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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness

You may have heard about special events, like walks or races, to raise money for breast cancer research.  Maybe you’ve seen people wear those little pink ribbons on their clothes, or the professional football players wear pink cleats.

Breast (say: brest) cancer is a common cancer among women. It occurs rarely in men and it doesn’t affect kids. But kids might want to learn about it because they know someone who has it or because they want to learn how to check for it when they are older.

Alameda County Library has many books about breast cancer but you may want to check out this one written especially for kids like you.

Hope Tree

What Is Breast Cancer?

The human body is made of tiny building blocks called cells. Your body creates them, replacing those that die with new ones. Usually, the body creates healthy, normal cells that do just what they’re supposed to do. This includes cells in the breasts, the two rounded areas on the front of the chest.

But if a cell changes into an abnormal, sometimes harmful form, it can divide quickly over and over again without dying, making many, many copies of itself. When this happens, a tumor, abnormal body cells grouped together in the form of a mass or lump, can start to form and grow.

Breast cancer is a kind of tumor that develops in the cells of a person’s breast. You may think that only women can get breast cancer, but because all people have breast tissue, men can get breast cancer as well — though this is very rare.

Want to know more?  Click here: http://kidshealth.org/kid/grownup/conditions/breast_cancer.html

And, of course, you may visit your local library to get more information.  And remember:Breast Cancer Pink

so don’t forget to wear yours, even if you’re a guy!  Show your support!

Guess Who Bulletin Board Game

Do you like solving mysteries? If so, here is a game for you! The Centerville Library is playing a Guess Who bulletin board game. The library’s bulletin board is decorated with a total of 19 silhouettes of famous characters from children’s books. Can you name them all? The Guess Who Game is open to kids 12 years old and under. Come in to the Centerville Library to solve the mystery of the silhouetted characters and you could win a small prize and be entered into a raffle drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card.  Anyone can have fun guessing the identities of the characters but only kids, 12  years old and under, can win a prize. The Centerville Library will be playing the game through Thursday, October 9th.

If you’d like to see a picture of the whole bulletin board, click on the following link:

Centerville Library’s Bulletin Board

The Centerville Library is located at 3801 Nicolet Ave in Fremont

The library’s hours are:

Tuesdays: 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Thursdays: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

For more information give us a call at 510-795-2629

September 15 – October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month, which began on September 15, celebrates the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18.

The term Hispanic or Latino, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.

Test your Hispanic heritage knowledge by clicking on the links below.



To increase your knowledge, don’t forget to check out books at  your local Alameda County Library.  Watching these movies are also a great way celebrate.  You can get them from your local library as well.

Cesar Chavez

A Class Apart

Back-to-School Homework Help!

The first month of the Fremont Unified School District’s 2014-2015 school year has flown by. Those of you who are home schooled, or in private school, have most likely been back to school a bit longer. It’s time to get serious about homework, and to be sure you are prepared for upcoming school projects. I’m sure you already know that the library is a fantastic place to go to find books and information for homework assignments. Did you know that the Alameda County Library website is also a great place to look for homework help? Our library has assembled some very helpful guides, accessible from the Kids tab on the library’s homepage. You can find grade level reading lists, homework help, and language learning to name a few. If you click on the Homework tab from the kids page you can find many great lists of helpful databases and websites to use for the following subjects: Animals, California, Science, Literature, Biographies, Countries/States, History, and Math. We have a variety of suggested websites and databases that are ready for you to use anytime of the day, either in the library, at school, or from home. Our databases do require you to have a valid library card number in order to login, but they are all free for you to use as a library member.

Look below for some of our recommended websites and database.

Be sure to check out our library’s website for more information and homework help!

Reading and Literature

Alameda County Library’s Grade Level Book Lists: http://guides.aclibrary.org/read/booklists

Novelist K-8: Database

Guys Read: http://www.guysread.com

Book Adventure: http://www.bookadventure.com/Book_finder.aspx

Alameda County Library’s Kids eBooks: http://guides.aclibrary.org/ebooks-for-kids

Mathematics and Science

Neok-12 Videos: http://www.neok12.com/

Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org

IXL Math Practice: http://www.ixl.com/math/

Science Buddies: http://www.sciencebuddies.org

Internet Public Library Science Projects: http://www.ipl.org/div/projectguide/

History and the state of California

Biography in Context: Database

Best of History: http://www.besthistorysites.net

Social Studies Fact Cards: http://factcards.califa.org

A to Z Maps: Database

A to Z USA: Database

Creative Crafts with Leaves

This week marks the first week of the Fall season. The colors of the leaves are changing, and many leaves can be found on the ground. Fall is my favorite season of the year. One of  the books I really enjoy reading this time of year is Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. This book is about a man made from leaves who blows away in the wind. As he travels by wind he sees many different places and animals. I love the wonderful collage illustrations that feature interesting and colorful leaf creations throughout the book. 

Leaf Man Image Source: http://www.harcourtbooks.com

As you examine the illustrations in the book, you might become inspired to create your own leaf artwork. If so, take a look at the images below to get ideas for a fun afternoon craft project. You’ll need a few craft supplies, fallen leaves, and your imagination! Click on the images for more information and directions for each craft. 

The site below is in French and doesn’t include directions. The site does have several wonderful animal leaf collages to look at for creative inspiration.

Creative Thursdays at the Library

Back to school. Sigh. Wait — take control! Make it fun!

If you get textbooks you can take home, cover them! It keeps them clean, and, if you can customize the covers it will make your books easier to identify and find. Book covers can be purchased, but you can make your own using brown paper, wrapping paper, or fabric. If you can find brown paper grocery bags, that’s even better because not only is the paper nice and sturdy, they are usually free [or pretty cheap]!

You can find directions for covering books online with a simple search – this one for instance – and I think avoiding taping the books is a VERY GOOD IDEA!!

 Blank paper makes a great canvas for artistic types, or choose your favorite colors and patterns of paper or fabric.

Don’t stop at covering books! You can make all kinds of personal and fun accessories. Check these out:

The Back-To-School Book by Sue Locke

“Fun and simple projects to fill the last few days of school vacation like a school days chart, pencil toppers, and book snakes.”                [J745.5 LOCKE]

Cool Stuff For School by Carol Scheunemann


“Presents step-by-step instructions for simple homemade projects that kids can make, featuring school-related items such as locker accessories, lunch bags, book covers, photo albums, and pencil boxes.”                  [J372.5 SCHEUNEMANN]

Dazzling Duct Tape Designs: Fashionable Accessories, Adorable Décor, and Many More Creative Crafts You Make at Home by Tamara Boykins

“Duct tape is no longer just for gaffing down cords, holding together pieces of pipe, and fixing everything that’s broken. Now available in vibrant colors and exciting patterns in craft stores nationwide, it’s at the center of a wildly popular crafting craze. Teaching readers to take this roll-of-fun phenomenon to the next level, Dazzling Duct Tape Designs shows how to turn duct tape into fashion accessories, home decor, and even entire outfits.” Projects for both girls and boys.                   [745.59 BOYKINS]

Make Your Own Hairwear: Beaded Barrettes, Clips, Dangles and Headbands by Diane Baker

” Whether it is something to wear with your ‘most favourite’ pair of jeans or with your dress for the school party, you will never have a ‘bad hair day’ again! Learn all the beading techniques, from making simple strands for ‘fringed’ bobby pins and tiebacks to fashioning intricate-looking ‘beady’ creatures and charms to attach to hair combs and scrunchies. Suitable for children of ages 9 to 12 years.”                              [J745.582 BAKER]

Accessories: Style Secrets for Girls by Stephanie Turnbull

“Provides step-by-step instructions for making necklaces, earrings, bracelets, bows, and scarves; looks at fashions from the past and trends for the future; and offers tips on organizing and storing accessories.”                     [J646.3 TURNBULL]

And don’t forget: accessorize your BRAIN, not just your outfit:

“Half-Face” Sketching

Print a photograph of someone’s face (your own, a friend’s, a family member’s or famous person’s). Cut the photo in half and tape this part to a large piece of drawing paper. Look at the unused half until it sinks into your imagination. Turn the unused half over and save it for Part 2.

We’re going to see how people complete this “Drawing Puzzle” in different ways. The important thing is to learn how faces are shaped, whether your drawing looks like a photo or like a cartoon.


Use a black pencil with soft graphite that can make thick dark lines and also soft gray shading when it is pressed lightly on the paper. You can also use soft colored pencils. See some of these pencil types below:

pencilset kneeded-eraser1

Have an eraser nearby, one that won’t smudge. Kneaded erasers from an art store are useful and fun. You can get a clean surface for erasing, just by twisting and kneading the eraser till it’s clean enough to use.

Symmetry of Faces

Everyone knows one half of a face is different than its other side. But pretend that they are the same, just to practice drawing the physical parts of the face: hair, brow, eyebrows, eyelids, eyelashes, eyes, iris, pupils, nose bridge, nostrils, ears, mouth, smile lines, dimples, cheeks, chin and neck. Start with the outlines shown below, except your project will be half photo and half oval with lines.

4 copy draw-face-1  face_3

Draw some basic lines or scaffolding out of the photo onto the white page. You can hang parts of the face on these lines. Pay attention to the rule of thirds–a grid that make the face have nice proportions. (To make exaggerated faces or comic characters, you can S.T.R.E.T.C.H. those proportions!)

4-proportions-of-head      kiddo4

Once the “parts” of the face are sketched (or put in place) on the lightly-drawn straight lines, press the pencil firmly to give the face a strong outline. Use the same pressure on your pencil to give the eyes, nose, eyebrows and other features clarity*. (This kind of “clarity” isn’t right for all drawings, but will help you learn to draw and shade the parts of the face–making your drawing look like the half-photo.)

1266072_orig masks and pots 007 masks and pots 006

Finally, you want to add depth and shading. To shade your drawing, tilt your pencil to side and make lighter strokes. (It’s important to put shadows on the side of the nose, under the lips, beneath the chin, and above and beneath the eyes.) This rounds out the face.

8664250067_2efe6a9f5e_m 7160893179_0e5de78eec kiseop_half_face_portrait_by_nathaliafl123-d6vd9l5

You’ll be surprised to see the whole face start to look life-like! Let’s look at the half-photo/half-drawings from the top of the page to see how kids see their faces and put the “parts” in the right place! The one on the right looks more like a photo and the two on the left are bright masks.

8 half-self-portrait-2 kiddo5

Now turn over the hidden half of the photograph and  place it above your drawing. What did you get “right?” What looks a little off?

Part 2. Take the other half of the cut photo and repeat the process you did in Part 1.

OR try Part 3! Just for fun, make a mythical creature or cartoon mask on the white space joining the second half of the photograph.

loki_half_face_portrait_by_avengerx24-d4bjuyj   9818282_orig    some_half_face_girl_by_limitless290-d4fb8rg


kiddo7   1452

Keep Drawing for a week or month. Use this exercise and start to make the drawings “Asymmetrical.” This will make your faces or portraits look more like real people. When manga or cartoon characters have emotions like anger, sadness or laughter, you can see that both halves of their faces are not exactly alike.  The two halves of the face will not look the same, even though the physical parts may have similar shapes.

When the school year starts, Be Creative! Not just on Thursdays!!


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