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Norwin reading program focuses on science, math

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Upcoming activites

The following are some of the activities for children scheduled in June at the Norwin Public Library this summer. For more information, see the library's website at:

• Mad Science — June 19, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Children 5 and older can m anipulate matter and experience explosions.

• Buzz on Bees? — Saturday, 10:30 a.m. Beekeeper David Lake talks about bees with children and adults.

• Fizzle, Sizzle and Twizzle — Monday, 6:30 p.m. Stories and experiments focusing on inventors. For children 4 and older.

• Sensational Science Craft Night — Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. For children of all ages, but best for those who are at least 4, together with a parent or caregiver

• Cartoonist Joe Wos — June 26, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wos' spin on scientific silliness. For children and adults.

• A Monkey with a Tool Belt — June 30, 6:30 p.m. A Stage Right! School for Performing Arts production for children and adults.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 12:18 p.m.

The summer reading program that kicks off this week at the Norwin Public Library promises to be packed with fun activities to keep children sharp while they are out of school.

“The goal this summer, as it has been in previous years, is to encourage a love for reading, for children to have fun and to help avoid the ‘drag' that can happen when kids don't read over the summer,” said Diana Falk, the library's director.

“We're not trying to recreate a classroom, but we do want to help kids stay in touch with what's happening at school,” she said. “So we encourage children to come to the library and select material that they are interested in.”

The “drag” to which Falk referred is a regression in the classrooms skills that many children experience when they're out of school on summer break, according to a number of education studies.

The library also has boosted the number of children's e-books in its collection to make it easier for those who can't attend the reading program obtain materials.

In January, Norwin library representatives joined with some of their Westmoreland counterparts and the coordinators of the Math and Science Collaborative that was developed at the Carnegie Science Center to learn how the new Pennsylvania Core Standards can be integrated into library programs.

Barbara Flynn, the children's librarian at the Norwin library, said the program she developed for this summer's reading program helps incorporate science into reading.

“Working with the ‘Fizz, Boom, Read!' theme ... not only opens up a world of experiences to Norwin's kids but also jump-starts their creativity and encourages reading many different types of materials,” she said.

Flynn said popular fiction series such as the “Magic Tree House” by Mary Pope Osborne have nonfiction tie-ins.

“So if a child loves ‘Dolphins at Daybreak,' they may also enjoy learning more about the topic with ‘Dolphins and Sharks: A Nonfiction Companion to ‘Tonight on The Titanic,''” she said. “It's very exciting to be able to present many fun programs with this science theme and encourage kids to find books that speak to them, whatever their interests might be.”

Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer.

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