now subtract the four digit year that you were born. You should have a three digit number.
The first digit of this number is your original number - how many times per week you want chocolate. The next two numbers are your age!
This fun chocolate equation will only work in 2009, so act quickly!
Sweet Reading Treats
Contact the Library to borrow these delicious books, or any other books!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (BR 11466, RC 33498)
Charlie Bucket's tour of Mr. Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory sends him on adventures beyond his wildest dreams. For grades 4-7.
Chocolate: Riches from the Rainforest by Robert Burleigh (RC 54575)
Traces chocolate's history from the seeds of the cacao tree to chocolate bars. Explains how the Olmec and Maya of Central America prepared chocolate as a drink, its popularity in Europe, and modern production methods. For grades 4-7.
The Story of Chocolate by C.J. Polin (BR 16135)
This history of chocolate begins with the farming of Central American cacao trees in ancient times and follows explorers' transportation of cocoa beans to Spain. The book discusses the growth of chocolate's popularity, European inventions for processing cocoa, and describes a vast modern industry. Uncontracted braille. For grades 2-4.
Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library
175 North Beacon Street
Watertown, MA 02472