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Dear Kids, April is all about spring for me. I really like to be outside, and this is the perfect time of year for it. Flowers are starting to bloom, and the birds are out making music. I just love waking up to the sounds of spring! In April, you can celebrate spring by joining in the celebration of Earth Day. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day! Arbor Day is another great day to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate spring. I’m going to invite my family on a hike and take pictures of the different trees that we see. We might even plant a new tree in our backyard! National Library Week is the second week of April, so you might want to visit your school or community library to read up on Earth Day or Arbor Day. Be sure to say “Thank You” to your librarian! Remember, for fun and games all month, visit the new and improved Kidsville News! Web site at www.KidsvilleNews.com. Have an awesome April! Your friend,
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Kidsville News! Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day! Millions of people from Poughkeepsie, New York, to Papua, New Guinea, will take part in events to mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this April 22. But the story behind the first Earth Day begins with a single individual. In the early 1960s, when Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, a Senator from Wisconsin, first hatched the idea that began the modern environmental movement, there was little public awareness about the damage being done to the planet. Nelson had been working to bring attention to environmental issues for several years. He even persuaded President John F. Kennedy to go on a five-day, 11-state “conservation tour” in 1963. In 1969, while he was a U.S. Senator, Nelson came up with the idea for a “teach-in” on environmental issues. The idea caught on, and the first Earth Day was coordinated by Nelson and Denis Hayes and held on April 22, 1970. In 1995, Nelson (who also served as Governor of Wisconsin) was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest honor given to U.S. civilians —
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in recognition of his role as the founder of Earth Day. One person — like Gaylord Nelson — can make a difference! More and more people are making earth-friendly habits, like recycling, part of their daily lives. Through the joint efforts of the U.S. government, organizations and citizens, what started as a day of national environmental recognition has evolved into a worldwide campaign to protect our global environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, we are all making a difference. In fact, the nation’s air and water are much cleaner today than they were 40 years ago. The EPA has a special Web site just for students and kids, with lots of neat projects and information. Visit www.epa.gov/ students or www.epa.gov/kids for fun activities just for you. Information provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, The Wilderness Society and www.metrocreativeconnection.com.
All about Easter Easter is a religious holiday that honors the resurrection, or rising, of Jesus Christ from the dead. Easter also celebrates the coming of spring and the new life seen in flowers, gardens and animals. The term “Easter” comes from the Anglo-Saxon, or old English, goddess named Eostre. The goddess Eostre represented “light,” another sign of spring, and every April, in the past, the Anglo-Saxon tribes would hold a celebration in her honor. Today Easter is celebrated on or after the first full moon after March 21. The earliest possible date for Easter is March 22 and the latest is April 25. In the Christian Church, Easter comes at the end of Lent. Lent is a 40- day period that begins traditionally on Ash Wednesday and goes until Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday is the seventh Wednesday before Easter. On Ash Wednesday, people will often get ashes on their foreheads to represent regret for their sins and recognition of their human lives. During Lent, people often practice fasting, special church services are held and folks often give up something they enjoy. Fasting means not to eat any food or to eat only certain kinds of food and is usually practiced for religious purposes. Every Easter, churches, businesses and other organizations hold Easter egg hunts, where eggs full of candy, toys, secret messages or pictures are hidden and people go and find them. The egg is a symbol of rebirth and new life. How to Decorate Easter Eggs • With an adult’s help, hard-boil an egg or multiple eggs in water inside a pot on the stove for 10 minutes. • After boiling for 10 minutes, have the adult empty the hot water into the sink and pour cold water into the pot. Leave eggs in the pot. • Let the eggs sit for 5 minutes, and then dump out the cold water, still leaving the eggs in the pot. • Have the adult mix any color of food coloring (about 5 drops) and a cup of warm water in a bowl. Two tablespoons of white vinegar will help the color stick to the shell better. Gently place the cooled boiled egg inside the cup to sit. • Allow the egg to sit for 5 minutes or until it is the shade you like. • Take a serving spoon and pick the egg up out of the cup and gently place it on a plate or paper towel to dry. • Be sure to wash any food coloring off your hands with soap and warm water. Once the egg is dry, you can decorate your egg with stickers, markers, plastic jewels or any number of things. Refrigerate the eggs until you are ready to use them. Be sure to handle your eggs carefully because even though they are hardboiled, they can still crack. Have fun! Ashley Young is a contributing writer for Kidsville News. Sources: The World Book Encyclopedia and Dictionary.com. Image: www.metrocreativeconnection.com.
Arbor Day is celebrated on April 30. J. Sterling Morton moved to In 1878, the 19th president of the Nebraska in the 1800s, but there were not many trees there. He started a United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, campaign to plant trees. Not only did he love trees, but he knew they were started the tradition of “The White APRIL 2010 WWW.KIDSVILLENEWSTN.COM important as windbreaks for fields to keep soil in place and for shade and for House Egg Roll.” Here thousands building materials. More than a million trees were planted in of children and adults roll
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In Thailand, April 13-15 is a public holiday for the New Year’s festival, or Songkran Festival, also known as the “Water Festival.” Songkran is a Thai word which means “move” or “change place” as it is the day when the sun changes its position in the zodiac. The day before the festival, the people do a spring cleaning. On April 13, the image of Buddha is bathed with holy or fragrant water, and the people celebrating splash water on each other and have a big water fight. The people of Thailand believe that the water will wash away bad luck.
In American Samoa, April 17 is celebrated as Flag Day. Samoa is a small group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean and is a territory of the United States. Flag Day is a national holiday commemorating the first raising of the American Flag in what used to be known as Eastern Samoa in 1900. To celebrate, they have parades with singing and dancing. They also hold the Fautasi Long Boat Race.
Well, it’s not summer in the U.S. yet, but in Iceland, they celebrate April 24 as Sumardagurinn Fyrsti, or “first day of summer.” This public holiday is celebrated with many festivities, including parades and street dances. It is held every year on the Thursday between April 19 and 25. There is no school for the children, and they receive “summer gifts.” Iceland is the second-largest island in the North Atlantic Ocean and is dotted with mountains, glaciers, volcanoes and waterfalls.
Every year, millions of monarch butterflies migrate from North America to Mexico. This amazing migration has been recognized as an endangered biological phenomenon. That means that measures are being taken to help preserve the environment where the butterflies spend the winter in Mexico so that the remarkable migration can continue. Kingdom: Animalia Why is this migration so special? The monarch Phylum: Arthoropoda butterfly is the only butterfly that migrates north Class: Insecta and south like birds do. And no single monarch is going to survive the entire round trip. Usually, Order: Lepidoptera adult monarchs live only four or five weeks, but Family: Nymphalidae each year as fall approaches, a special generation Genus: Danaus of butterflies is born. This migratory generation will live seven or eight months. This generation of Species: D. plexippus butterflies performs the incredible migration from Canada and the United States to central Mexico. They travel 50 to 80 miles per day for two months until they reach the pine- and fir-tree forests. Here they hibernate for the winter. And then, they head back north again! Along the way back home, the butterflies will mate, and their offspring will continue the journey north to their original location. The life cycle of a monarch includes four stages for a complete metamorphosis. An egg is laid, and a caterpiller hatches from it after four days. The caterpillar stage lasts about two weeks. Then the caterpillar creates a silk pad from which it hangs in the pupa or chrysalis stage. The caterpillar undergoes changes, and about two weeks later, the butterfly emerges to begin its short life! Sources: Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org; World Wildlife Fund, www.worldwildlife.org. Images: www.metrocreativeconnection.com.
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Make Arbor Day a Tree-mendous Day! Arbor Day is a nationally celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, it’s celebrated on the last Friday in April. This year, that day is April 30. Some states celebrate Arbor Day on other days of “Each generation takes the year, based on when it is a good time to plant in their area. the earth as trustees.” J. Sterling Morton moved to —J. Sterling Morton Nebraska in the 1800s, but there were not many trees there. He started a campaign to plant trees. Not only did he love trees, but he knew they were important as windbreaks for fields to keep soil in place and for shade and for building materials. More than a million trees were planted in Nebraska on that first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872. It has been over 135 years since J. Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day. His simple idea of setting aside a special day for tree planting is now more important than ever. There are many ways that you can celebrate Arbor Day with your friends and family. • Plant a tree. If you plant a tree, be sure to follow the guidelines shown at the right. • Learn about the different types of trees in your backyard. • Read a book about trees. • Take a hike. Take a notebook or journal with you and sketch pictures of some of the different trees you see along the way.
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A CHILDREN’S MUSICAL ENTERTAINER? I love music, and I love having fun. Lucky for me, I have the chance to meet exciting people all of the time, and I just met someone that combines music and fun! And, it’s her JOB! Shana Banana was born in Hilo, Hawaii, and grew up in the Hawaiian Islands until high school. (She went to school at Punahou in Honolulu — the same school as President Obama!)Then she moved to Florida, where she still lives. Shana went to Eckerd College and earned a Master’s and Ph.D. Candidacy in Oceanography from the University of South Florida. But she has always loved music, and once she began entertaining for children, she found her calling! Her other hobbies include cooking, meditation, yoga, exercise, hiking and outdoorsy stuff with her husband and two young children.
TRUMAN: What does it take to become a children’s musical entertainer?
for and with kids can be WAY more fun than performing for grown-ups! SHANA: Three things: 1) A totally genuine enjoyment of and drive for So, I eventually committed to being positively influencing kids, 2) a love of performing and 3) a good educaa full-time children’s tion. Not necessarily an education in the arts, music artist. or theater — mine is in oceanography — but a wellrounded education in which you learn good fundaTRUMAN: Why a banana? Is that your favorite fruit? mentals of reading, math, science, the arts, nutrition, SHANA: My dad gave me the nickname “Shana Banana” fitness, social studies and more. Why? Because as when I was very small, mainly because it rhymes. As the a children’s entertainer, you are relating directly to years went on, my dad just called me “Banana,” and to this children, hopefully inspiring and motivating them for day, I still turn my head in the produce section at the whom they are. It is an awesome responsibility to be grocery store if someone happens to utter the word. My sisable to touch the lives of children, and so you want to ter calls me “Nanner,” and my best friend calls me “Nana.” be able to relate to all children equally, whether they “Shana Banana” was the obvious choice for a performance are destined to someday be rocket scientists, accounname, and it’s a really fun theme, too. And, incidentally, tants or movie stars. You want to make sure that all I do love bananas, but not when they are too green or children feel honored and respected and that you are too brown. coming from a background that qualifies you to sing TRUMAN: What kind of things do you write about? to and with them at that level. When I sing about so many different topics, it’s because I had a good SHANA: Whatever you can think of that is interesting to education and know about those topics, or at least kids. In fact, most of my songs came as suggestions from know how to research them. For example, my song “I children. My first two CDs are an assortment of songs Want to be a Dinosaur” won “Best Children’s Song ranging from brushing your teeth to pretending to eat your in the Country” in 2004. I spent an afternoon in the house to wearing chicken pants to getting an owie. Now I library just researching facts on dinosaurs before I am working on an ocean-themed CD called “Banana Beach wrote that song. I learned how to research and Party.” communicate facts because I went to school. Now, TRUMAN: What do you do every day? What is a typical because I choose music and dance and performance Shana Banana loves creating music day like? to communicate to kids, I also took lots of special and entertaining kids! SHANA: There several parts to my work: Live classes in voice, guitar, acting, writing, elementary performances, studio work, TV work, educational work, education and music theatre, so I can do the best job possible sharing training and “running the business.” The first is pretty obvious: I show up knowledge with kids, teachers, parents and families in a FUN way! at a concert venue, get set up, welcome folks in, go completely bananas TRUMAN: When and why did you first become interested in this and do a concert for an hour, hang out and get to know everyone after the profession? show, sell CDs and DVDs, sign autographs, pack up and go home. SomeSHANA: Music and performance had always been a serious hobby for me. times I do a couple of shows a day, sometimes a couple of shows a week I was in the Honolulu Children’s Choir and was their lead mezzo soprano. and sometimes a few shows a month. Some days I am focused in the I performed in school musicals and played guitar from about second grade studio. Some days I am going through records and receipts. Some days on. I took acting and singing and dance classes because it was fun, and I I am stuck on the phone or the computer answering emails. There is no couldn’t get enough. But I never considered doing this as a career till much routine to this job, but the days are certainly not boring! later in life. My dad was a marine biologist, and he took me everywhere TRUMAN: So far, what has been the highlight of your career? with him, so I went to school for marine biology. I was working on my SHANA: Sharing it all with my family. Performing at the White House. Ph.D. in Oceanography and playing a lot of Americana and blues music Realizing that despite the fact I’ve been doing this for umpteen years, there at festivals and coffee houses to help pay my bills and have fun. As I got is much more still to come. more into marine biology, I had less time for music. I missed music a lot, so I took a year off just to play music. So many kids came to some of these TRUMAN: What advice would you give to kids who are interested in shows that I started learning how to do children’s songs, like Raffi or this profession? Sesame Street songs. Then something amazing happened. People started SHANA: Follow your bliss. If I may quote Fred Rogers: “The thing I asking me if I would come and do concerts just for kids. I started writing remember best about successful people I’ve met all through the years is my own children’s music. My phone started ringing, and soon I was being their obvious delight in what they’re doing, and it seems to have very little invited to do kids’ concerts everywhere! At the time, I thought it was just a to do with worldly success. They just love what they’re doing, and they love temporary thing, but it kept growing, and I loved it SO much. I got hooked it in front of others.” and created “Shana Banana” officially. Writing songs for kids is a songTRUMAN: That’s a great quote! Mr. Rogers was really wise. Thanks, Shana writer’s dream because there is so much to write about. And for the first Banana! There is so much more to talk about, but not room for it all on one time, I felt as though I was doing work that actually could help improve the page. Read the complete interview with Shana Banana on our Web site at world by being a good example for the next generation. And performing www.kidsvillenews.com!
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Whatâ€™s the Difference?
There are five things different between picture A and picture B. Can you find them all?
Gardening Word Find
April is National Garden Month! See how many gardenrelated words you can find in this word search. BACKYARD COMPOST FERTILIZER FLOWER
I R F K W A T E R R I D T F O
Z Y R T G W J E S E J S C L R
G B L V B G L K C Z Y A F O G
D N G I F D M C E I C F T W A
GARDEN HERBS MULCH ORGANIC
T W I C R B U K S L M T T E N
L Y B T E R E E L I Q J I R I
D V P P N L Z C G T F W S O C
U R L U M A B Y X R S B R E H
M S A K T W L A F E O Q K I O
PLANTING SEEDS VEGETABLE WATER
P L D Y J O O P T F N V I F V
K G C I K K C G X E H I J D Z
H C L U M C Z L W G G P V B N
S D E E S Y A U C Z C E Y B E
T S O P M O C B P W J T V U R
O D Z X Y O I N G A R D E N I
Unscramble the words to complete the sentences. 1. You can use certain O D F O scraps as fertilizer. 2. Many people water their lawn with a S R P R E L K I N. 3. Tree S R O O T can damage house pipes. 4. Certain S S E I N T C can be beneficial to the garden. Source: www.metrocreativeconnection.com
Answers: 1. food 2. sprinkler 3. roots 4. insects
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Story Time with Truman Petey’s Secret Power Chapter Seven — The Switch
A Quality Serials Story By Mary Maden Illustrated by Tana Brinnand Last Time: Petey meets Wise Owl in the forest. The owl helps Petey by giving him a special acorn that has a secret power. With the acorn, Petey is confident that he can come up with the most creative entry for the big contest and win first prize. As Petey slept soundly in his bed, his cousin Santos tossed and turned in his. The small squirrel was wide-awake. He couldn’t stop thinking about the tasty acorn. Santos’ stomach growled. He sure was hungry! “I just need a little bite of something to eat,” Santos said to himself. “Then I can go to sleep.” Santos got out of bed and quietly crept over to Petey’s nest. The hungry squirrel peered in. Petey was curled up inside. He was snoring softly, the acorn clutched in his paw. Careful not to wake his sleeping cousin, Santos broke off a twig from the nest. Gently, he tickled Petey’s side with the twig. Petey wiggled and turned over, loosening his grip on the acorn. Gingerly, Santos grabbed hold of the nut. Little by little, Santos slid the acorn from under Petey’s paw. Once the tasty nut was free, Santos picked it up. “I’ll just take one little bite,” Santos whispered to himself. “Then I’ll put it back.” The small squirrel bit into the nut. “Boy, this sure is a tasty acorn!” Santos said. “I’ll just take one more small nibble.” The hungry squirrel took another bite. The acorn was delicious! Santos couldn’t help himself. He took another bite. And another. And another. Before he knew it, he had eaten the entire thing! “Uh, oh!” Santos cried, realizing what he had done. The small squirrel scratched his head and thought of what to do. He knew that Petey would be very upset with him. Suddenly, Santos had an idea. If he could find another acorn just like the one he ate and replace it before Petey woke up, his cousin would be none the wiser. Quickly, Santos ran in search of a replacement. He hurried to his favorite oak tree. There were dozens of acorns underneath. Santos picked up one of the nuts. It was too big! He couldn’t resist taking a bite of the acorn before tossing it aside. Santos picked up another acorn. It was too small! He had to find one exactly the same size as Petey’s acorn. After hours of looking, Santos finally found an acorn that was just right. Santos grabbed the acorn and dashed back. Quietly, he sneaked back into Petey’s nest. Petey was still fast asleep. Cautiously, Santos scooted the new acorn under Petey’s paw. With the switch made, Santos scurried back to his own nest. Santos went back to bed, but he couldn’t sleep. He tossed and turned. Santos felt bad about what he had done. It was wrong to eat the acorn. And it was wrong to deceive Petey. To make matters worse –– he had a
terrible tummy ache! The sun was already up when Santos fell into a restless sleep. As Santos was sleeping, Petey was waking up. He rubbed his eyes and jumped out of bed. Petey was excited. Today was the big day! Petey grabbed his special acorn and rushed to the Big Forest Creative Arts Festival and Extravaganza. When Petey arrived at the festival, there was a huge crowd. Petey had never seen anything like it! All the animals were rushing to and fro. They were all unsure about what to do or where to go. It was total chaos! As Petey pushed his way through the crowd, he bumped into three squirrels. The squirrels twittered excitedly. “Sorry!” Petey apologized. “That’s okay,” all three squirrels answered in unison. “Do you know where the bands go? We’re the Treetop Trio.” “I see Bubba Bear over there,” Petey replied. “He might know.” “Thanks!” the Treetop Trio called as they scurried away. “Excuse me,” Petey asked a passing chipmunk. “Where do I sign up for the contest?” “Over there, I think,” the chipmunk replied, pointing to a long table with an even longer line. “Did you see a rattlesnake slither by?” “No,” Petey answered. “If you happen to see one,” the chipmunk said, “tell him we need to practice our entry before the contest.” “Okay,” Petey agreed, wondering what the chipmunk and the rattlesnake were planning to do. Petey was headed to the sign-up table when he heard someone calling his name. Petey turned around. Weaving through the mass of animals was Santos! “Petey, wait up!” Santos yelled as he caught up to Petey. “I have to tell you something.” “I don’t have time right now,” Petey told Santos. “I have to enter the contest.” “You have to listen,” Santos pleaded. “I did something bad.” “What do you mean?” Petey asked. The small squirrel told Petey the whole truth about how he had eaten the acorn and replaced it with another one. “I’m sorry!” Santos apologized. “Please don’t be mad. I replaced your acorn, so everything’s okay. Right?” Stunned, Petey dropped the acorn. What was he going to do without his special secret power! Next Time: The Real Winner A Teacher’s Guide to accompany this eight-chapter story is available on the Kidsville News! Web site at www.KidsvilleNews.com. Copyright 2009 by Mary Maden. All rights reserved. Mary Maden is an award-winning author. Visit her on the Web at www.marymaden.com.
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COME OUT AND PLAY!
Extreme Kiting: Don’t Try This at Home! ing. Also known as land kiteboarding or flyboardApril is National Kite Month! Although no one knows the exact ing, this sport is a combination of kitesurfing and skaeboarding. The rider uses a landboard, origin of kites, they have been around which is like a large skateboard with for thousands of years. The first recorded use was about 200 B.C., wheels and footstraps, and of course a large sail-type kite. The kite pulls the when Chinese general Han Hsin used a rider across the ground, and the rider kite for military purposes. Over the years, tries to “get some air.” The rider can do kites have been used for a wide variety of things, like delivering mesdifferent tricks in the air, like board grabs, rotasages, measuring the weather, photographing the Earth, catching tions, flips and jumps. fish and even lifting people into the sky. Today most kites are flown for pleasure and sport. Snowkiting is similar to kitesurfing, but on snow or ice instead of water! This The windy spring days of April are perfect for kite sport uses a large kite and a snowboard or flying — but did you know there are many extreme skis. Snowkiting is different from skiing sports that use kites? Here are a few sports NOT to or snoboarding because, depending on try at home! the wind, the rider could go uphill! Kitesurfing and kiteboarding use the wind to pull These days, there’s a lot more to a rider through the water on a surfboard. The rider kiting than just flying a kite! But flying a can also use a kiteboard, which is similar to a wakeboard. Kitesurfing is usually more like wave riding, regular kite in your backyard or local park can still be lots of fun! For more informaand kiteboarding is more of a freestyle sport with tion about National Kite Month and local jumps, tricks and board grabs. They use events, visit www.nationalkitemonth.org. different types of boards and kites to suit the rider Photo contributed by the photographer, and the wave conditions. Kitesurfing off Mokuleia on the north shore Eric Guinther, through Wikipedia. And if there are no waves, there is kite landboard- of O‘ahu. Photographer: Eric Guinther.
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS... TOGO?
It’s time to get out your globe! You need to know about the imaginary lines on globes and maps. These lines are called lines of latitude and longitude, and they tell a pilot or ship’s captain exactly where in the world a certain place is located. Basically, latitude lines (also called parallels) are the horizontal lines on your map. Lines of longitude (also called meridians) are the vertical lines that run from the North Pole to the South Pole. This mapping system is written in degrees and uses the symbol °. Get ready to travel the world! There's a small country in Western Africa with a strange name, Togo. Find longitude 1º E and latitude 8º N, and let's learn about it! Togo is located in Western Africa between Benin to the east and Ghana to the west. Burkina Faso is to the north, and the Bight of Benin is to the south. Togo is a small, narrow sliver of a country and is smaller than the U.S. state of West Virginia. Because the country is long, it goes through six distinct geographic regions. The climate goes from hot, humid and tropical to the drier savannah grasslands. Approximately six million people live in Togo. The Togolese people are comprised of 37 African tribes. French is the official language. Ewe and Mina are the two major African languages in the south. Kabye and Dagomba are the two primary African languages in the north. Togo has been in the news recently because of protests surrounding their recent presidential election. President Faure Gnassingbe won the election last month. He seized power in 2005 after his father, Where in the former dictator Eyadema Gnassingbe, died. The same family has ruled Togo for the past World Word 43 years. bight [bahyt], a type Togo, which is officially named Togolese Republic, was formerly French Togoland. The of bay with a curved country gained its independence from France on April 27, 1960. shoreline Sources: The World Factbook prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency.
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Art Gallery James Ensor: An Oddball Artist people. At first, nobody liked his work. By the late 1880s, he had begun painting James Ensor was a 19th-century Belgian artist. Best religious themes with his signature style and his work was considered scandalknown as a painter and printmaker, James was highly ous at the time. But, James refused to stop painting and refused to stop exhibiting innovative for his time and has had a great influence on his works. Eventually, his critics came around to modern art through his embrace his style, and he was not only accepted, unique painting style. but also honored in the art world. James Ensor was By the 1920s, James was showing his paintborn on April 13, ings in major exhibits. In 1929, King Albert of 1860, in the seaside Belgium named him a baron, making James a resort town of Ostend, nobleman. Although he was earning fame and Belgium, where he spent recognition, James was beginning to paint less and nearly all of his life. His his style had softened. Even so, his work was still parents sold souvenirs very different from the way other artists of his day and antiques to visiting were painting, and his odd style served as a strong tourists, and as a child, influence for 20th-century artists like Paul Klee. James spent many hours His work even inspired a 20th-century rock song roaming the sandy dunes and several movies! around him and playing James died in his hometown of Ostend on with the seashells and November 19, 1949. By the time of his death, the other trinkets he found in James Ensor’s painting The Intrigue (1890) “oddball artist” was considered somewhat of a his family’s shop. James national treasure. was not a very good student, but he loved art. When he was 15, he left school to train full-time with two local painters. His passion for art grew, and he eventuWritten by Tamar Burris, a former elementary school teacher who now works ally returned to school to study art. At 17, he left home and enrolled at the Royal as a freelance writer and curriculum developer for PBS, the Discovery Channel and Academy for Science and the Arts in Brussels. other education-related companies. Sources: James Ensor Biography at Art in the After three years of intense schooling, James returned to Ostend and set up Picture, http://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/James_Ensor/Biography; James an art studio in his parents’ house. In 1881, he had his first art exhibit. Although Ensor on Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ensor; “Skull and Bones: his paintings were of seemingly realistic scenes bathed in gentle light and filled The Haunted Art of James Ensor,” Time, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ with vibrant, inviting colors, the human subjects he painted wore carnival masks article/0,9171,1910970,00.html. It is believed that the use of this image qualifies instead of faces, or were painted to look like skeletons or clowns instead of regular as fair use under United States copyright law.
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Red, White & True Mysteries Jean Charbonneau Made His Mark on America by Age Two Probably more than any other person in America, a boy named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau got to watch history being made firsthand without actually contributing to it. Best of all, he got to do this by the time he was two years old. But, like most two-year-olds, his story doesn’t end there. Around 1797, eight years before his son Jean was born, a FrenchCanadian explorer and trader named Toussaint Charbonneau had purchased two captured Shoshone Indian women and taken them as his wives; one was known as Bird Woman while the other was known as Otter Woman. Bird Woman gave birth to Jean Baptiste Charbonneau in 1805 at Fort Mandan, North Dakota. Fort Mandan was the place where Meriwether Lewis and William Clark stayed in the winter of 1804-1805. In fact, Lewis and Clark hired Toussaint Charbonneau to serve as an interpreter to the Hidatsa Indians, and they allowed him to bring along his pregnant wife, Mrs. Charbonneau (a.k.a. Bird Woman). Toussaint Charbonneau spoke no English and did not speak the Hidatsa language very well either, but his wives spoke it well. As a result, one of the wives — the one known as Bird Woman — went along on the Lewis and Clark expedition and was of more value to Lewis and Clark than Toussaint was. Meanwhile, the infant boy Jean Charbonneau got to watch history unfold right before his little eyes. His mother became very important in their journey while his father was generally not wellliked or respected by the rest of the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and most Americans have never heard of Toussaint Charbonneau or Bird Woman. Jean was the youngest member of the 30-person expedition. They took Jean Charbonneau halfway across the country when
he was just a toddler — and they made the entire trip without the luxury of a plane, train or automobile, at a time when most of the United States beyond the Mississippi River was still unknown. Then from the time he was 18 until age 24, he traveled throughout Europe and northern Africa with the nephew of King Wilhelm von Wurttemberg of Germany. When he was 44, he participated in the California Gold Rush of 1849. Jean Baptiste Charbonneau remains the only infant whose image ever appeared on any United States currency. He achieved this historical feat with his mother when they were depicted on a coin in 2000. In fact, while the name of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau or Toussaint Charbonneau might not ring a bell with you, his mother became so wellknown that you don’t even need her last name. Most people have never even heard of her last name. The name by which you know her was Sacajawea. But you knew that all along, didn’t you? © 2009 Paul Niemann. This story is part of the Red, White & True Mysteries series by author Paul Niemann. For more information, please visit www.Invention Mysteries.com.
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Tricky Adventures in the Dark Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night, opened your eyes and couldn’t see a thing? Somebody forgot to turn on the night light! This could make your trip to the bathroom a tricky adventure. Astronomers have a similar problem. Out in deep space, in the vast realm between stars, it’s as dark as your bathroom at midnight. They can’t see a thing. Yet there is “stuff” out there. Dwarf stars, faint clouds of gas and dark asteroids are just a few of the cool objects waiting to be discovered. But how? The answer is “Herschel.” That’s the name of a new space telescope launched into orbit last May. With Herschel on duty, it’s as though someone walked into the room and turned on the lights. Herschel is an infrared telescope. You know how soldiers use The Herschel Space Observatory sees infrared nightthings in space that are very dark and far vision goggles to away. That is because it “sees” in infrared see things in the and has a huge mirror for gathering light dark? Herschel from very faint objects. works in much the same way. It detects the infrared “body heat” of distant stars, planets and asteroids. “The sky looks much more crowded when you look in infrared wavelengths,” says George Helou, director of NASA’s Herschel Science Center. “We can’t observe the infrared universe from the ground because our atmosphere blocks infrared light. That’s why we need a space telescope like Herschel.” Herschel uses a mirror to focus infrared radiation into a picture — and what a mirror it is! The reflecting surface is 6.5 meters wide. That’s almost 20 feet. If your mom stood on your dad’s shoulders, and then your grandma climbed up on your mom’s shoulders, this stack of three people still wouldn’t be quite as tall as Herschel’s mirror. Herschel’s big mirror has a collecting area 16 times greater than any previous infrared space telescope. That means the telescope can see things that are extremely faint, dark and far away. Astronomers expect big discoveries in the months and years ahead. As for the bathroom, you’re going to have to find that on your own. Herschel is occupied. Play the infrared astronomy typing game, “Sign Here,” at The Space Place, spaceplace.nasa.gov/en/kids/spitzer/signs. This article was provided courtesy of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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A SECTION ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
What’s the Difference Between a Butterfly and a Moth?
Author/Illustrator: Robin Koontz, Bob Dacey (Illustrator), Debra Bandelin (Illustrator) Publisher: Picture Window Books
Age Range: 6-10 This new “What’s the Difference” series from Picture Window Books has several interesting titles: a Frog and a Toad, a Leopard and a Cheetah, an Alligator and a Crocodile. What’s the Difference Between a Butterfly and a Moth? is a colorful, beautifully illustrated book that details the things that distinguish one from the other. Side-by-side spreads compare and contrast the two insects. Callout boxes highlight new vocabulary and fundamental facts. The back of the book features a diagram that covers the highlights discussed in the book, as well as a glossary, fun facts and suggestions for other books and Web sites to visit. —JK
The Story of the Easter Robin Author/Illustrator: Dandi Daley Mackall, Anna Vojtech Publisher: Zonderkidz
Age Range: 4 to 7 From the Publisher: In the center of the nest lay one perfect egg, the color of a spring sky. The father robin sat on a branch nearby, guarding his family. Tressa spotted raccoon tracks below and a blue jay eyeing the nest. “Gran, how are we going to keep the egg safe?” “We’ll have to leave that one to the Creator,” Gran said. Robins have built a nest on the window ledge at Grandmother’s house! Tressa is thrilled — and concerned. What will happen to the sky-blue egg laid by the mother robin? As more eggs appear, Tressa witnesses the daily drama of the robins’ nest and learns how God
cares for all creatures. Besides watching the birds, there are Easter eggs to color. And there is a very special story to hear — a tale of long ago about one small bird with a very big heart. How did the robin get its red breast? Tressa is about to find out as Gran tells her the story of the Easter robin. Brought to life with colorful, tender illustrations, The Story of the Easter Robin will captivate and teach your child about compassion and faith.
Earth Day: An Alphabet Book Author: Gary Kowalski, Rocco Baviera (Illustrator) Publisher: Unitarian Universalist Association Age Range: 4 to 8 From the Publisher: Children and adults will delight in Earth Day, a litany of gratitude that celebrates Earth’s diverse species, from apricots to groundhogs to junebugs, from quahogs to zinnias, zucchini and zebras with bright and whimsical illustrations. In alphabetical order, the wonders of nature arise from the page, reminding readers that every day is a reason to give thanks and that miracles are as simple as ABC.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories Author: Lewis Carroll, John Tenniel (Illustrator) Publisher: Barnes and Noble (Leatherbound Classics Series) Age Range: 6 and up From the Publisher: Everything that Lewis Carroll ever published in book form appears in this volume. In addition, at least 10 of the shorter pieces have never appeared in print except in their original editions. Included are “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “Through the Looking-Glass,” “Sylvie and Bruno,” “Sylvie and Bruno Concluded,” “The Hunting of the Snark” and all of the poetry, essays and phantasmagoria along with a substantial collection of the miscellaneous writings.
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P ARENTOWN’S K ID S MART What Every Parent Should Be Teaching Their Children About Money First and foremost, the lesson that you teach your child about money is that it is a tool. A tool that we use to provide for our basic everyday needs, such as providing a roof over our head, food and clothing. It is also a tool to get the things that we want, such as a DVD of our favorite movie, a video game or the hottest new toy. Be sure to explain the key differences between a need and a want to your child. A need is something we cannot live without and is essential to everyday living; a want is anything outside of that. Here’s a worksheet you can go through with your child to help him understand: Needs Wants Toothbrush Electric Toothbrush Backpack Baseball Cards Clothes/Shoes Designer Clothes/Shoes Food Candy Water Bottled Water The next lesson is how money can be earned. Following are examples. As adults, we know we must work everyday to earn a regular paycheck. With this explanation, your child will wonder, how can I earn money? Well, here are a couple of ways to answer that question: First, children can earn a weekly allowance by performing chores around the house. Let’s not forget that they can earn money by setting up a lemonade sand during the summer, babysitting and shoveling snow or raking leaves for the neighbors. Finally, although not “earning” it, they could receive a cash gift for their birthday or a special holiday such as Christmas. Remember the four money buckets? Spend, Save, Invest and Give Back. Don’t forget to review that lesson with your child. Each time he receives any type of income, he should split it among the four buckets. This way, it has more places and opportunities to grow. Think about it, if you spend all your money when you receive it, how will your money grow? Example, if you focused only on one part of your school studies, how could you be well rounded in all the subjects like math, science, arts, music, etc. It is the same with money. It should be working in several areas to get the most of it. The bottom-line question then becomes: Do you have a “Hill of Green” or a “Mountain of Green?” The choices we make everyday with our money will dictate how we answer that question. READERS: Please send your questions about kids and money to kvnews@ kidsvillenews.com. We hope to start a new Q&A format for this section. Keva Sturdevant is the founder of Born To Save, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., with the mission of teaching kids of all ages the importance of saving and investing. Our goal is to begin conversations about money between parents and their kids in households across America. In an effort to foster those conversations, we grant actual shares of stock to kids across the country. Born To Save grants shares of stock to kids who register on our Web site at www.BornToSave.org.
Lo Que Todo Padre Debe de Enseñarle a su hijo acerca del dinero
Antes que nada la leccion que le tiene que enseñar a su hijo acerca del dinero es que es una herramienta. Algo que usamos para proveer nuestras necesidades basicas del diario tales como poner un techo sobre nuestras cabezas, comida y ropa. Tambien es una herramienta para obtener cosas que queremos como el DVD de nuestra pelicula favorita, un video juego o el juguete mas popular. Asegurate de explicar la diferencia entre lo que necesitan y lo quieren. Una necesidad es algo de lo que no podemos prescindir y es esencial para vivir. Lo que queremos es todo lo demas. Aquí hay unos ejemplos que puedes usar para ayudar a que tu hijo entienda: Necesidad Querer Cepillo Dental Cepillo dental electrico Mochila Tarjetas de colección de baseball Ropa/Zapatos Ropa/Zapatos de marca Comida Golosinas Agua Agua embotellada
La siguiente leccion es: como podemos ganar dinero. Aquí hay varios ejemplos: Como adultos sabemos que debemos de trabajar todos los dias para ganar un cheque. Con esta explicacion tu hijo se ha de preguntar: “¿Como puedo ganar dinero?” Pues aquí tenemos algunas maneras en las que ellos pueden ganar dinero: Primero, pueden obtener su domingo semanal haciendo tareas en el hogar. No hay que olvidar que pueden ganar dinero vendiendo limonadas en el verano, cuidando niños, traspaleando la nieve o recogiendo las hojas de arboles en las casas de los vecinos. Finalmente, pueden recibir algun regalo de dinero en efectivo en su cumpleaños o en un dia feriado, como la Navidad. ¿Recuerdas las cuatro cubetas del dinero? Gasta, ahorra, invierte y devuelve. No olvides repasar esa leccion con tu hijo. Cada vez que reciban dinero, deben de dividirlo en 4 partes, asi tendran mas lugares y oportunidades para que el dinero crezca. Piensalo, si te gastas todo el dinero que recibes, ¿como va a crecer? Por ejemplo, si solo te enfocas en una materia de tus estudios, como vas a salir bien en las demas materias como matematicas, ciencia, artes, musica, etc. Lo mismo con el dinero, debe de estar trabajando en varias areas para sacar la mayor ventaja. La pregunta al final del dia es: ¿Tienes tu “colina verde”? o ¿una “montaña verde”? Las decisiones que tomamos todos los dias con nuestro dinero dictaran como contestamos esta pregunta. Lectores: Por favor manden sus preguntas sobre niños y dinero a firstname.lastname@example.org Queremos comenzar una seccion de preguntas y respuestas para esta seccion
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P ARENTOWN’S K ID S HAPE Camp Tips for Parents Spring is here, and thoughts are already turning to summer vacations and camps. But how do you choose a camp and prepare your child? Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the leading pediatric healthcare systems in the country, offers these tips for parents and their children. Q: When should I start researching for a summer camp for my child(ren) to attend? A: In the fall (but NOW is good, too!). Start by getting on camp mailing lists and researching Web sites. Most camps start the application and enrollment process in the winter and spring. Make sure to complete applications and return them by their due dates. Q: What resources are available to select a good, quality camp? A: The American Camping Association (ACA) lists all camps and their descriptions. These camps have been accredited by the ACA, www. americancampingassociation.org. Camps are accredited based on health, safety and program quality. Also, www.campparents.org is a great resource for parents. Q: What items should I pack for my child to take to camp? How should I dress my child for camp? A: While packing lightly is encouraged, it is always best to be fully prepared. Anticipate rain, chilly nights and heat. Also expect your child to get wet and dirty, so extra sets of clothes are a must. If the camp is seven days long, I would recommend packing for nine-10 days. Pack comfortable clothes and shoes. Make sure to find out if there are special “dress up” occasions at camp, such as a dance or talent show. Pack bedding, towels, hygiene products, sunscreen, bug spray, flashlight, disposable camera, envelopes and stationery. Also pack comfort items, such as a nightlight, stuffed animal or photos of family members. All medications and inhalers should be sent to the camp director as well. Valuables should NOT be sent to camp. And be sure to label all of your child’s belongings. Q: Can I interview the camp staff? What kind of questions should I ask? A: Yes, it is important to feel comfortable with the camp director before sending your child to camp. Find out what the camp philosophy is and whether you agree with it. Ask what the director’s background is and how staff are selected and trained. A director should be trained in safety, emergency procedures, behavior management and child abuse protection. Ask what kinds of activities are available at camp and what the normal daily schedule is like. Ask about the disciplinary policies and whether they coincide with the expectations
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of your family. Ask about the ratio of staff to campers. The ACA advises one adult per six children and one adult per 10 teens. Q: How much do summer camps cost? Is there any type of financial assistance offered for summer camp? A: The average cost for one week at an overnight camp is $390, and the average for one week of day camp is about half of that. However, many camps are significantly less expensive or even free. Contact the camp director to find out if the camp offers financial assistance. Many camps offer discounted rates for early enrollment or for families enrolling multiple children. Q: How should I help my child prepare for camp for the first time? A: Practice sleepovers away from home. Involve your child in choosing the camp. Discuss camp activities with your child and have a positive family attitude about camp. Have your child practice activities that he might participate in at camp, such as sleeping in a sleeping bag, getting into a pool, taking showers instead of baths and writing letters. Q: How should we cope with homesickness? A: Send care packages and letters to children at camp. Avoid using phrases such as “Just try it for one day and you can leave” or “If you stay until Wednesday, then we will come and get you.” If your child calls from camp, be calm and reassuring. You know your child best, so if you feel that your child should come home, make arrangements promptly. In that case, focus on the positive and try camp again next year. Q: How do I know if my child is ready to go to camp? A: If your child is younger than seven years old, you may want to start with a day camp. You can evaluate whether your child is ready for camp by observing his behaviors. Does he normally have positive overnight experiences away from home? Does your child bring up the topic of camp and express desires to attend camp? Information courtesy of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the leading pediatric healthcare systems in the country. Children’s is a not-for-profit organization that benefits from the generous philanthropic and volunteer support of our community. Operating three hospitals with more than half a million patient visits annually, Children’s is recognized for excellence in cancer, cardiac, neonatal, orthopaedic and transplant services, as well as many other pediatric specialties. Visit the Web site at www.choa.org or call 404-250-KIDS to learn more about Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Together Time — Ask an adult for help with projects!
Enjoy Spring with New Baking Ideas! Rain showers and blooming flowers aren’t the only things that will be kind to your sense of smell this spring. It’s also a great time of year to bake up homemade breads, cookies and moist, crumbly muffins. This fun confetti cookie recipe is sure to be a new family favorite to celebrate spring. Here are some tips for making yummy treats that will have the entire neighborhood gathering outside your kitchen this spring: * Bake quick breads in the center of the oven rack for best heat circulation. * Use a spring-handled ice cream scoop (No. 20 or No. 24) to fill muffin cups or a melon-ball-sized scoop for mini muffins. * To tell if yeast bread is done baking in the oven, tap the crust. If the bread sounds hollow, it’s finished. * Boost the nutrition level in your cookies by using whole wheat flour. This works really well for drop cookies.
SPRINGTIME SLICE-AND-BAKE CONFETTI COOKIES WHAT YOU NEED: • 1 1/4 cups sugar • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened • 1/2 cup butter-ﬂavored shortening • 1 egg • 2 tablespoons milk • 2 teaspoons vanilla • 3 1/4 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda • 1/8 teaspoon salt • 10 drops red food coloring • 16 drops yellow food coloring • 9 drops green food coloring • 3 tablespoons pastel-colored confetti candy sprinkles
HOW TO MAKE IT: • With adult help: Heat oven to 375º F. Line bottom of a loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches, with plastic wrap. • Beat sugar, butter and shortening in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed or mix with a spoon. Stir in egg, milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. • Divide dough into thirds. Knead one food coloring into each dough. Press one of the colored doughs in the bottom of the pan. Top with remaining colored doughs, pressing each layer firmly to seal. Turn the pan upside down and remove the plastic wrap from the dough. Cut dough lengthwise into thirds. Cut each third crosswise into 16 slices. • Place about two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with candy sprinkles. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until bottoms are a light golden brown. Cool for one minute, remove from cookie sheet and place on a wire rack. Courtesy of ARAContent and Gold Medal Flour. Find several favorite recipes to try at www.GoldMedalWholeWheat.com.
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