Monday, May 12, 2014

The Y Participates in World Book Night

On Wednesday April 23rd, Kids' Korner at Macdonough School hosted the fourth Family Night Event of the 2013/2014 school year: Kn-'OWL'-edge is Power Family Fun Night: A World Book Night Event with Sandbox Arts and A Hope for Raptors.
 Kids' Korner site director Chaelyn Lombardo put in an application for World Book Night which was approved and her request for the book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen was accepted!  She quickly began planning for an owl-themed literacy event. The event was held on April 23rd, following our after school program for the day. A group of our fifth grade participants assisted in setting up the room for the event beforehand. The first 25 families to arrive received the WBN copy of Hoot. The first 30 children who arrived were given a card-stock owl crown which boasted, “Look Whooo's Great!” Each family was provided with a KIP Passport and an ink owl stamp to keep. Over a pizza and salad dinner, Chaelyn and staff explained to the families that they were going to travel around the cafeteria, completing a variety of owl-themed centers and challenges. Families were instructed to independently explore the centers and stamp the corresponding space on their passport as they completed each activity. We urged families to return their completed passports for a chance to win some owl-themed prizes that we had purchased (mugs, water bottles, stuffed animals, books, etc.). Each center featured a correlating FUN FACT about owls and a detailed explanation of the center's activities, with explicit directions. 
Our WBN Kn-OWL-edge is Power Centers were as follows:
  • World Book Night Welcome Center: Create a customized owl book mark for your new copy of Carl Hiaasen’s Hoot using provided bookmarks and colored pencils.
  • “Owl” Do Some Math Center “Create an Owl” Dice Game: Each roll of the dice earns a owl body part. Head, Wing, Talon, etc. A complete owl wins.
  • “Owl” Do Some Math Center 2-“Color an Owl” Dice Game: Each roll of the dice earns another crayon color for a color-by-number owl picture provided. A complete owl wins.
  • Super Science Center 1-Owl Puke: Owl Pellet Dissection Station, with bone charts and explanation sheets. Explore sterile owl pellets and decipher the bones within.
  • Super Science Center 2-Owl Eyes: Owl Eyes-Spy Books and Eye-Spy Game to test visual acuity in comparison to an owl’s eyesight.
  • Super Science Center 3-Owl Friends: Meet a REAL Owl (A Hope for Raptors, a raptor rescue organization with 2 live owls to share: One Barn Owl. One Great Horned Owl).
  • NEST-le Up in the Owl Book Nook: Choose from a variety of Owl-themed fiction and non-fiction picture books and completed a FAMILY MINI-REVIEW Book Report.
  • “Owl” Make Some Music Center: Sing some Owl Finger-Puppet Plays and Songs with plastic owl finger puppets and take-home song sheets provided.
  • Sandbox Arts Movable Mural Art Center: Paint the Movable Mural with Sandbox Arts (a local art co-op that brings a large movable canvas to paint our owl theme upon). Follow the Owl/Knowledge is Power theme.

  • Owl Arts and Crafts Center: Great Horned Owl Toilet Paper Roll Craft. Create an owl using recycled toilet paper tubes, designer paper cuts and craft eyes.
  • Origami Owl Center: Owl Origami. Fold a square piece of paper into an origami owl using the take-home directions provided.
  • Barn Owl’s Dinner-A Literal Scavenger Hunt: Barn owls eat 12 mice a night. Spot the 12 mystery mice hidden around the room before the WBN Family Night is over.
  • Owl Art Gallery: Famous Owl Art Pictures from around the world/history, set up behind the food station. Enjoy some artistic owl pictures.
  • Owl Celebrity Search: Spot the 10 “famous” owls around the room from movies, television, books, and more (Woodsy, Hedwig, Jareth, Soren, and more).
  • “Owl-ing” Photo Booth: Pose for the camera based on the Internet sensation of “owling.” Though we aren’t sure if these are legit owl poses...

    Our World Book Night event hosted 94 people, with 28 of our program’s families in attendance. It was our biggest Family Night Event turnout of the school year (of many years, actually). At the end of the night, every copy of Hoot was distributed. Each owl crown was atop a child’s head. Families were enthusiastically involved in the centers; thumbing through their free copies of Hoot, basking in the natural wonder of our live owl exhibit, painting an artistic owl rendering on the 8 foot mural, breaking apart owl pellets and marveling over the interesting discoveries within.  A fun time was had by owl!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

NBA Star Returns to Middlesex YMCA

Recently, Andre Drummond, starting center of the Detroit Pistons, stopped in at the Middlesex YMCA for some pick-up basketball. The 20-year-old NBA player is well on his path to stardom, but it all started for him on the courts of the Middlesex Y. He started as a camper at YMCA Camp Ingersoll and later instructed basketball camp at the Y. Drummond recalls growing up playing ball with the older kids at the Y who took him under their wing. Drummond’s cousin and several childhood friends many of whom were Y members, arrived to join in the memories. Several games of pick-up ensued as many of the current young Y members looked on in aspiration. At 6’10”, Drummond towered over everyone else on the court that night. With all of his success in such a short period of time, Andre is still the same guy said his cousin.

 He is very modest and is not afraid to credit the Y, “I owe a lot to the YMCA, for letting me come in to play ball day in and day out.”  Andre stayed for nearly 2 hours that night playing ball and he was sure to give time towards the end of the night to get all of the younger kids on the court for the chance to go one on one with a rising NBA star who was once in the same shoes as them. Andre Drummond is truly a shining example of a Y success story.