Friday, June 17, 2011

stock up on summer books

Friends Annual Book Sale - @ Catherine McAuley High School
June 17, 10-7
June 18, 10-5
June 19, 10-5
We have a great selection of books, CDs, DVDs, and records for you to choose from. On Sunday you can fill a bag with books for a voluntary donation.  It's a great way to stock up on summer reading!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Free 1 Night Camping

Free Day-Use Admission to MECOA Campers

Governor LePage proclaimed June as "Great Outdoors Month."  In recognition of this declaration, the Maine Campgrounds Owners Association (MECOA) is offering a free single day admission to any Maine state park or historic site to anyone staying at one of their campgrounds between June 1 and June 25.

Additional information about Maine's state parks and historic sites can be found online at  To make reservations at any Maine state park campground, please visit

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Last month, my tween social media bubble was burst when I learned that many of our kids are Buzz regulars.  No big deal, mostly, but the potential for trouble exists and my own values and rules about the internet are being called into question.  This blogpost exposes the worst case scenario of young kids using social media for friendship maintenance and a platform that sounds pretty predatory... once signed on, it is really hard to get signed off...

Summer Reading Kick Off @ Prince Memorial Library in Cumberland

"One World, Many Stories"

 Summer Reading Kick-Off

Tuesday June 14, 4:30 - 8:00 pm

4:30:  French story time, Carly and French Club   - Story Room                 

4:30, 5, 5:30:  Heifer presentations, Jane Elwell                  - Sun Room

5:15 - 6:10:  Storyteller/musician Jennifer Armstrong       - Prince Room

5:30 -6:30:  Slugger from the Sea Dogs                     -  Roaming with guide

6:00 - 7: Flag craft April Kearney from Arts Alliance         - Middle tables

6:00-7: Rachel Landry +Cadette #1686 African program   - Sun Room

6:30- 7:30:  Face painting                                                       - YA Room

6:30 - 7:00: Juggler Will Silvers                                             - Prince/outside

7:30:  Mexican story reader's theater Jennifer Gifford      - Story Room

Chewonki Reflections (2010) - 3rd & 4th graders

  • I could teach people the tips of lighting fire
  • I never knew I could finish a ropes course - It was really hard but I did it!! 
  • That I can share new games with my family, like crab tag
  • I learned how to cook food over a fire
  • I learned that I could sleep well in a Yurt
  • I learned that I love adventures 
  • I learned that sometimes it's good to go out of your comfort zone because sometimes you end up having a lot of fun even if you are a little bit nervous
  • I learned that I can face my fears... I learned that Chewonki inspires kids to challenge themselves and learn something new every day and I encourage other kids to do the same
  • I was more brave than I knew
  • I learned that by using a clothes line, I can save the earth 
  • I learned that I can climb things that I never knew I could 
  • I didn't know that I was so good with matches, lighting fires, and chopping wood.  I also didn't know I was so good with heights and going out of my comfort zone.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Maine Tax Proposals

Today is the 10th Anniversary of the Bush Tax Cuts - lots of actions going on - but DirigoBlue (a progressive political blog) has a nice analysis of Maine's tax proposals going forward - have a read and then chime in with your thinking about the budget, while it is still in play.

New Report on Technology & Families

I wish I could figure out how we could make community reads a part of our crazy lives - I'd be curious what resonates with others in this report.   (A summary is at the Huffington Post)

Monday, June 6, 2011

If you're shopping for summer camp gear or weekly groceries...

Grace's camp sent this info:

"One more recommendation – we have discovered an interesting website –  A number of scientists have investigated a wide variety of products from the beginning of the manufacturing process to their final resting place, and have rated them on a scale of 1 to 10, in terms of greenness, healthiness, and social responsibility.  Products are grouped by category--laundry products, hair products, toothpastes, for example.  The site is quite easy to use, and can be used quickly, or delved into for more detailed information.   We hope you have an opportunity to visit the site."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer Reading

The Public Libraries are gearing up for Summer Reading - the theme looks great this year:  One World, Many Stories  / guidebook here

Here's the link for finding Maine Public Libraries across communities - not sure if there is a list of statewide programming anywhere....

Maine State Libraries "Cream of the Crop" list

And, if you're buying books for family trips or lazy days, consider some of these multicultural titles from Lee & Low - high quality stories representing kids with all kinds of backgrounds... They're releasing a new imprint - Tu books - for kids who read fantasy...

On check-out, use code ENEWS11 and save 30% plus free USPS standard shipping on all orders of $10 or more online at  *Special Web-only offers are exclusive to those individuals who make purchases with a credit card. Orders placed with a purchase order are not eligible for online discounts. International orders are excluded from this offer. Online discounts do not apply to Bebop Books titles. Offer Expires: June 15, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Proper Cup of Coffee

Courtesy of Maya:

For those who would choose tea over a "proper cup of coffee made in a proper coffee pot"  -- otherwise known as people other than me!

Frappacinos, Alcopops & Food Marketing to Kids

I, as all who know me will attest, am a coffee-addict. I will happily microwave days-old coffee before going without, and a latte is a standard indulgence. My children have been dragged on many a "mom needs coffee" expedition. So it should not be surprising to me that the preteens in my world are curious about caffeine or see drinking coffee as a way of entering adulthood.  For some kids, coffee and other stimulants are used to get all their homework done and still play sports and still do it all again tomorrow (in Race to Nowhere they claim that stimulants/ADD meds are the new drug of choice among high school students).  But, there are other forces at play too.  In 2007, Starbucks changed their previous "no marketing to kids" policy and rolled out fancy-pants caffeine laden drinks topped with whipped cream - they acknowledged their goal was to get the youth market and get them good (and for their whole lives).  And, drinks like AMP and Red Bull (and ) have sophisticated marketing campaigns and big budgets aimed at hooking kids. 

Frappacinos as gateway drug?  Frappacinos as a fun and frothy treat?  Once again, I find myself uncertain about how to best allow space for normal experimentation and provide healthy limits or feedback.  Food -- actually, that stuff that passes as food but is really more a perfect cocktail of sugar, fat, salt and crunch -- is such a fraught topic, I started to wonder if there is anything to learn from the research on other substances. 
And a few resources on caffeine & other drinks (I don't understand brain science enough to know how much information effects kids behaviors and choices but it seems worth giving them the chance to assess the situation for themselves, to recognize that while they might be bucking the rules of their parents they are capitulating to the desires of adult corporate marketers?)
Finally - some media literacy & food programs/sites to help teach kids to take on the marketing:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sunscreen 2011

The Environmental Working Group has their sunscreen database and "best of" list updated for 2011 -- they offer info about the potency of sunscreens as well as their chemical danger.  If the latest from the WHO hasn't made you smash your cell phone, they offer an App as well...